Food systems take centre stage at global climate talks

Thursday, November 10th, 2022 01:30 | By
President William Ruto at the COP27 Summit in Egypt.
President William Ruto at the COP27 Summit in Egypt. PHOTO/Courtesy

As the unprecedented drought continues to ravage most countries in Africa, food systems and agriculture are finally at the heart of the 27th Conference of Parties on Climate Change.

For the first time, there is dedicated discussions on food systems and agriculture at COP27 at the first official Food and Agriculture Pavilion. The Pavilion is hosted by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), CGIAR, and The Rockefeller Foundation.

“Food systems have never been addressed comprehensively at any climate COP and most countries’ climate plans do not include plans to take action on food systems,” FAO said in a statement.

Available research shows the only programme under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that focuses on agriculture and food security was the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture, which was established in 2017 at COP23 in Bonn, Germany.

The KJWA has since been considered the formal mechanism for discussing food at COP27. It did organise a few events at COP26 in Glasgow, but as usual, its voice and visibility were subdued.

According to the statement, the pavilion will put the transformation of agrifood systems at the heart of the COP agenda for the first time as an important part of the solution to the climate crisis.

At the pavilion, there are an array of discussions on topics such as the adaption of resilient agriculture in Africa, climate security for dry lands, the vulnerability of food systems to the global food crisis, conflicts and trade shocks, and low-emission climate-resilient development strategies.

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