Every month we share with our readers a curated reading list on inclusive development. As we gear up for this year’s COP 27 in Egypt, we are zooming in on the Climate and Food Systems nexus. Unlike last year, the agenda of the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference dedicates a whole day to “adaptation and agriculture”.
According to new research by a team led by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, agriculture is responsible for about one-third of greenhouse gas emissions. While this highlights the importance of integrating food systems into the climate agenda, it’s missing an explicit mention of nutrition, which focuses on sufficient production and access to healthy and affordable food. However, as the food crisis tightens around the world, the ‘Hunger Hotspots – FAO-WFP early warnings on acute food insecurity’ report calls for urgent humanitarian action to save lives and livelihoods and prevent famine in hotspot countries where acute food insecurity is expected to worsen from October 2022 to January 2023. It also finds rising conflict, weather extremes, and economic instability aggravated by the impacts of COVID-19 and the ripple effects of the war in Ukraine (which are also the subject of a recent ASCL blog post) are among the key drivers of the negative developments.
Against this backdrop, 15 organisations will bring attention to the transformations needed in the food and agriculture system to effectively tackle the climate crisis at the Food4Climate Pavilion, among other events organised around the COP27. The Netherlands Food Partnership (NFP), for example, published an information page including a general overview of the programme, as well as an opportunity to preregister for the COP27 briefing sessions later this year. Furthermore, NFP is hosting a creative and thought-provoking event for food professionals to celebrate World Food Day 2022, Wednesday 12 October at the Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam, organised on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. It will set out the key priorities and urgent actions needed to address and mitigate the food and climate crises.
On a more practical note, agroecology is heralded as one of the solutions to adapt the agricultural system to the demand of a changing climate. The YALTA Agroecology Production Handbook is designed to share knowledge with young agriprenuers facilitating or training in agroecology farming. It provides information on the 10 elements of agroecology and includes links to detailed information produced by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). On the topic of improving programming for youth agripreneurs in Africa, the INCLUDE knowledge platform together with The Broker and the NFP has recently started an exciting new project. Youth agripreneurship is increasingly put forward as a solution not only to the innovative transformation of the African agriculture and agro-processing sectors, but also to spur the creation of youth employment opportunities. Policy dialogues organised by Utafiti Sera and the Centre for African Bio-Entrepreneurs (CABE) have worked to make research evidence more accessible to policymakers and relevant actors to catalyse policy interventions regarding the generation of youth employment in agriculture. Along the same lines, the EPRC-African Policy Dialogues (APD) under the Inclusive Development (INCLUDE) Platform project discussed how to create productive and decent work for youth and women in Uganda through Agro Industrialisation.