Participants at a side event on accelerating the transition to resilient food systems considered Cambodia’s experience working with food companies to develop climate-smart practices that respect forest commodities and sustainable agriculture practices.
Another event explored how pursuing the net-zero goal will involve transforming energy systems, product manufacturing, and business models, and discussed initiatives to address food and nutrition insecurity.
The increasing frequency of climate-induced extreme weather events is disrupting food production and threatening food security. Transforming food systems is critical to achieving countries’ nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), and must be addressed by the climate agenda. This was the focus of a side event held during the Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP 27).
A 12 November event, ‘Our Food Is on the Table: Accelerating the Transition to Resilient Food Systems,’ highlighted the UN Development Programme (UNDP)/Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) programme, ‘Scaling up Climate Ambition on Land Use and Agriculture through Nationally Determined Contributions and National Adaptation Plans (SCALA).’
Ulf Jaeckel, Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV), Germany, noted his country’s enlistment of the business sector in scaling up agricultural policies to align with its updated NDC.
Sergei Nakouzi, FAO, urged businesses to: invest in agricultural supply chains to make crops more resilient; help deliver innovative solutions; scale up research and the development of precision farming; and contribute private capital to finance the transition towards sustainable agriculture.
Private sector representatives:
- reiterated the urgency of transforming food systems to sustainably feed nine billion people by 2050;
- cited regenerative agriculture as a practice that should be scaled up;
- emphasized the private sector’s role in building a roadmap for the food sector, and creating conditions and incentives for farmers to establish regenerative practices;
- urged policymakers to integrate agriculture in their national plans by removing regulatory barriers, repurposing subsidies, and mandating climate-smart practices to encourage environmentally friendly farming; and
- noted that businesses are moving faster than governments and taking things into their own hands.
Also during the event, Cambodia discussed working with food companies to develop climate-smart practices that respect forest commodities and sustainable agriculture practices, with the hope poverty will also be reduced. She stressed that, when investing in agriculture, the private sector must take local conditions into account, including local and traditional knowledge, and that food system initiatives must be locally led.
The World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD), in collaboration with FAO, organized the event.
Another 12 November event, convened by the Industrial Technology Research Institute, focused on ‘Building an Enhanced Resilient and Sustainable Society by Net-Zero Transformation and Collaboration.’ Panelists explored how pursuing the net-zero goal will involve transforming energy systems, product manufacturing, and business models, as well as embracing green energy technology. The event addressed: decarbonization solutions; technological strategies in mitigation and adaptation; and collaborative approaches for developing countries, particularly Eswatini, in contributing to a climate-resilient and low-carbon economy.
Representatives from Eswatini discussed the country’s NDC, and emphasized the importance of educating youth on climate change issues, as well as empowering them to come up with creative solutions. Technological advancements, such as mini-grids for remote communities, high-tech bicycles, waste recycling technology, and green energy technology, were also discussed. In addition, initiatives to address food and nutrition insecurity were considered, including: re-introducing nutrient-dense Indigenous vegetables in Africa; establishing and modernizing gene bank infrastructure; introducing germplasm rescue and conservation; building gardens in more than 3,500 homes and schools; and educating students and farmers about the importance of vegetables and teaching farmers to cultivate them.
At the Sharm el-Sheikh Climate Change Conference, the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) provided coverage of selected side events.