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Ministers to attend Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture meeting in Abu Dhabi

The first meeting of the Strategic Committee for the Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture (GACSA) since its formation in September 2014 is set to take place at the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA) in Abu Dhabi in March.

Source: GFIA

GACSA represents the first time that a powerful international coalition has been formed that links agriculture with climate change in order to promote greater international engagement. The Committee has been charged with defining and driving the climate-smart agriculture agenda.

The Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture (GACSA) was launched by the United Nations during the UN Climate Summit in New York in September 2014 to bring together the key players in this key area. It is a voluntary, farmer-led, multi-stakeholder, action-oriented coalition committed to the incorporation of climate-smart approaches within food and agriculture systems. The Alliance will seek to improve people’s food and nutrition security by helping governments, farmers, scientists, businesses, and civil society, as well as regional and international organizations, to adjust agricultural practices, food systems and social policies so they take account of climate change and the efficient use of natural resources.

Founded by FAO, the UN sponsored Food and Agriculture Organisation, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the World Bank, the Alliance now represents over 70 members. The high level of Ministerial engagement at GFIA bears testimony to the growing movement behind CSA’s potential as a game-change for the agriculture sector, in the context of the climate change discussion.

With the world’s population due to hit nine billion in 2050, there is ever-increasing pressure to provide food for the people on the planet. However, the insidious effects of climate change – from whatever source – are complicating and hampering the production of that food. Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is one answer that will be crucial, a strategic, aligned approach that is designed to develop the next generation of solutions that will help agriculture adapt to modern climate challenges and raise agricultural productivity while mitigating the effects of climate change – in particular by increasing the resilience of farmers.

Inge Herman Rydland, Co-Chair of GACSA and a speaker at GFIA’s Climate-Smart Agriculture Summit, summarised the value of climate-smart agriculture, commenting: “It is unacceptable that close to one billion people go to bed hungry every night. We can change this by providing farmers worldwide with the right knowledge and the right tools. Climate smart agriculture is one of the most significant tools in our armoury.”

GACSA will host its first-ever CSA conference session on the opening day of the main CSA Summit at GFIA, which will include a keynote and a panel discussion involving the world’s leading proponents of CSA. There will also be the opportunity for key players to join ACSA.

Mark Beaumont, Event Director, GFIA, says: “It is absolutely critical that countries, organisations and individuals take up membership of GACSA. It’s free and straightforward – and membership provides an opportunity to join the debate and to help shape the future, in terms of both food production and climate change.”

He adds: “It is also important to highlight the role that Abu Dhabi is able to play in bringing together participants from the entire agricultural value-chain. This will be one of the most significant events for climate-smart agriculture in this decade, uniting all the key players.”

GACSA has created three Action Groups to help identify priorities, covering:

  • Knowledge – the science of CSA
  • Investment – who pays for CSA
  • Enabling Environment – how policy needs to change

Around 700 scientists and consultants have already joined the GACSA Action Group Register of Experts.

The second edition of the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA) is set to take place in Abu Dhabi from March 9-11, 2015. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority and in strategic partnership with the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), the exhibition and conference will feature more than 300 next-generation agricultural solutions that could shape the future of sustainable farming around the world.

GFIA is sponsored by the Food Security Centre – Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Farmers Services Centre, Exeed Industries, and the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce & Industry. Organized with official support from the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water, GFIA 2015 will include a keynote speech by His Excellency Dr Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad, UAE Minister of Environment and Water.

Find out more about GFIA here, join the LinkedIn group ‘Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture Network’, or follow GFIA on twitter @GFIA2015.

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