During the U.N. Climate Change Conference, food systems stakeholders discussed the importance of leveraging strategic relationships to help farmers around the world transition to more regenerative practices. Hosted at the Sustainable Agriculture of the Americas Pavilion, the session was organized by the Business Council for International Understanding.
Agriculture is responsible for roughly one third of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to research from the United Nations. But Bruno Pozzi, Deputy Director of the Ecosystems Division for the UN Environment Programme argues that the sector can be a “positive force.”
Central to these solutions are farmers, the speakers argue.
“Regenerative agriculture is becoming one of the most important technologies,” says Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of AGRA. “If you live in Kenya like I do and you’ve lived through 6 failed crop seasons, you do understand that there are things we need to improve on.”
Farmers see and understand that change is needed, Kalibata notes, but she argues that the transition to more regenerative practices that heal the soil and support food security will require support for producers during the four-year transition period.
That’s why Kalibata believes in strategic partnerships like the technical cooperation, a collaboration coordinated by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture that brings institutions together to support farmers.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack also highlights the importance of coalitions and relationships. “International action is absolutely critical and key to helping agriculture address the causes and consequences of a changing climate,” he states.
Vilsack is encouraged by collaborations and programs including AIM for Climate, which spurs action and investment in sustainable food systems initiatives. He also points to the Sustainable Productivity Growth Coalition, a platform to share best practices to address the changing climate and global food insecurity.
“If we can invest in better health for our soils, we get the carbon challenge addressed, we get the biodiversity challenge addressed,” Pozzi states. “And then we’ll have better productivity and a better relationship with nature.”
Watch the full conversation below.
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