Neotiating on adaptation, and discussing on agriculture here in Durban


December 6th, 2011

I am feeling more positive than I expected to feel, about progress here, at least on adaptation. Discussions are still continuing on what should be written into the decision text on national adaptation planning. A decision on the Adaptation Committee, a new body that will have a significant role in overseeing adaptation at the national level in developing countries, is likely to be left for ministers to decide in terms of who will be on the committee – whether mainly experts in adaptation, and whether a majority from developing countries, and whether to have representatives from civil socieity as well. To keep positive I keep my head down, focusing on adaptation, as the discussions on addressing the desperate need to cut emissions are STILL not progressing much.

Meanwhile, I have also had a lot of opportunities to discuss how we need to change our global food production system towards one focused on an ecological approach – to strengthen resilience of small farmers, to strengthen ecosystems eroded by industrial agriculture, and to reduce the emissions created by intensive monocultures fed by chemical fertilisers. Yesterday I gave a presentation which will be put onto the web, and today I facilitated a wide ranging discussion between around 35 people from many organisations, including the World Food Programme – and we were all of a similar mind on the need for agriculture change, and the need to be vigilant, and mount a counter attach on teh strong lobbies of the agriculture industry and the rhetoric of teh World Bank, on what they call Climate Smart Agriculture. The rhetoric sounds quite good – but the money is not going to support the smallholders as they imply, but the opportunities for developing carbon markets in agriculture.

It’s great to find so many organisations who think along the same lines as Practical Action, both in the north and in the south, and to be able to work with them here to campaign for change.

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