The Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU) will join partners to discuss African agriculture at the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) meeting in Morocco, currently underway. COP22 will look at adaptation, mitigation, transparency, and technology transfer to combat increasing greenhouse gas emissions.
SACAU CEO Ishmael Sunga is one of the several high-profile African speakers who will be speaking on Africa Day Side Events at COP 22 on 16 November 2016. The day will open with a high-level panel discussion on Implementing the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in Africa: Moving from Commitment to Action with speakers from the African Union Commission (AUC), UNECA, African Development Bank (AfDB), President of African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN), and the Pan-African Parliament.
Sunga will be speaking during a panel discussion on the Implementation of regional climate smart agriculture approaches: the case of East and Southern Africa at a side event.
The session will look at the barriers preventing smallholder farmers from improving their livelihood in the face of negative climate change impact, how systems in which they operate can be strengthened to facilitate transformative change, and how to address youth involvement and gender parity.
Other panelists include Hon Oppah C.Z. Muchinguri (Minister, Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate, Republic of Zimbabwe) and Golden Mahove (Deputy Team Leader and Agricultural Development Facility Lead, Vuna).
“Farmers in southern Africa are at the front-line of this catastrophe, and are arguably the worst affected,” said Sunga before his departure for COP22.
Implementing the the Paris Agreement
The Paris Agreement, which commits governments to a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change, came into force last week after the threshold for entry into force of the Paris Agreement was achieved when 94 of the 197 parties ratified the convention on 5 October. Part of the agenda for COP22 is to discuss new efforts and implementation plans of the Paris Agreement concluded at the COP21 conference in December 2015.
“Climate change and droughts affect agriculture in Southern Africa and there is a need to devise mechanisms to mitigate against their impact,” said Sunga. “If we are serious about feeding our continent, then we need to take a fresh look at developing and modernising agriculture to increase its productivity.”
A drought survey conducted by SACAU in early 2016, showed that the Southern Africa region had a food security crisis causing an increase in the size of the highly food insecure population. Lack of rainfall and dry weather conditions in the region also contributed to an estimated 630,000 livestock deaths across the region. SACAU hopes that the COP22 conference will provide strategic solutions that will develop African farmers and provide long-term goals for agricultural development.