Tackling climate change and agriculture at COP21 – a look at the landscape approach

by Dr Trevor Nicholls, CEO, CABI

In the Fields in Sherpur, Himachal Pradesh, India
Photo credit: Michael Foley, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license

At COP21 last week, the world’s leaders agreed on a way forward to manage climate change. Limiting global warming to less than two percent was undoubtedly a landmark decision and, for the first time, there was unanimous recognition that humans impact the climate and that humans must do something about it.

I was honoured to deliver an address to the UNFCCC on CABI’s work in agriculture and the environment, specifically highlighting our knowledge and science-based initiatives like Plantwise that help smallholder farmers living in rural communities grow more and lose less of their produce, and embrace climate smart agricultural processes.

Talking about these projects, it struck me how agriculture has been caught in the centre of the COP21 debate as both a cause and a victim of climate change, and how – as the foundation of food security – agriculture must be carefully managed. A perfect storm is brewing of increased global warming and growing global population, which places pressure on agriculture to produce more outputs using fewer resources like land and water. How we feed a world of 9 billion people by 2050, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, is one of the most important questions we must ask and answer. Continue reading

Hazardous pesticides on the agenda as the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions hold joint meeting

Contributed by Melanie Bateman, CABI Switzerland 

Delegates of top international conventions set a more collaborative regulation agenda (Image: Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions)

Geneva– The three conventions that govern chemicals and hazardous waste safety at the global level are, for the first time, convening jointly in an historic back-to-back meeting of the parties in Geneva from 28 April to 10 May, 2013. The joint meeting aims to strengthen cooperation and collaboration between the conventions, with a view to enhance the effectiveness of their activities on the ground. Nearly two thousand participants from more than 160 countries will attend the two-week long meeting.

Beginning today, the sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade will be held individually to deal with its own specific topics.

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