http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 13.04Change: -0.16
R/$ = 12.07Change: -0.10
Au 1204.60 $/ozChange: 1.40
Pt 1170.50 $/ozChange: 4.00
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Feb 10, 2012

Agriculture key to climate change mitigation and adaptation solutions

Back
Agriculture|Africa|Environment|Industrial|SECURITY|Sustainable|Systems|Africa|Solutions|Systems|Environmental
Agriculture|Africa|Environment|Industrial|SECURITY|Sustainable|Systems|Africa|Solutions|Systems|Environmental
agriculture|africa-company|environment|industrial|security|sustainable|systems-company|africa|solutions|systems|environmental
© Reuse this



The world’s agriculture sector can contribute to climate change mitigation, while at the same time helping countries to adapt to climate change, say 14 scientists writing in the January 20 edition of the peer-reviewed journal Science.

Members of the contributing team are drawn from 12 countries and it includes South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research systems ecologist, Dr Bob Scholes.

They are critical of the separate mitigation and adaptation discussions being held under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), saying these separate discussions are obscuring opportunities for a sector such as agriculture, which can deliver both mitigation and adaptation benefits.

Nations agreed to adopt a framework for sectoral actions, including agriculture, by March 5, at the seventeenth Conference of the Parties (COP 17), in Durban. “It is not the adoption of a formal work programme on agri- culture that many wanted,” the report states.

Agriculture exacerbates climate change when greenhouse gases (GHGs) are released as a result of land clearing, inappropriate fertiliser use and other practices, the writers assert. However, alternative agricultural practices, tailored to different regions, show promise for reducing the net GHG emissions and maintaining or improving yields, despite extreme weather. This can reduce the threats to food security posed by climate change and aid in mitigation efforts.

“In Niger, five-million hectares has been regenerated by using agroforestry, which has benefited more than 1.25-million households, sequestered carbon and produced an extra 500 000 t of grain a year,” the group writes.

Actions agreed in Durban come from the conference’s mitigation track, which has led to concerns that the focus on agricultural adapta- tion to climate change, a priority for developing countries, will be reduced, the scientists state.

Common Ground
To enable movement on the food security and climate change mitigation and adaptation fronts, scientists the world over must develop common definitions for a number of concepts, including climate-smart agriculture and sustainable intensification.

The writers urge scientists to lay the groundwork for more decisive action on global food security in the context of international environment discussions in 2012, including at COP 18, in Qatar.

“There are significant opportunities for scientists to provide the evidence required to rapidly generate new investments and policies, which will ensure that agriculture can adapt to the impact of climate change – and in ways that mitigate production of GHG emissions,” says Scholes.

Meanwhile, the world is already outside a safe operating space for agriculture, climate change and food security, he adds.

“To mobilise increased investment, scientists must document ways that farmers, industry, consumers and government can move toward, expand or shift the safe space and achieve multiple benefits from sustainable farming practices,” the scientists write in Science.

“More integrated research and improved knowledge systems on what works in different regions, farming systems and landscapes are needed, especially in the most vulnerable socioecological systems,” they state.

For example, scientists can help with identifying robust opportunities for investing in agricultural adaptation and mitigation with financing now available through the Adaptation Fund of the Kyoto Protocol, the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism and the Green Climate Fund, which has earmarked $100-billion for developing countries, says Scholes.

They can also assist in ensuring the inclusion of agriculture in national action plans for climate change adaptation and mitigation that are being developed under the auspices of the UNFCCC, he adds.

Another contribution from the field of science would be the development of new information systems.

“To help countries evaluate potential mechanisms for agricultural adaptation and mitigation, geographically explicit estimates of risks and benefits are needed that better describe and manage trade-offs and synergies among the biophysical and human dimensions of systems affected by agriculture and emissions from agriculture,” Scholes says.

Further, the impending collision between the imperatives of food security and environmental sustainability will largely play out in Africa – the location of much of the future growth in food demand, and one of the few places on earth with underused agricultural potential and which is highly vulnerable to global climate change, he notes.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Science and Technology News
It was thanks to recently-developed technology that an international team of scientists was able to announce recently the determination of new dates for the famous Little Foot skeleton excavated from the globally-famous Sterkfontein Caves in South Africa’s Gauteng...
Participation as an African partner country, with South Africa, in the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope programme is important to Mozambique, says the country’s Vice Minister for Science, Technology, Higher and Professional Education, Leda...
The City of Cape Town has unveiled a new pipe inspection device, the robotic crawler, which will allow the city to more effectively plan sewerage maintenance programmes and identify potential blockages before they cause overflows. Fitted with an on-board camera, the...
More
 
 
Latest News
Two influential US senators, central to the so-called ‘chicken war’, have announced their intention to pursue amendments to the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) to secure greater access for US poultry into the SA market. “We believe passionately in Agoa’s...
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) on Friday published the findings of a discussion document on South Africa’s television and radio local content environment. Icasa last year requested industry input as it reviewed and revamped...
Buying the catering unit of cash-strapped state airline South African Airways (SAA) could work for Bidvest Group, its chief executive said on Friday. SAA is considering selling some of its units including its inflight and airport lounge catering business, Air Chefs,...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
Today’s organisations execute projects within increasingly complex environments – particularly in the engineering sector. The ability to successfully execute these projects is what drives the realisation of successful projects and, ultimately, the achievement of...
SMART DISTRIBUTION Providing funds to introduce smart grid technologies in the absence of a clearly defined strategy will not result in the desired outcome
South Africa’s distribution grid is a twentieth-century relic, which must be changed to serve the country’s modern electricity needs, says South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi) Smart Grid Programme manager Dr Minnesh Bipath. “What we are...
There is a disparity in government funding provided to integrated transport networks – bus rapid transit (BRT) networks ¬¬– and that given to conventional bus services, says Putco executive director Thys Heyns. “We have neglected and strangled conventional bus...
The Johannesburg Social Housing Company (Joshco) is building 502 rental housing units, valued at R200-million, in Dobsonville, Soweto, which are scheduled for completion in June 2016.
Automotive component manufacturer and distributor Metair is centralising its research and development (R&D) work in Turkey, in an attempt to bolster the company’s ability to produce affordable start/stop batteries. The new R&D centre is part of an expansion plan in...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96