http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.49Change: 0.01
R/$ = 10.50Change: -0.01
Au 1294.90 $/ozChange: 0.00
Pt 1407.50 $/ozChange: -5.50
 
 
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
 
Nelson Mandela 1918 - 2013   Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science & Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Feb 10, 2012

Agriculture key to climate change mitigation and adaptation solutions

Back
DURBAN|Africa|Niger|Qatar|COP|Food Security|Bob Scholes
durban|africa|niger|qatar|cop-currency|food-security|bob-scholes
© 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
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Agriculture News
The Mozambique Ministry of Agriculture has awarded a Royal HaskoningDHV-led consortium a $5.4-million irrigation services provider contract, which would see the engineering and construction group design and implement new and rehabilitated irrigation schemes as well...
DEPRAG AIR MOTOR Dowson & Dobson stocks a range of Deprag air motors which are made entirely from stainless steel
Industrial products supplier Dowson & Dobson assembly technology manager Herman Parsons says air motors are generally well suited to the preparation of materials in the harsh operating conditions of the paper, pulp and board industries. “These industries’...
Article contains comments
More
 
 
Latest News
Few would argue with the notion that unemployment, which stands at around 25% on the narrow definition as reported by Statistics South Africa, remains one of the country’s most pressing challenges. Fewer still could contest the view that South Africa’s education...
Renewable-energy projects, such as this Northern Cape solar farm, seen as key to low‐carbon energy supply.
Upfront investment costs will and should remain a critical consideration as South Africa moves to upscale and accelerate its infrastructure programmes. But one of the lead authors of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) argues that the...
The barrier to efficient water service delivery in South Africa was not of a technological nature but rather related to legal and Constitutional challenges, Water Research Commission (WRC) CEO Dhesigen Naidoo said on Thursday. Opening a WRC debate under the theme...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
The Electronic Systems Laboratory (ESL) of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University is strongly reaffirming its position as one of South Africa’s leading centres for satellite technology and expertise. It is currently...
MORE IN SA Phase 2 should see local content on the mainline locomotive increase from 65% to 80% by the end of 2014
The world’s lowest-cost diesel-electric locomotive is not made in China, but in Pretoria, at RRL Grindrod Locomotives’ newly upgraded 30 000 m2 plant. The company’s locomotive pricing is “more competitive than any other original-equipment manufacturer (OEM)...
The South African Defence Review 2012, released to the public at the end of last month (despite the year given in its title) recommends the creation of the post of Chief Defence Scientist. This official would be responsible for the management of defence technology...
AltX-listed engineering technology company Ansys has been awarded an R188-million contract by Transnet to supply integrated dashboard display systems to the freight rail utility’s locomotives. Black-owned and controlled Ansys developed the bespoke integrated system...
South Africa’s sole nuclear power station Koeberg, which is located in the Western Cape, breached a major operations milestone on April 4, which marked the thirtieth anniversary of Unit 1 having been connected to the grid. Eskom, which operates the two-unit plant,...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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