by Harvest SA

Climate Smart Agriculture Update

Insights from climate smart experts

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Information update to all partners

Dear colleagues,

The Government of the Netherlands, FAO and the World Bank are very pleased with the achievements this global partnership for Climate-Smart Agriculture has made in the last years, and specifically in the last months. Bringing the agenda’s of agriculture, food security and climate change closer together, and positioning them as a high priority on the global political agenda. The support received, during the 3rd Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change, last December in Johannesburg, from the African Union Commission, NEPAD and the UN Secretary-General have resulted in a strong basis for our partnership. And early January the Alliance on CSA has been confirmed as a concrete item on the agenda of the UN SG’s Climate Summit in September this year, offering the prefect platform for its official launch. New partners have joined this aspirational movement and we welcome them on board while our journey continues.   

Background

The 3rd Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change was held from 3 to5 December 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Conference brought together government representatives, practitioners, scientists, representatives from civil society and the private sector who focused on action for climate-smart agriculture to build resilience to climate change, through science, finance and policy interventions. The Conference, attended by 300 participants from 46 countries, was organized by the governments of the Republic of South Africa and  the Netherlands, in collaboration with other partners, including FAO and the World Bank.

In Johannesburg the African Union Commission and NEPAD formally expressed their support to Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) and an Alliance on CSA, as well as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, making a clear link to the UN Leaders Summit on Climate in September 2014, where the Alliance on CSA will be formally launched.

The South-African Conference has resulted in a concrete Roadmap for the further design phase of an Alliance on Climate-Smart Agriculture. And initial collaboration has started focused on thematic areas: 1) Investment (co-facilitated by World Bank and IFAD); 2) Knowledge (co-facilitated by FAO, CCAFS program of CGIAR); 3) Enabling Environment (co-facilitated by The Netherlands, South-Africa and Viet Nam, kindly supported by GFAR).

Nevertheless a lot of work still needs to be done in the upcoming months, in the lead up to the SG’s Climate Summit in September in New York, and to make this a movement that will have concrete action on the ground, contributing to improvement of peoples livelihoods and Food Security.

Design phase of the Alliance on CSA

Actions are urgently needed, and the Alliance on CSA is the vehicle to do so. The Alliance will seek to promote an integrated, action-oriented approach to simultaneously pursue the three pillars of climate-smart agriculture – 1). Sustainably increasing  agricultural productivity and livelihoods; 2). Adapting and building resilience; and, 3). limiting   greenhouse gases emissions gasses - , in support of food security, improved livelihoods and increased equity, and sustainable management of natural resources.

Regional, and stakeholder balance is a high priority for the next months, therefore a clear Roadmap has been developed, with regional consultative meetings. Significant outreach activities are anticipated to further develop and broaden the partnership of the Alliance in an open and inclusive manner.

The formal launch of the CSA Alliance is the culmination of three interrelated processes/tracks: (i) building the partnership, (ii) drafting of an Organizational map/ Governance structure/Terms of Reference for the Alliance and (iii) developing of a work program, including identifying priorities and early action. In the next months intensive efforts will be made to engage stakeholders in the Alliance at the same time as its working arrangements are   being determined.

Experience in the past month(s) has demonstrated  we need to  work from the same set of key messages when reaching out to potential partners. We should make full  use of our global networks and strategically plan this outreach, through an inclusive and substantive consultation process across all regions and stakeholder groups.

Building the partnership

Regional consultative meetings are foreseen and organized for outreach, contributing to the action groups and to seek input on the development of the Organizational map/ Governance structure/Terms of Reference R for the CSA Alliance. Taking advantage of FAO Regional conferences and other relevant regional structures and meetings, the regional consultation meetings will be scheduled from March–May 2014. Further consultations are anticipated for specific stakeholder groups, including the private sector, NGO’s and civil society. Inthe past month several options have been identified, which are listed in the section next steps/timeline. Your suggestions and additions are very much welcomed.

The proceedings of the CSA Alliance will be guided by an Organizational map/ Governance structure/ Terms of Reference and supported by the interim secretariat. A first draft of indicative elements of the Organizational map/ Governance structure/Terms of Reference for the Alliance is being  prepared with support of the interim secretariat as input to the regional consultative meetings, involving all stakeholder groups. This first draft of the Organization map will be made available at the beginning of March. 

Following the regional meetings, two global meetings are anticipated to finalize the drafting of the Organizational map/ Governance structure/Terms of Reference for the Alliance The first meeting will be conducted in Rome, mid June (before the FAO Council meeting). The second global meeting will be hosted by the Netherlands, in the second week of July.

The ad hoc interim secretariat

The interim secretariat hosted by the  Netherlands and co-facilitated by FAO and World Bank, will actively support this work. To support the further design of the CSA Alliance, it is critical to provide interim ad hoc secretariat services. The core function of the interim ad hoc secretariat service provider(s) is to support the development of the Alliance in the interim period in the design phase, to the launch of the Alliance at the Leaders Summit (September 2014).

The secretariat service provider(s), within available resources, will organize and provide administrative support for the consultative- and further design meetings of the Alliance; support extending the partnership based on strategic outreach and develop the governance structure of the Alliance; facilitate Alliance participants communications; support the development of a concrete program of work for the coming years. And lastly support identification of 3 to 4 major initiatives that could be presented at the SG's Climate Summit in September. The interim secretariat will also support the work of the 3 initial action groups, by offering them one home/platform, to streamlining their format and achieve progress at an equal pace, and by this avoiding working in isolated tracks. And lastly, to remain open and transparent for all partners, and potential new partners.

The existing neutral website for CSA (www.climatesmartagriculture.org) will be transformed into the official website for the design phase of the Alliance on CSA in the next two weeks. Offering a home to the Alliance preparational work, with all information on upcoming consultative and other relevant meetings, work of the action groups and all other relevant information.

The secretariat, which will work on a virtual basis, is existing of Kim van Seeters, Patrick Verkooijen, Cinthia Soto, Bonita Fruneaux and Jeanet Smids-Goosen. Kim van Seeters will manage the team on a daily basis.  

One mailbox will be created for the interim secretariat, until that time please use the following contact address: kim.vanseeters@fao.org

Recent developments

Interesting recent developments in January include the newly appointed SG’s Special Envoys on Climate Mr. Kufour and Mr. Stoltenberg , who will be important advocates for the Alliance on CSA. Besides this CSA and the Alliance on CSA have been successfully brought to the attention of the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture  in Berlin and the WEF meeting in Davos, through three high-level events, and regional and  workshops. In the next months we can hopefully continue this positive trend and build and extend our partnership based on this type of outreach activities. 

 

Next steps/Timeline

Please find below and updated timeline, indicating the next steps. Partners our invited to share their ideas for outreach and possible additional meetings.

March

-          Mongolia 12 March – Special event on Food Security and Climate Change during the FAO Regional Conference  for  Asia & the Pacific

-          Tunisia 29 March  Regional Consultative meeting  for Africa (tbc)

-          Romania 31 March – Regional Consultative meeting for Europe (tbc)

May

-          4 – 5 May, 'Abu Dhabi Ascent', Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

-          5 May - Santiago, Chile,  Regional Consultative meeting  for Latin-America and the Caribbean (tbc)

-          2nd or 3rd week of May – Hanoi, Viet Nam, Regional workshop focused on action group on ‘Enabling Environment’ (supported by GFAR)

June

-          11 – 13 June – 1st Global Conference Rome, Italy

July

-          2nd week July – 2nd Global Conference The Hague, the Netherlands

September

-          23 September SG’s Climate Summit NY

 

Dr. Hans Hoogeveen

Director-General (DG AGRO), Ministry of Economic Affairs

The Netherlands

 On behalf of the interim-secretariat

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