News / Africa

Scientists: Agriculture Major Player in Climate Change

India could eventually lose more than 5 percent of its growing season as a result of climate change. Here, an Indian woman cuts crops in Burha Mayong on May 26, 2011. Scientists say agriculture must be "front and center" in climate negotiations.
India could eventually lose more than 5 percent of its growing season as a result of climate change. Here, an Indian woman cuts crops in Burha Mayong on May 26, 2011. Scientists say agriculture must be "front and center" in climate negotiations.
Joe DeCapua

A team of scientists is urging that agriculture be a top priority in climate change negotiations, saying it’s vital for global food security and for reducing carbon emissions. The recommendations appear in the January 20th issue of Science magazine.

The international team was led by Sir John Beddington, Britain’s chief scientific advisor. The article, What Next for Agriculture After Durban, follows the latest U.N. climate conference in December. It says negotiations there made “incremental progress” in helping farmers adapt to climate change while reducing agriculture’s contribution to global warming.

“Well, agriculture is important, period, because of the imperative of food security. And we’re falling short there in significant ways that have come to our attention, especially recently with the significant price shocks,” said Professor Molly Jahn of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, co-author of the Science article.

International prices have remained high since the food crisis of 2007/2008.

Agriculture is a major emitter of greenhouse gases. But Jahn said it also offers opportunities to lessen their effects with known and proven farming practices.

“So it represents both an activity that’s essential for our survival -- an activity that is threatened by climate change, especially in vulnerable parts of the world. And an opportunity to better manage meeting our needs while we reduce the emissions of various greenhouse gases that are accumulating in the atmosphere,” she said.

Faster response needed

The Science magazine article says the “integration of agriculture in the climate change negotiating process has moved at a slow pace.” However, it says at the same time climate change, forces affecting food security, and population growth have been moving “much faster.”

The scientists hope to influence policymakers.

Jahn said, “It was important for this team to get together precisely because so much work has been done. There’s so much information about opportunities and options, as well as threats. So this body was convened to carefully, objectively review that vast amount of information and synthesize clear policy relevant recommendations.”

Those recommendations include putting agriculture front and center in policy considerations.

“While we are transitioning to climate-smart agriculture, we need to assure that the world’s most vulnerable people will be considered in any policy strategies,” she said.

Another recommendation is to reduce the vast amount of food that’s lost, wasted or spoiled along the food chain – and to choose crops that place less stress on the environment.

“Given current knowledge, there’s a great deal we can do within current budgets and within current economic structures that will bring us forward to a better place with respect to agricultural practices in the developing and the developed world,” said Jahn.

Playing a bigger role

The magazine article calls on scientists to “assume a more prominent role” by ensuring clear data is available for climate change negotiations. It says that data can help spur investment in agriculture.

Professor Jahn warns “the window of opportunity to avert a humanitarian, environmental and climate crisis is rapidly closing.” She adds urgent action is needed.

Agriculture’s role in climate change is expected to be discussed in June at Rio+20. The meeting in Brazil marks the 20th anniversary of the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. It’s commonly known as The Earth Summit.

You May Like

New England Bears Brunt of US Blizzard

Boston, surrounding region grapple with as much as 3 feet of snow, coastal flooding; leaders in New York, spared most severe weather, criticized for being overly cautious More

China Lifts Lid on Sale of Fake Goods Online

A recent survey found nearly 60 percent of a random sample of items bought from Taobao were fake More

Upward Aims to Create Old-girls Network in Silicon Valley

Lisa Lambert, an executive with Intel Corp.'s venture-capital unit, responds to the gender-disparity debate by creating a new social organization More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Spacei
X
Rosanne Skirble
January 27, 2015 5:05 PM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.
Video

Video Weekly Protests in Korea Keep Japanese WWII Atrocities Alive

Every week in Seoul protesters gather in front of the Japanese Embassy to demand an apology and reparations from Tokyo for the thousands of South Korean women who were forced into prostitution during World War II. Although this year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, these protestors have helped keep the issue of comfort women alive and made it difficult for Japan to move beyond its past wartime atrocities. VOA's Brian Padden reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Exercise: New Prescription for Parkinsons Disease

Exercise could be the new prescription for Parkinson's Disease, a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. More than six million people worldwide suffer from Parkinsons and they're traditionally treated with medication and surgery. Shelley Schlender has more.
Video

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Greece’s youngest-ever prime minister, 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, was sworn in Monday after his victorious far-left Syriza party entered a coalition with far right rivals. Tsipras says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts. So begins a new chapter for the country at the epicenter of Europe’s economic crisis - a change that has sent tremors across the continent, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Oil Price Drop Troubles Texas Producers

As oil prices have fallen over the past several months, drilling operations have slowed in some parts of the United States - including Texas, the state that surpasses all others in energy production. The Lone Star State’s energy output has been boosted in recent years by development of resources trapped deep below ground in the Eagle Ford shale deposit, which stretches across south central Texas. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Karnes City, Texas, the drop in oil prices has created concerns,
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid