Day 1 | Dec 6   10.45 - 12.15

Making the case for organic farming and for a low external input sustainable agriculture as climate-smart landscape solutions

International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, Humanist Institute for Co-operation with Developing Countries (HIVOS)

Food production is already being heavily affected by climate change. Farmers in many regions in Latin America, Asia and Africa are exposed to more frequent and longer droughts, irregular and heavy rainfalls and extreme temperatures. The session proved that approaches such as those offered by organic and low external input sustainable agriculture combined with carbon finance mechanisms can produce better results than a ‘Business as usual’ one in terms of agricultural production, soil quality, water use, employment, the rate of deforestation and food nutrition value. Presenters and panellists highlighted a number of successful landscape initiatives based on resilient and affordable agricultural practices, participatory research and capacity building projects and showed how farmer-centered methodologies work in practice.

The session also provided a platform to discuss how Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can assist a transformation of agriculture and how the awareness of national policy makers can be raised on sustainable farming initiatives.

The session was split into two parts. During the first, speakers a) underpinned the necessity for a change in global agriculture and food systems by describing present policy approaches and possible opportunities as well as b) presented groundbreaking initiatives working already in practice to bring about this change to more resilient farming. The first part took 45 minutes. The session was meant to be as inclusive as possible, the moderator gave a chance for the audience to react after each presentation and provided more time for discussion if needed.

We had examples from a range of landscape management types from farming to agroforestry and forests. The other 3 speakers joined the conversation to describe their initiatives when it is best suited to the discussion with the audience.

Key questions addressed:

  1. How can innovative landscape approaches based on high-sequestration organic agriculture contribute to build resilience in regions in the biggest need for that?
  2. How can we make the best use of carbon finance in an inclusive way to deliver against multiple challenges of food and nutrient security, climate mitigation and resilience?
  3. How can countries be held accountable against Sustainable Development Goals to address the above challenges?

Background reading:

The Role of Organic Agriculture in Mitigating Climate Change

Private investment in small farmers’ organizations generating environmental services in Latin America

Prácticas agroecológicas, una importante opción para la adaptación a los cambios del clima

IAASTD: Agriculture at a Crossroads

Sustainable Development Goals