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Articles on this Page
- 11/07/16--11:02: _Welcome to the Red ...
- 11/09/16--11:13: _Building Women’s Re...
- 11/09/16--21:06: _Improving gender eq...
- 11/11/16--04:42: _Economic benefits o...
- 11/11/16--10:30: _Fisheries and aquac...
- 11/15/16--02:08: _Adapting to climate...
- 11/15/16--02:49: _IFAD at the Develop...
- 11/15/16--06:50: _Implementing the Pa...
- 11/16/16--02:56: _COP22: Adaptation i...
- 11/17/16--03:16: _Delivering on the P...
- 11/17/16--03:55: _Nationally Determin...
- 11/17/16--04:02: _From Pixel to Reali...
- 11/20/16--12:00: _COP22 concludes wit...
- 11/24/16--02:52: _Three women’s stori...
- 11/24/16--05:04: _Rural transformatio...
- 11/24/16--05:38: _Land Rights are Hum...
- 11/24/16--06:20: _Farming as a busine...
- 11/24/16--02:52: _Article 3
- 12/05/16--02:36: _The first IFAD/GEF ...
- 12/05/16--06:07: _Traditional cuisine...
- 11/07/16--11:02: Welcome to the Red City #COP22
- 11/09/16--21:06: Improving gender equality in Bangladesh
- 11/11/16--04:42: Economic benefits of investing in adaptation and agriculture
- 11/11/16--10:30: Fisheries and aquaculture in a changing climate
- 11/15/16--02:08: Adapting to climate change in Morocco
- 11/15/16--02:49: IFAD at the Development & Climate Days at COP22
- 11/16/16--02:56: COP22: Adaptation in African agriculture urgently needed
- 11/20/16--12:00: COP22 concludes with adoption of Marrakech Action Proclamation
- 11/24/16--05:04: Rural transformation: A pathway to resilience
- 11/24/16--06:20: Farming as a business in Fiji
- 11/24/16--02:52: Article 3
At a packed-out opening ceremony, there were remarks by COP22 President Salaheddine Mezouar, COP21 President Segolene Royal, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Chair, Hoesung Lee and the Mayor of Marrakech, Mohammed Larbi Belcadi, followed by a performance by a group of local drummers to set the beat for climate action over the next 11 days of the conference.
How to “get real” about investments in gender equality in agriculture was the theme of today’s side event at COP22 on Building Women’s Resilience to Climate Change.
|Shova in her homestead garden. Photo credit, Aminul Islam, UISE|
Providing equal opportunities for employment
ntion, they can track certain outcomes more specifically. For instance, they may monitor outcomes of farm income.
A changing climate and unpredictable weather have an enormous impact on food production. When people can’t grow food due to changing weather patterns, they migrate, threatening food security of entire countries.
The changes in the Al Haouz province of Morocco provide a good example of how local farmers’ resilience to climate change can be improved thanks to innovative technologies. Better irrigation has led to higher crop yields, increased available drinking water, and improved job opportunities for young people living in the area.
An irrigation system changes the land—and livesA decade ago, this stretch of land in a small village of Sidi Badhaj, located in Morocco’s mountainous Al Haouz region was completely barren: fallow ground, empty and dry.
In 2009, an IFAD-financed project provided technical support to introduce drip irrigation technology, here. The new system allowed farmers to irrigate both the olive trees that are their main source of income, and the vegetables - fava beans, melons, green peas - that feed their families.
Just a year after the irrigation system was installed, farmers were already seeing results. Thanks to the irrigation, they no longer have to depend on the rain, and are now able to water their fields year round, including during the dry summer. Incomes stabilized, and migration decreased. The new vegetation also created a new micro-climate: The earth became softer and less dry, thanks to the plants, which also produce more oxygen.
Now, local farmers would like to further improve the irrigation system by installing solar water pumps.
Climate resilience brings jobs back to rural areas in Morocco
|According to 30 year-old Mr Abdelatif El Badaoui, Treasurer of the Amghrass cooperative, |
“Young people used to migrate to the city for work,” he said. “Now, they can
help provide support to farmers.”
Adaptation to climate change and soil conservation
|The ravines, at this site, are a perfect example of soil erosion—a good point of contrast to the visible |
improvement of the plant cover nearby.
How has life changed for people in Al Haouz?
|Ms Tahra Ait Benazou, cooperative Tiwizi (first one on the right), |
“The young people are here, now. I have three sons. They are here
with me, and they work in the field and in the cooperative.”
|Ms Najia Ghouat (third from the left): “When my daughter needs to buy a book, she no longer |
asks her father for money. She comes to me. The work at the cooperative gave me
a greater sense of responsibility.”
On 13 November 2016, IFAD organized a press trip on the margins of the COP22 to three selected project sites in the Al Haouz province, about 50 km south of Marrakech. Reporters from international and national media outlets joined the trip, including Thomson Reuters, Associated Press, AFP, ORF, and VTM, as well as local TV and print media.
Just like last year in Paris, IFAD participated in the Development & Climate Days during COP22.
Following the success of last year's Taste the Change session on rethinking our climate choices through food, this year IFAD brought the artist Silas Birtwistle to contribute to a session on ‘Climate, Culture and Cuisine: A taste of what’s to come’.
Links between culture and foodWhat is the link between the 16th century painter Arcimboldo, Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper and a decorated ancient Egyptian pottery?
They all represent grapes and wheat, crops that are currently affected by climate change impacts, which means that they might no longer be represented as common goods on Mediterranean tables in the future.
The participants shared their reflections on the existing linkages between cultural identity and food. These linkages are currently under threat because of climate change and its effects on agricultural production.
|"Art can ask questions, start our imaginations, we can |
think of the world in a different way," said Birtwistle
about his upcoming art work in collaboration
At the same time the participants agreed that food and art can be used to communicate messages about climate to a broad audience and eventually bring behavioural change - because for behavioural change to happen being inspired at a personal level is what matters. And the more senses that are involved in this process, the more effective is the learning and possibly the change.
Silas Birtwistle introduced his upcoming art work in collaboration with IFAD: human heads made entirely of fruit and vegetables sourced locally from around Cancun and under threat from the changing climate in Mexico. He will use them to sensitize negotiators at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP13) next month.
"Art can ask questions, start our imaginations, we can think of the world in a different way," said Birtwistle. "Part of what I am attempting to do is shine a light on the big picture while looking at the miniatures, at the microcosms, and give voice to the people who have helped me to do that in different places."
Building resilience in communitiesWith a similar but different approach, a group of young Moroccan chefs presented their recipes to shift consumption away from such a meat-based diet.
‘Climate, Culture and Cuisine’ was just one among many sessions that touched different topics, from social protection, to indigenous knowledge, to linkages between research and action.
With the innovative and highly participatory interaction that always characterizes the Development & Climate Days virtual reality, poems and even flash mobs, were used to communicate messages that stand at the core of IFAD’s business. To quote Mary Robinson’s words during the high-level closing panel ‘I am pleased by the emphasis on building resilience in communities that was run through all sessions in this meeting. The local is as important as the national and the global when it comes to implementation’
Here at COP22, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) held a high level interactive discussion on the role international trade can play in helping countries implement their nationally determined contributions in the battle against climate change.
Coming together for better results“We need to look at a platform for UN agencies to have a dialogue, starting here, but continuing on, so we can continue to exchange ideas and head towards carbon emission reduction. All parties should cooperate to promote a supportive and open international economic system, leading to sustainable economic growth, allowing them to take measure to combat climate change,” said William Agyemang-Bonsu of the UNFCCC.
Bonapas Onguglo from UNCTAD followed on from William, stating, “economic diversification and meeting NDCs go hand in hand. Now we need to tap into vast resources in the public and private sectors in order to transfer to a low-carbon economy.
“It is important to stabilise the environmental regime so that we can stabilise the trade regime,” Bonapas added. “To transfer to a low-carbon economy, we need businesses at every level and in every sector. But it cannot be global top-down, but rather needs to be from the bottom up. Meeting climate goals, means meeting international trade demands, we need to create the need for green goods, and then make sure we can supply that demand.”
Innovation and technologyAnders Aeroe of the International Trade Centre (ITC) posed the following question: how does the Paris agreement impact small and medium enterprises? He spoke of the worries of managing a ‘just transition’ to a low-carbon economy. Especially when you consider high unemployment rates and poverty. He went on to say, “climate policies can have a positive side for businesses. There are opportunities for those that are willing to innovate.”
Aik Hoe Lim from the World Trade Organisation (WTO) added, “Economic diversification doesn’t exist without taking trade into account. And not just trade but also climate efficiency.”
He believes that the first point of action should be on reducing cost of key climate technologies, and speeding up production. Reiterating what was said earlier, he believes that the demand needs to be created and encouraged, and then crucially it needs to be met.
WTO are concentrating on tariffs on important tech like LED bulbs or solar cookers. The average tariff may be low, but you have lots of tariff peaks-ranging 35-100 per cent of the cost. This is one area where work can be done to reduce costs and eventually eliminate tariffs on climate goods.
There is also an argument that trading internationally can encourage producers to raise their environment standards and innovate. When there are agreed international standards, this can only help. There is already a move towards harmonisation with international standards. Rising from one per cent in 2000, it was already at 27 per cent last year, with a projection of 50 per cent by 2040.
IFAD’s Director Margarita Astralaga gave the IFAD point of view on trade. She talked about how food is a primary commodity, universally needed, but as we all know, agriculture is part of the problem, as the second net producer of greenhouse gas emissions. “Therefore the primary sector needs to be brought on board. The agriculture sector can help us produce more food whilst at the same time reducing our carbon footprint,” she went on to say.
Climate smart agriculture
Margarita gave an insight into how IFAD works. When talking about climate smart agriculture (CSA), she highlighted how it has been practiced by indigenous peoples for ages, and what IFAD does is to bring that back while also complimenting it with new technology, and expanding its implementation.
“93 per cent of the developing world NDCs talk about CSA. With it, we offset millions of tonnes of CO2. We now know we need to still produce more food, by 2050 food production needs to go up at least 60 per cent. We have to marry food supply with reducing carbon footprint and trade.”
“We must get serious about fostering climate smart development pathways,” she concluded.
|IFAD's Margarita Astralaga speaks at the From Science to Action session on the Adaptation in |
African Agriculture Initiative.
In Marrakech this week, the Moroccan government is hosting the first UN Climate Change Conference since delegates from nearly 200 countries signed the historic Paris Agreement one year ago. The occasion has prompted Morocco to urge other African nations to be proactive in fighting climate change and vocal in international dialogue.
“Africa is progressing and asserting itself in the international arena… Morocco will defend the position of our Continent, which is greatly affected by climate change and sustainable development issues,” said King Mohammed VI in a statement.
To respond to climate change, the IFAD-funded Adaptation in African Agriculture (AAA) initiative promotes and fosters the implementation of specific projects to improve soil management, agricultural water control and climate risk management. Proponents believe the initiative can be a platform for a stronger collective voice for adaptation in African agriculture, and a means to contribute to countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), or climate action plans.
Although Africa is only responsible for 4 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, it is particularly vulnerable to climate change. In fact, 6 out of the 10 most affected countries are African, and the Continent will face a 20 per cent decrease in agricultural yields by 2050, even if global warming is limited to 2°C. Already, its negative effects are reducing Africa’s gross domestic product by 1.4 per cent annually.
Meanwhile, adaptation projects worldwide mobilise only 20 per cent of public climate funds. Even though it accounts for 16 per cent of the global population, Africa attracts only 5 per cent of available resources.
“Smallholders cannot shoulder the costs of making agriculture more sustainable alone. In Africa, there is a need for better policies that promote technical assistance, smarter subsidies that incentivise adoption of climate-smart practices and broader access to land, financial products, infrastructure and markets,” said Margarita Astralaga, Director of IFAD’s Environment and Climate Division.
The AAA initiative, therefore, is a programme for resilient agriculture in Africa that promotes better working conditions for small rural producers. It focuses on funding soil fertility, arboriculture and agroforestry, greater carbon sequestration in soils, rolling out agricultural insurance, and broadening coverage of meteorological information and early warning systems. To implement its agenda, it is seeking US $30 billion in public climate funds.
Furthermore, many of the solutions to climate and food challenges can be found at the intersection of Africa, agriculture and adaptation. 65 per cent of the world’s unused arable land is in Africa, making it a potential breadbasket for a growing population. Generally, small farming systems are still traditional and therefore able to modernize very quickly (using digital tools, new farming techniques, and renewable energy). And finally, agriculture is a huge source of jobs, especially for young people capable of adopting more science-based and business-oriented modifications to agricultural practices.
As a sense of urgency to address climate change and food insecurity starts to permeate the corridors of high political offices, the AAA initiative is a welcome contribution to development solutions for Africa.
Global climate finance has increased by almost 15 per cent since 2011, from $650 billion to $741 billion in 2014. Private investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency represents the largest share of the total figure.
Yet climate finance flows are disbursed asymmetrically. Mitigation-focused finance represents more than 70 per cent of the public finance transferred to developing countries, while adaptation finance accounts for the other 30 per cent.
At the COP22 Climate Conference going on this week in Marrakech, policy makers are debating how to direct greater financial flows to support the global transition to low emission, climate resilient economies.
“Carbon pricing is the most effective policy instrument available to national governments since it provides across the board incentives for low emission technologies,” said Ian Parry, Fiscal Policy Expert at the IMF.
The proliferation of carbon pricing is occurring at a much faster rate than would have been thought just a few years ago. Fourteen countries already put a price on carbon in some form. China will implement its own carbon trading scheme next year.
Nevertheless, financial markets are still generally averse to the risks associated with investments in low carbon development. Regulations are sorely needed to change the rules that govern the $300 trillion financial system to move toward decarbonizing portfolios (also relevant for IFAD), and reallocating finance from high to low carbon areas.
Establishing a common carbon price floor arrangement between countries is one way that willing governments can send a clear signal to agnostic institutional investors that they should be factoring climate and environment externalities into their risk analyses.
In addition, shifting public subsidies from fossil fuels to renewable energies may lead to a tipping point where green investments finally become attractive to the private sector.
But how can revenues raised be used specifically to improve food security and climate resilience in agricultural systems? Here, IFAD has accumulated valuable experiences through the Adaptation for Smallholder Agiculture Programme (ASAP). “Climate finance gives our projects the fiscal room to invest in GIS mapping, research seed varieties that are more tolerant to climate extremes, and pursue policy engagement with government ministries,” said Margarita Astralaga, IFAD’s Environment and Climate Director.
NDCs offer unique programmatic and dialogue tools for development institutions and are slowly paving the way for the achievement of the targets set out in the Paris Agreement.
This was one of the key messages at today’s NDCs side event at COP22, hosted by the European Union. The event was held to discuss how NDCs are integrating into the national strategies of developing countries; what are the new approaches to contribute to climate-relevant transformation through agriculture and rural development; and what are the new sources of blended finance for climate adaptation and mitigation.
In particular, the event focused on NDC achievements through the agricultural sector and addressed key aspects of the support that the international community is providing to developing countries.
The panel was composed of Cyrille Pierre from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Roberto Ridolfi, Director General of the European Commission's DEVCO; Martin Frick, Director of the Climate and Environment Division of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and Margarita Astralaga, Director of the Environment and Climate Division of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
Martin Frick, FAO, said that “by investing in poor smallholder farmers we are already working on the NDC agenda." He was echoed by Margarita Astralaga who stated that for IFAD this commitment existed prior to the Paris Agreement thanks to its Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Porgramme (ASAP). In fact, ten countries explicitly recognise in their NDCs the role of ongoing IFAD-supported investments in achieving their climate commitment targets and moving smallholders out of poverty.
“Therefore, we can expect at least a similar trend in the coming years to support NDCs implementation and expand its coverage,” she added in her closing remarks.
In an IFAD-sponsored side event, titled “From Pixel to Reality,” held at the COP22 in Marrakesh on 16 November 2016, IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze launched the ‘climate change vulnerability assessment map of IFAD’s projects in Morocco.’ The event was co-organized by IFAD and the Moroccan Agency for Agricultural Development (ADA).
The climate change vulnerability map, funded by an IFAD grant to ADA, is a new and innovative decision making tool that allows for tracking, measuring and understanding climate and weather, and the implications of climate change for farming and rural livelihoods. “The vast majority of the world’s poorest people live in the rural areas of developing countries and depend on agriculture for their lives and livelihoods,” said Kanayo F. Nwanze, in his opening remarks. “And it is these very same women and men who are bearing the brunt of the impact of extreme weather and climate change.”
A tool like this can help. “Our experience has shown that it’s not enough to provide funds,” explained Kanayo F. Nwanze. “We have to have data.” This, he stressed, is particularly true for work in rural areas, which are most vulnerable to changing weather conditions.
Gathering hard data (‘pixels’) makes it possible to target real-world help in the most meaningful way.
For policy makers, the new assessment tool helps to prioritize, in order to develop more effective regional and local adaptation plans. For farmers on the ground, the tool makes it possible to identify the greatest hazards, and take appropriate steps. “This is, of course, valuable here in Morocco,” said Kanayo F. Nwanze, “Where rising temperatures and projected declines in rainfall are expected to have a severe impact on the ability to grow crops.”
Tools like this also help reshape the way we approach climate change impacts. “Vulnerability mapping facilitates long-term thinking,” said Ibrahim El-Dukheri, Federal Minister of Agriculture, Republic of Sudan. “Beyond a sole focus on metrics, it is important to balance short-term demands with the long-term opportunities of climate change.”
The need, of course, is growing: As Kanayo F. Nwanze pointed out, agriculture in many parts of the world is already being severely affected by climate change. At a global level, average yields are expected to shrink by up to 2 per cent every decade, while demand for food from a growing population is expected to rise 14 per cent each decade, until 2050.
“We need data,” said Kanayo F. Nwanze. “Particularly in terms of vulnerability of rural areas.”
Co-hosted by the Director General of ADA, Mr Mohammed El Guerrouj, the event’s panel gathered eminent personalities, and was well-attended by the press.
Panel members H.E. Ibrahim El-Dukheri, Minister of Agriculture of Sudan; Dr Simon Young, Advisor to the CEO of ARC Ltd; Mme. Fatima Driouech, National meteorology service of Morocco; and Mr Abdelhamid Felloun (ADA) emphasized the importance of high-tech tools for decision making at the policy level, and said that data like this, which puts climate change impacts in context, will make it easier to mobilize financing.
The panel agreed that the potential for scaling up this type of study is great, and offers a real opportunity for exchange and south-south cooperation. The tool will be shared with other African countries through the triple A initiative (Adaptation of African Agriculture).
Before being interviewed about the climate change tool by Medi1 TV, one of the main Moroccan TV channels, IFAD president Kanayo F. Nwanze thanked the ADA for their support. “IFAD is very much appreciative of the efforts of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock in Morocco for taking this initiative, which we hope will spread into other parts of Africa,” he said. “In Morocco, this is actually a pilot, and we hope that it will generate expected results.”
By Torben Nilsson and Christopher Neglia
The 22nd Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), hosted by Morocco in Marrakech from 7-18 November 2016, was concluded with the issuance of a “Marrakech Action Proclamation” by the participating Heads of State, Government, and Delegations.
The Marrakech Action Proclamation welcomes the Paris Agreement, adopted under the Convention, already ratified by over 111 Parties, and entered into force on 4 November 2016.
The Proclamation refers to the ambitious goals and inclusive nature of the Paris agreement, reiterates its reflection of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities, and reaffirms the strong – and irreversible – commitment of all Parties to take action on climate and sustainable development, moving forward to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and foster adaptation efforts, thereby benefiting and supporting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Developed Country Parties reaffirmed their goal to mobilize USD $100 billion annually from 2020 in climate finance, while the Parties unanimously called for further climate action and support well before 2020. The call was extended to non-state actors, noting in particular the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action.
Importantly, the Parties emphasized the need to strengthen and support efforts to eradicate poverty, ensure food security, and take stringent action to deal with climate change challenges in agriculture. The importance of climate action in agriculture features strongly in the NDCs and was more prominent at COP22 than in the past, with particular emphasis on the Adaptation of African Agriculture (AAA) initiative launched through the signing a “Marrakech Declaration” by African Ministers of Agriculture on 30 September 2016.
Inside the Conference, despite appreciable concern with the election of Donald Trump in the United States, world leaders and delegates maintained that there is no going back on the commitments of the Paris agreement; and as the President of COP22, Morocco’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Salaheddine Mezouar warned, “governments must face up to their responsibilities.”
IFAD engaged through numerous side events, media relations, participation in the high-level segment, and issuance of a statement on the importance of improving the climate resilience of smallholder farmers in developing countries.
Fiji was elected to serve as President of COP23 to be held from 6 to 17 November 2017 at the seat of the UNFCCC secretariat in Bonn. COP23 will primarily serve to take stock of progress on the implementation of the work programme under the Paris Agreement.
Nothing is more motivating and rewarding than going on mission to an IFAD-supported project, meeting participants and realizing that your work has made a difference to their lives. It is a humbling experience. Such were my feelings last week, when during a supervision mission for the “Programme de développement des filieres” (PRODEFI) in Burundi, I met three women whose lives have changed dramatically thanks to the legal defence activities that we enabled and which have grown in importance over the years.
These activities were first established in 2008 with supplementary funding to IFAD from the Government of Canada, under the “Legal Empowerment of Women Programme” (LEWI). They were then integrated into the IFAD-supported “Programme de Relance et de Développement du Monde Rural“ (PRDMR), the “Projet d’appui à l’intensification et à la valorisation agricoles du Burundi” (PAIVA-B) and also “ PRODEFI. A long history by now which shows a strong support from many sides: IFAD, the donor community, the Government and civil society of Burundi.
Under the legal defence activities, the programme trained over 530 women leaders as “para-juristes” and provided support to vulnerable women, girls and orphans in Gitega and Kayanza province of Burundi on land conflict and sexual violence. About 1,900 cases (90 per cent submitted by women) have been considered. More than 200 of the para legals have now created an association, with the support of PRODEFI.
In Burundi and in other countries, conflicts often arise over access to home and land, and frequently lead to physical violence against women. Many are based on traditional cultural beliefs and attitudes. The women whom I met on the supervision mission were ostracized for not giving birth to large numbers of children, in particular sons.
“The community and family development centers have helped me a lot”, said 52-year-old Consolate with tears in her eyes. She had given birth to two daughters and could not get pregnant again. Her husband wanted a son and took a second wife to live with him in the family home. He and his family treated Consolate badly and wanted her to leave the house. She went to the village chief for help but he refused to intervene. At that time she was attending meetings organized by PRODEFI and heard about the legal assistance provided by the community and family development centres (CFDC). With their support she went to court and introduced a claim on her share of the family property. Her husband and the in-laws were convinced she would drop the complaint, but she persisted. She lost in the first instance, but went for an appeal. Even the judge did not take her serious and said a small woman like her would not be able to touch her husband even with the support of the project. It took 10 years of persistence, until Consolate finally got access to her share of the house and land. “Without the family and community development centres many women would be unhappy”, she said.
Fifty-one year old Imelde’s story is similar to Consolate’s. She was a widow, and got married for the second time to a widower who became increasingly violent when she did not get pregnant. He started to look for a second wife and wanted to evict her from the house. One night he got so violent that Imelde ran away in fear of her life, barely dressed and leaving everything behind. She went to the CFDC for help, and they wrote a letter to the village chief and her husband, asking to hand over her belongings. When the husband filed for divorce without her consent, she again looked to the CDFC for support. It took five years, until she received a judgement giving her a share of the land that had been jointly acquired when she was married.
The husband of Nahimana (45 years) had fled to Tanzania and not sent her any news for 14 years. When he returned to the village and found her with 2 children from another man, he threw her out of the house. Nahimana returned to her own family home, but her brothers also did not want her. She had no place to stay for a long time, until with legal support she put a claim in on the joint house and property. Nahimana says that literacy classes helped her a lot, and raised her awareness. For 6 months, twice a week she attended a functional literacy class offered by PRODEFI that uses the REFLECT methodology. She became more self-confident and learnt how to express herself. She is still waiting for the final judgement on her request for fair share of the family home and land, but she is confident.
These stories of three women show how pain, powerlessness and humiliation are the invisible effects of violence. Violence and fear of violence lower women’s self-esteem and confidence and prevent them from speaking up. Where access to land is needed for food and income like in rural areas of Burundi, its loss threatens the basis of existence.
For IFAD, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November gives us the opportunity to think about women like Consolate, Imelde and Nahimana. We have come a long way in recognizing that gender-based violence is an impediment to rural women’s empowerment. More and more projects are addressing violence against women and women’s security, prevention of violence and harassment. The legal support that PRODEFI provides in Burundi is one of the best examples. It also reflects the dedication of all those colleagues and partners who insisted on integrating the programme into a loan financed rural development programme. And it has made a huge difference to the lives of thousands of rural women.
IFAD video “Justice for Maura”Short version (3:30)
English | French
Long version (15:00)
English | French
|Khalida Bouzar, IFAD's Director for Near East, North Africa and Europe Division|
speaks at Opportunities for Africa at COP22.
At the OCP Group side event ‘Opportunities and Solutions for Africa,’ held as part of a larger conference on food security and climate change at COP22 on 14 November 2016, Khalida Bouzar, IFAD's Director for Near East, North Africa and Europe Division, emphasized that investment in agriculture is an attractive proposition—not least, because it provides a strong incentive for youth to stay in the rural areas that need them most.
Green agriculture an opportunity for AfricaThe importance of agriculture in Africa cannot be overstated, said Dr Khalida Bouzar: “When we talk about agriculture in Africa, we have to remember that agriculture is still the main employer of the Continent, and that more than 80 per cent of food production in Africa is ensured by smallholders living in rural areas.”
While rural smallholder farmers are one of the groups most vulnerable to climate change, Dr Khalida Bouzar emphasized that this sector also has enormous potential: “Advanced and green agriculture is the real opportunity for rural Africa. It can create jobs, satisfy needs, and generate both wealth and wellbeing for Africans.”
From Morocco to Zimbabwe, IFAD invests in greening agricultural value chains—and in ensuring that youth can find space, interest and profit in the sector. “We also make available credit, technical assistance and resources for the states to access in order to effect such change,” said Dr Khalida Bouzar. “We are convinced that innovation and adaptation will restart the agricultural engine, and therefore provide renewed opportunities for youth and for Africa.
“All our projects are designed by and for beneficiaries,” added Dr Khalida Bouzar. “They are thus naturally adapted to the local and cultural context.”
Best practices from the regionDr Khalida Bouzar shared two ‘Best Practices’ case studies from Niger and Morocco. These included:
Morocco: In Morocco’s l’Oriental Region, 70 per cent of the land was exploited by tribal and nomadic communities for their livestock. Land degradation, overgrazing and water scarcity brought families into extreme poverty, and land and social desertification were a reality. The combined efforts of IFAD, the GEF, the Moroccan Government, ONUDI, local communities and administrations brought about clear pasture management plans and specific policies that led to the development of new and diverse pasture management strategies, bringing radical change to the area.
Today, Morocco manages rather than exploits these ancestral pasturelands.
Other examples of IFAD’s successful practices include:
Mali: The promotion of biogas benefitted over 7,000 people (50 per cent were women, and close to 80 per cent were youth) in Mali. Some 155 bio-digesters were installed with a sustainable impact on livelihoods. This was especially true for women, for whom it meant safer and cleaner cooking environments, as well as freed up time, which could be spent on other tasks, such as the collection of wood and cleaning of pots. The environment benefitted, as well: 13 tonnes of wood were saved per year for a family of 40 people, and awareness of environmental issues was raised among local populations.
Senegal: In Senegal, coastal areas are vulnerable to rising sea levels, which cause both widespread erosion and coastal flooding in low-lying coastal areas (mangrove estuaries in particular). Other negative impacts include the increased salinization of soils, surface waters and groundwater. The project invested in infrastructure to reduce land salinity and restore productivity, with two dykes of about 3 km in total length in Ndiaye and Ndiémou and the establishment of three drainage systems. 10,000 halophyte plants (adapted to salinity) were produced to protect and rehabilitate saline fields. The project also allowed for more efficient use of scarce water resources, through improved irrigation systems and diversification of production. Some 250 hectares of agricultural land adopted drip irrigation, benefiting approximately 30 communities. Some 77 hectares of rice fields are under irrigated production, serving six farmers’ organisations and benefitting some 3,000 people.
Cameroon: A project currently under design proposes to promote “green jobs” for youth, who represent 78 per cent of the population and suffer greatly from unemployment or underemployment. The project aims to create and promote close to 5,000 agro-pastoral enterprises (of which 30 per cent are managed by women) and to create over 20,000 jobs; it also encourages rural entrepreneurship through the development of agropastoral training centres and rural financial services.
|The panel at the side event at COP22. ©IFAD/N. Muzurovic|
At an event sponsored by the Netherlands, held at the COP22 in Marrakech on 15 November 2016, the Kingdom of the Netherlands’ Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Ms Lilianne Ploumen, discussed ways in which climate change can be effectively fought through securing indigenous and community land rights.
Learning from indigenous communitiesEvidence shows that securing indigenous and community land rights is one of the key actions to fighting climate change, said Lilianne Ploumen. Local communities—specifically, indigenous communities--have been key in governing land in a way that’s sustainable. “There are a couple of reasons for this,” she said. “They know that their land not only belongs to them, but their kids. Not only do they have a lot of knowledge about the land, but look at it from the potential that it has for everyone.”
Protection of the forest is a large part of the climate change agenda. Statistically, land governed by indigenous communities shows much slower deforestation—indicating the deployment of practices that could be studied and learned from. Interestingly, worldwide, some 50 per cent of land is protected by local and indigenous communities, despite the fact that this group only owns 10 per cent of the land.“People don’t own the land, but they still take responsibility for it,” she said. “This is also something we can learn from.”
Certainly, said Ms Mina Setra, the indigenous approach to land management is defined by long-term thinking. In the forest in West Kalimantan, one elder in the community said, “We have to protect the land. To indigenous people, land is mother. Land is owned by the ancestors. We are only guardians, and we have to protect it for future generations.”
Results and benefitsThis approach brings with it concrete results: satellite imagery of forestlands in Bolivia, Brazil, and Colombia clearly shows that deforestation is two to three times lower in areas with secured land tenure for indigenous peoples. “If you secured land rights, you would save emissions,” said Ms Helen Mountford, of the World Resources Institute (WRI). In fact, estimated benefits of saved emissions through secured land rights could be as much as US$ 30 billion.“Carbon benefits make this worth doing,” she said.
Land rights are also crucial, when it comes to investment in agriculture, said USAID’s Eric G. Postel. “Without land rights people do not invest,” he said.
Moving forward, said Ms Lilianne Ploumen, the Netherlands—which has the world’s highest percentage of registered land (99 per cent) – is keen to share its organizational knowledge. New technologies, including satellites, offer unprecedented opportunities for giving indigenous peoples control over their land, and thus improve the global environment. The project is a crucial one, she emphasized: “Land rights are human rights,” said Ms Lilianne Ploumen.
World Resources Institute. 2016. Report on Climate Benefits, Tenure Costs. The Economic Case For Securing Indigenous Land Rights in the Amazon. Page 55.
Oxfam, International Land Coalition, Rights and Resources Initiative. 2016. Common Ground. Securing land rights and safeguarding the earth. Page 39.
Fiji is an archipelago in the south Pacific of more than 300 islands. According to 2015 estimates, approximately 43 per cent of the population lives in rural areas, and more than one third of its population lives in poverty. IFAD's work in the country focuses on outer islands and remote areas. The country's agricultural sector generates close to 13 per cent of the nation's GDP while it employs 70 per cent of its labour force. There is strong demand for domestically produced agricultural products, and there is great potential in developing value chains and commercial relationships.
When Isei Namacamaca moved back to his village Nadrau in Navosa province after several years in the city, he decided to become a farmer. And with support from his relatives, Isei established his farm where he was mostly growing traditional crops (root crops) and vegetables with limited knowledge on appropriate farm management practices and production technologies (such as seedling production, composting, and post-harvesting handling). He also had limited business orientation in farming.
He participated in the activities and training supported under the Partnership in High Value Agriculture (PHVA) programme, an IFAD-supported grant implemented by the local NGO Partners in Community Development Fiji – PCDF, targeting a number of villages and settlements in an impoverished area of Nadarivatu on Fiji’s main island of Viti Levu. This USD 500,000 grant implemented during 2012-2015 worked to increase the incomes of the 200 participating farmers by 20 per cent from their production of high value products such as tomatoes, capsicum, zucchini, English cabbage, carrots, watermelon and many others, through enhanced market linkages and community empowerment.
Through the support of the grant, Isei attended several trainings aiming to help enhance his agricultural production and shift to an approach of developing farming as a business. The training included farm- and land-use management, vegetable husbandry practices, post-harvest management practices, entrepreneurship, financial literacy and management. He now grows tomatoes, capsicum, cabbage, potatoes and zucchini on his three-acre land, all with a good profit.
ResultsWhat were the improvements that made a difference for his business? When last April Isei attended the first stakeholder workshop of the IFAD-funded Fiji Agricultural Partnership Project (FAPP), which will scale up some of PHVA’s approaches, he shared his experience. He indicated that the most important things he learned were shifting to organic production limiting the use and quantities of agricultural chemicals, and the business aspects related to farming.
Isei’s achievements resulting from participation in the training and adopting the new technology are significant. In three years, his income from farming increased by 80-100 per cent through high value crops alone. He also gets income from sales of traditional crops. In addition Isei has increased the size of his farm and is now able to sell all farm produces. With his increased income, he can send all his children to school and support his grandchildren. He also established a family canteen, a small retail shop selling basic food items, opened a savings account, and contributes to village obligations, church activities, and other family needs.
By Ilaria Firmian
Last week, the Climate-Smart Agriculture for Resilient Livelihoods project was launched at the Sibane Hotel in Ezulwini, Swaziland, with the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture in attendance.
This is one of the 12 so-called ‘child projects’ of the GEF Integrated Approach Pilot on Food Security in Sub Saharan Africa, and the first among the 7 co-financed by IFAD to begin implementation.
The project promotes sustainable land and water resources management approaches for sustainable production and supports community-led planning processes that serve to match local actors to preferred development initiatives. With the objective of building climate-resilient households, it gives particular attention to women and youth-focused practices such as rooftop rainwater harvesting, home gardening, indigenous poultry and goat raising, beekeeping and fruit orchards.
The project is blended with an IFAD loan, the Smallholder Market Led Project, and together the two address the main causes of poverty and food deficit in the country. The first cause is the poor integration of smallholders, mainly female farmers, into local and national markets for agricultural products (addressed by SLMP), while the second is the fragile natural resource base, vulnerable to climate change and increasing degradation. Actually, the smallest in size of the IAP countries, Swaziland will contribute more than 30.000 hectares to the overall IAP programme target of 10 million hectares of land put under sustainable management.
After the official launch, the workshop participants continued working on operational and technical issues for a total of four days. From targeting to monitoring and evaluation systems, procurement methods to knowledge management, all issues have been discussed by the numerous implementing partners of the project in an atmosphere of collaboration and openness.
Once the child projects in the other 11 IAP countries are underway, there will be opportunities for further interactions and joint initiatives among the participating countries.
Traditional cooking goes beyond preserving traditional values. “Traditional cooking brings togetherness, it connects people, love, different food patterns, recipes, dishes and cuisine” said Mrs Zulia Mena the Vice Minister of Culture of Colombia during her opening remark at an event organized jointly last month by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Afro-descendants Cultural Assets (ACUA) Foundation.
The event focused on exchange of traditional cuisine, culture and knowledge in Buenaventura, the first "African city" of Colombia. This event was the result of a broad partnership between the Ministry of Culture, the Valle del Cauca regional administration, the ACUA Foundation, IFAD, the Joint Fund for the Promotion of Culture and Arts of the Valle del Cauca region, the Foundation “Escuela Taller” of Buenaventura, and the Foundation “Artesanías de Colombia”.
|Vice minister of Culture Zulia Mena opening the event.|
Four African women who are beneficiaries of IFAD grants in the African countries -Senegal, Benin and Zambia were invited to share their respective experiences and techniques of traditional recipes, biodiversity and local products. Over 80 participants attended, including representatives from the afro-latino communities from cities like Guapí, Tumaco, Buenaventura and Quibdó and indigenous communities supported by Artesanías de Colombia.
Traditional cuisine and rural developmentIFAD’s Special Adviser on Nutrition, Marian Amaka Odenigbo described the linkage of the Fund’s work on biodiversity, nutrition and climate to sustainable agriculture, nutrition and traditional diets. Key discussion points were: how do we promote and protect local seeds; how have traditional dishes been influenced by colonial powers; how do we create awareness on nutritional value of traditional foods; how can we develop value addition to traditional cuisine; how do we attract the younger generation who are deviating from traditional food culture and how do we help them see the connection between food and climate change? She further illustrated the effort on climate smart agriculture through IFAD’s Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) and the Recipes for Change initiative. She showed examples of traditional dishes from East and Southern Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean regions.
The participant from Zambia, Kalongo Chitengi presented IFAD’s work on the traditional vegetable called “Amaranthas” leaves through a grant in Zambia (Strengthening capacity of local actors on nutrition-sensitive agri-food value chain in Zambia). She mentioned that the local vegetable is grown naturally without need for inputs such as fertilizer. Interestingly, this vegetable is also used to determine the fertility of soil because it only grows in nutrient dense soil. She further noted that the project focus is to address poor nutrition, dietary diversity, and women participation in the agricultural value chain.
According to Kalongo, the challenges that this project is trying to solve is similar to what Afro-descendant communities in Colombia are experiencing: A decrease in use and poor consumption of local traditional foods in local communities. The community members tend to sell rather than consume at home. Emphasis was made on the integration of innovation and research in traditional cuisine to maximise the nutritional benefits. Traditional cuisine are essentially comprised of less processed staple foods which are rich in fibre and grown in natural or organic state implying less pesticides and chemicals for general health of the community.
|Kalongo Chitengi cooking demonstration of a staple dish from Zambia.|
Women’s roleSofia Betancurth a member of the Chiyangua foundation, Colombia shared how they are working on recovering lost tradition through rural development by linking biodiversity to education, health and agriculture. A typical example is the practice of traditional medicine as opposed to conventional medicine.
On the other hand, Ndeye Marie Seydi shared the African experiences on how women empowerment has contributed to poverty alleviation in Senegal. She outlined the work of the IFAD grant PADAER in Senegal on food production, varieties of vegetables and capacity building of women, which has resulted in increased income and food security for the communities.
|Ndeye Marie Seydi presenting |
project in Senegal.
Demonstration and exhibition of traditional cuisineACUA foundation in collaboration with the Colombian Ministry of Culture support many women groups on promoting traditional cuisine in Colombia. The Afro-descendant groups showcased vast traditional dishes with ingredients rich in nutritional value. The delegates from Africa also demonstrated traditional recipes from Benin, Senegal and Zambia. Blandine Montcho, from Benin, showcased the pasteurization process in preserving juices and for conservation of nutritional properties without using any additive or chemical substance.The ingredients used in their cooking were found similar to the local foods within the Afro-descendant food system.
|Live cooking performance of the Quibdó community. ©IFAD/M. Odenigbo|
Exclusive market and restaurants for local foods and traditional dishesThe participants visited a local market where varieties of traditional foods are sold. The market also has restaurants for traditional cuisine. The restaurants are run by the women group “Asociación de Sabedoras de la plaza de mercado José Hilario López de Pueblo Nuevo de Buenaventura”, supported by the ACUA Foundation and Ministry of Culture. The women confirmed that the traditional cuisine is a family custom and a way of retaining their cultural value.
|Blandine montcho, from Benin, visiting the Buenaventura Market place. ©IFAD/M. Odenigbo|
According to Yesid Ome, director of the Buenaventura School Foundation, the presence of African women is an opportunity to rediscover our African, Afro-Colombian roots and to analyze how to maintain commonalities.
|Participants at event. ©IFAD/M. Odenigbo|