ARC statement on Global Alliance for Climate-smart Agriculture
September 5, 2014:
||Kenyan farmer Simeon, with the field of cabbages he planted using Farming God's Way techniques
Later this month a Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture will be launched as a major new initiative to promote ways of helping us grow more food without trashing the Earth.
ARC has decided to sign up in support of the initiative, which is intended to spearhead a global effort to make agriculture more sustainable, enabling farmers to grow more food and to be more resilient to climate change, without damaging the environment.
This is seen as vital given the predicted increase in the world's population to nine billion by 2050 - especially with climate change set to cause severe disruptions to agriculture in coming decades.
Already around one in eight people go to bed hungry at night, even though the world grows enough food for them to eat. With accelerating climate change, rising population and diminishing natural resources, we are facing a serious problem in feeding ourselves. The hope is that transforming agriculture will also reduce levels of the carbon emissions from farming that help drive climate change.
The launch of the Global Alliance is not without controversy, however. At present, there is no clear definition of what constitutes 'climate-smart agriculture' or on who can join the Alliance. Some groups fear that it will be used as a platform to promote practices which damage biodiversity or smallholder farmers, or drive land grabbing.
That's why ARC has issued a statement on why we are joining this initiative - and what we will and won't support.
We join the Global Alliance in a spirit of goodwill, hope and expectation, ready to contribute what we can to this vital global effort. But also prepared to speak out if we feel the initiative is diverting from the honorable aims with which it has been established.