New Zealand (with partner countries Ireland, France, Australia and the Netherlands) held a speaker series, ‘Act!on Agriculture’, from 10-12 December 2018 at COP24.

The event aimed to bring about action on sustainable agriculture to achieve a ‘triple win’ – increasing agricultural productivity, reducing emissions, and building resilience to climate change impacts. These outcomes are critical to improving food security for the world’s vulnerable communities, producing more food for a growing world population, and achieving the Paris Agreement’s climate change goals.   

On this page:

What happened at Act!on Agriculture?

Programme and map

 

Action Agriculture banner image

Why agriculture?

The global population will grow by another 2.3 billion people by 2050 – this means we’ll need to produce more food in the next 50 years, than in the past 500.

Globally, agriculture produces about 12-14 percent of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

To meet the Paris Agreement’s goals, we’ll need to reduce agriculture emissions by at least 1Gt (or about 15 percent) a year by 2030.

We need farming systems that reduce emissions without reducing food.  

 

Monday 10 December 2018

1.30pm-2.30pm

Ministerial opening

Watch this session (external link)

The Paris Agreement has a collective aim to limit temperature rise from climate change. It recognises the importance of food production and food security as a fundamental priority. Across the world, countries are responding by encouraging greater efficiency of food production in ways that limit greenhouse gas emissions. In this session, ministers discussed some of these challenges, to begin to understand the role the agriculture sector can play in achieving the aims of the Paris Agreement.

Welcome:

  • Hon James Shaw, Minister for Climate Change, New Zealand

Keynote:

  • Dr Theo de Jager, President, World Farmers' Organisation

Ministerial discussion:

  • Dr Goretti Kitutu, Minister for Environment, Uganda
  • Hon Melissa Price, Minister for Environment, Australia  
  • Hon Ralph Regenvanu, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Vanuatu
  • Marjolij Sonnema, Vice Minister for Agriculture and Nature, the Netherlands

 

2.45pm-4.15pm

Farmers working towards lower emissions

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Farmers the world over want to improve their livelihoods, build resilience to the impacts of climate change and reduce their emissions. They want to grow the best, most nutritious food they can. Farmers and governments acknowledge that they are not necessarily well equipped to achieve this. Disseminating information to millions of farmers around the world is a considerable challenge. One of the best ways to meet this challenge is for farmers to get together and share stories of what they are doing – in other words, learn from each other. 

Facilitator:  

  • David Burger, Strategy and Investment Leader Responsible Dairy, Dairy NZ

Panel:   

  • Craige McKenzie, Founder & Director, Agri Optics, New Zealand
  • Turi McFarlane, Nuffield Scholar, New Zealand
  • Ben O’Brien, European Regional Manager, Beef + Lamb New Zealand 
  • Christopher Brankin, Policy Adviser Strategy and Influence, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, New Zealand

 

4.30pm – 5.30pm

Resilient, productive, efficient: Pacific agriculture under the Paris Agreement

Watch this session - Part 1 (external link)

Watch this session - Part 2 (external link)

The agriculture sector makes up over half of Pacific Island employment, and agricultural products make up a higher share of Pacific Island trade than in any other region on earth. New technologies, techniques and practices that are tailored for the Pacific can build productive and resilient agricultural systems while reducing emissions. This session brought together scientists and farmers to discuss how Pacific agricultural systems can thrive in an emissions-constrained world.

Moderator:  

  • Margarita Astralaga, Director, Environment Climate Gender and Social Inclusion Division, International Fund for Agricultural Development

Presenters: 

  • Lee Nelson, Research Programme Manager Climate Change, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research
  • Iwona Piechowiak, Programme Leader for Sustainable Forests and Landscapes Pillar, Pacific Community, Fiji
  • Ulamila Lutu, Senior Research Technician, Centre for Pacific Crops and Trees, Pacific Community, Fiji
  • Gibson Susumu, Programme Leader, Sustainable Agriculture Programme, Pacific Community, Fiji
  • Minoru Nishi Jr, Managing Director, Nishi Trading Company, Tonga    
  • Susana Yalikanacea, Farmer, Fiji    
  • Jabujka Aikne, Farmer, Republic of the Marshall Islands

  

Tuesday 11 December 2018

12.15pm – 2.00pm

Agriculture development for climate benefit

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Many farmers in developing countries face significant barriers to maintaining secure livelihoods. Now farming and development investment must focus on the ‘triple win’: increasing productivity while reducing emissions and building resilience to the effects of climate change. But how? This session presented case studies analysing the greenhouse gas impact of agriculture development projects from the Fijian and Colombian dairy sectors to Vietnamese rice producers. A panel provided insights on how agriculture development investment can play a more effective role in achieving the triple win.

Facilitator: 

  • Bruce Campbell, Director, CCAFS programme of CGIAR

Opening:

  • Prof Fekadu Beyene, Commissioner for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Ethiopia

Presenters: 

  • Liz Wedderburn, Assistant Research Director, AgResearch, New Zealand   
  • Justin Kosoris, Consultant to AgResults Secretariat, Australia
  • Lini Wollenburg, Low Emissions Development Flagship Leader, CCAFS programme of CGIAR

Panel: 

  • Jessica Bensemann, Development Manager Agriculture, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Lee Nelson, Research Programme Manager Climate Change, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research
  • Paxina Chileshe-Toe, Climate Change Adaptation Specialist, International Fund for Agriculture Development
  • Dr Chu Van Chuong, Deputy Director General, International Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam    
  • Juan Lucas Restrepo, Chief Executive, Agro-Savia, Colombia (by video) 

  

2.15pm – 3.15pm

Scaling-up agroecology: its performance and potential

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Agroecology allows farmers to achieve production, environmental, social and sanitary standards. What are the key challenges and opportunities to scale it up? This session described how agroecology performs and shared real-life experiences of scaling up.

Opening: 

  • Didier Guillaume, Minister of Agriculture and Food, France (by video)

Presentation: 

  • Alain Peeters, Secretary of Agroecology Europe, RHEA Research Centre

Round table discussion: 

  • Patrice Burger, President, CARI
  • Pierre Rousseau, Senior Strategic Adviser for Sustainable Finance, BNP Paribas     
  • Bertrand Mathieu, Agronomes et Vétérinaires Sans Frontières
  • Martial Bernoux, Food and Agriculture Organization

 

3.30pm – 4.45pm

Market demand for sustainably produced food

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The market is signalling that sustainable production will become an increasingly important pre-requisite for entry to higher value markets. Many retailers and food service businesses have publicly committed to sourcing all of their food from sustainable sources.  These businesses can only deliver on their promises if their suppliers process in a sustainable manner and source from primary producers who also have sustainable production at the centre of their operations. This session addressed changes in consumer behaviour, evolving trends towards sustainable living, and Ireland’s response to the challenge.

Facilitator:  

  • Bill Callanan, Chief Inspector, Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Government of Ireland

Presenters: 

  • Grace Binchy, Trends & Insight Specialist, Bord Bia – The Irish Food Board
  • Michael Maloney, Director of Origin Green Programme, Bord Bia – The Irish Food Board

 

5.00pm – 6.00pm

Farmers working towards lower emissions

Farmers the world over want to improve their livelihoods, build resilience to the impacts of climate change and reduce their emissions. They want to grow the best, most nutritious food they can. Farmers and governments acknowledge that they are not necessarily well equipped to achieve this.  Disseminating information to millions of farmers around the world is a considerable challenge. One of the best ways to meet this challenge is for farmers to get together and share stories of what they are doing – in other words, learn from each other. 

Facilitator: 

  • Ben O’Brien, European Regional Manager, Beef + Lamb New Zealand

Panel:  

  • Katie Milne, National President, Federated Farmers, New Zealand
  • Christian Feldkamp, Executive Director, CREA Argentina
  • David Burger, Strategy and Investment Leader Responsible Dairy, Dairy NZ   
  • Conor Mulvihill, Director, Dairy Industry Ireland
  • Pip Band, Industry Sustainability Framework Manager, Meat and Livestock Australia

 

Wednesday 12 December 2018

10.45am – 12.15pm

Agroecology: what it encompasses and how it is implemented

Watch this session (external link)

The aspiration to move towards agroecology has been included in the French Law for the Future of Agriculture, Food and Forestry adopted in 2014. Agroecology aims to improve the synergies between adaptation, mitigation and food security by using nature-based solutions such as sustainable use of biodiversity water. This session described the contribution of agroecology to climate change mitigation and adaptation, and share experiences from several countries.

Opening: 

  • Didier Guillaume, Minister of Agriculture and Food, France (by video)

Scene setting:

  • Food and Agriculture Organization

Presenters: 

  • Jean-Francois Soussana, Vice-President International Policy, INRA Science and Impact    
  • Roundtable discussion

 

3.15pm – 4.15pm

Building capability in agricultural measurement, reporting and verification (MRV)

Agricultural emissions are significant for many countries owing to the importance of the agriculture sector in their economies. Technical mitigation potential in the agricultural sector is high, however many countries cannot transparently monitor the emission reductions they achieve through productivity gains and more efficient farm management because national greenhouse gas inventory reporting systems and supporting data are insufficiently developed. This session demonstrated the importance of improved MRV of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, including for soil organic carbon. It looked at efforts being made at the international and country level to enable the agriculture sector to contribute to the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Facilitator:  

  • Hayden Montgomery, Special Representative, Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases

Presenters: 

  • Hugh Martineau Agriculture Business Area Manager, Ricardo Energy & Environment, United Kingdom
  • Karl Richards, Head of Environment, Soils and Land-Use Department, Teagasc, Ireland

 

4.30pm – 6.00pm

Raising the ambition of agriculture in NDCs: 2020 and beyond

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Global food insecurity is increasing. Indicative figures suggest the agriculture sector is tracking to achieve only 21-40% of the 1Gt emissions reductions needed annually from the sector to meet the Paris Agreement’s objectives. Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) provide opportunities to effect change to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve livelihoods. This session covered what experts are considering to kick start efforts to raise ambition within the agricultural sector for mitigating emissions ahead of the 2020 NDC review period.

Facilitator:  

  • John Carnegie, Executive Director Energy & Infrastructure, BusinessNZ, New Zealand

Opening:

  • Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, the Netherlands

Presenters: 

  • Manish Bapna, Executive Vice President, World Research Institute   
  • Ben O’Brien, European Regional Manager, Beef + Lamb New Zealand

Panel moderator:

  • Kristen Ann Hite, Oxfam International

Panel:  

  • Martien Van Nieuwkoop, Director of Global Agriculture, World Bank   
  • Kimaren Riamit, Indigenous Livelihoods Enhancement Partners (ILEPA)
  • Ignacio Lorenzo, Director of Climate Change, MGAP, Uruguay   

Closing: 

  • Hayden Montgomery, Special Representative, Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases
  • Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland

  

Event partners

Act!on Agriculture was organised by New Zealand, France, Ireland, Australia and the Netherlands.

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