State Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Ethiopia, Ato Sileshi Getahum, has urged Malawian delegates and those from other African countries to come up with good recommendations to enrich the continent’s position on climate change ahead of the next Conference of the Parties (COP) in the next few months.
Getahum made this submission recently in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during a three-day meeting aimed at launching the first-ever climate smart agriculture (CSA) alliance forum organised by the NEPAD Agency and the African Union Commission.
The forum is part of an integral part of Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) in relation to attaining the productivity, food security, prosperity and resilience goals as said in the 2015-25 Results Framework endorsed at the Malabo African Union (AU) Summit held in June last year in Equatorial Guinea.
Getahun also urged Africa to continue to pressurise industrialised countries to step up their efforts and save humanity from imminent catastrophe that climate change and variability are leading to.
“As we learnt from the recently published IPCC reports, no matter how well some of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol performed, to this day, global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have not stopped rising. Parties therefore must make substantial progress this time in COP21,” she said.
Getahun said this, therefore, needs a bold 2015 agreement which should include necessary means of implementation, capacity strengthening, appropriate technology transfer and the finance required to manage ecosystems to ensure food and nutrition security, sustainable development and poverty alleviation.
“With agriculture the mainstay of Africa’s economy, it is important that we invest in and practice climate smart agriculture. We need to show the rest of the world our adaptive capacity and remain positive that more development partners will come on board to help Africa upscale all the various CSA investments on the continent,” she explained.
But, in her remarks, Minister Councilor Ms Tove Stub of the Norwegian Embassy in Addis Ababa backed the launch of the CSA Alliance Forum, saying it shows that African countries are committed to championing positive agricultural production in view of climate change effects, a point NEPAD Director of Programmes and Coordination Estherine Fotabong alluded to.
Stub stated that Africa through NEPAD is the first continent to develop such an agenda which is also aimed at sharing knowledge, new farming technologies and developing policies to promote CSA.
“The launch of the CSA Alliance Forum is a crucial step to the African agenda of promoting CSA considering that agriculture remains central to development on the continent. In fact NEPAD is to chair a global alliance and this experience from this first-ever alliance on CSA will assist globally,” she said.
Speakers from Malawi indicated that Lilongwe has developed policies that are meant to move in tandem with initiatives of NEPAD and African Union on how to mitigate effects of climate change thereby boosting agriculture production.
With Malawi’s economy described as agro-based, experts and farmers are likely to use the session as a tool to boosting agricultural production considering that the model is in line with sustainable land and water management (SLWM) also championed by NEPAD.
By George Mhango