Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

July 2018
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EDITO
Wednesday, 18 July 2018

The Luxembourg Presidency invited agricultural ministers to an informal Council meeting which had been intended to focus on agriculture and climate change. Discussions will deal with the EU response to low milk prices and available time for the discussion shall deal with how agriculture can best address the challenges of mitigating climate change. For this latter discussion, the Luxembourg Presidency prepared a background - entitled Towards Climate-Smart Agriculture -  which sets the scene for discussions between the Ministers in three working groups.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Ahead of the Pacific Island Forum leaders summit, Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill said the Pacific island nations hoped to seal the EU trade deal at the UN climate change talks in Paris this December. "On the sidelines of that meeting we look forward to meeting with the European Union with the view of finalising the final agreement," O’Neil said. This announcement brings some sense of hope to the EU-Pacific trade talks which have been dragging on for over one year now.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete will attend the 46th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea this week. The visit comes few months ahead of the UN Climate Conference in Paris (COP21). Commissioner Arias Cañete said: "The EU and the Pacific are long-standing allies in the fight against climate change. Countries in this region are amongst the most vulnerable to its impacts – as demonstrated by the devastation caused by Cyclone Pam in March. This year's Forum will be an important opportunity to unite together with the view to secure a strong and credible global climate deal that will significantly accelerate the global transition to a climate resilient sustainable future."

Tuesday, 08 September 2015

At the East African Carbon Fair in Kampala, EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Production and Social Sector,  Jessica Eriyo said that the absence of strong regulations geared at climate management means the region will continuously be faced with climate challenges such as flooding and prolonged droughts. The Secretary general  told participants that  once the law is in place member states will be able to  allocate resources for climate management and implement  international mitigation strategies such as the Clean Development Mechanism( CDM) under the Kyoto protocol. The CDM is a market based approach that enables generation and trade of certified emission reductions units on a global scale.  EAC has developed a series of guiding principles on climate change, such as the EAC Climate Change Policy and the East African Climate Change Master Plan.

At the East African Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA), experts asked farmers to use fertilizers and improved seeds in order to engage in climate change friendly practices to improve production. Martin Ameu, a programme associate at UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said, “We have to find alternative ways to maximize production (…) We need to devise better crop management practices and apply irrigation and fertilizers to increase efficiency.” Caroline Kirungu, who presented a paper on CSA initiatives in Eastern Africa said, “We need to practice irrigation, plant drought resistant varieties and commercialize our agriculture.” Agriculture minister Tress Bucyanayandi explained that the government was distributing tea, coffee, and cotton seedlings to increase production of perennial crops.

During a recent meeting between South Africa and the European Commission, both sides stressed the importance of intensifying action to address the issue of climate challenge at international, regional, national and grassroots levels. Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa and Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President of the European Commission for the Energy Union, met to discuss cooperation on climate change and confirmed that environment and climate change remain a priority area for bilateral cooperation, as outlined in the South Africa – European Union (SA-EU) Strategic Partnership of 2007. Both sides agreed to enhance their dialogue in these areas, notably covering the green and ocean economy in the context of the SA EU Forum on Environment and Sustainable Development.

Tuesday, 04 August 2015

The European Union (EU) has launched a new programme called Building Disaster Resilience to Natural Hazards in Sub-Saharan African Regions, Countries and Communities. It provides  88 million (US$95 million) over the next five years and targets funding local climate research centres and help the continent prepare for natural disasters. Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, African Union Commissioner for Rural economy and agriculture said, “Over the last decade, Africa lost about 700,000 lives to natural disasters such as floods and droughts (…) Addressing this requires predictable financial resources.” The programme focuses on five priority areas, including:  (i) climate research and data centres; (ii)  increasing regional coordination and disaster risk reduction monitoring.

Monday, 03 August 2015

The final declaration the 36th meeting of CARICOM Heads of States underscores the importance of a strong and sustainable agreement on climate change – one that can deliver national and regional development objectives, while addressing the  existential threats for small island and low-lying states.  CARICOM’s declaration observes: (i)  Caribbean ecosystems are approaching the limits of their adaptive capacity and there is an urgent need to close the gap between the mitigation pledges and practical support; (ii) inadequacy of the financial resources currently available for climate change adaptation efforts in order to ensure that parts of the region literally do not disappear beneath the sea; (iii) the international community must achieve an ambitious and comprehensive outcome and set out specifc requirements for small island developing states (SIDS) and their need for adequate and predictable finance, technology, and capacity building support.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Among the Small Island Developing States, the Republic of the Marshall Islands is officially the first to submit its CO2 reduction objectives ahead of the Paris Climate Conference (COP 21). The marshall Islands plan to cut their emissions by 32% by 2025, 45% by 2030, and to aim for zero net emissions by 2050. This should also provide encouragement and inspiration for larger emitters to aim for more ambitious targets. While the country produces less than 0.00001% of the world's emissions, the EU, China and the United States combined, produce half of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Together with the  Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), the Marshall Islands are campaigning for the +1.5°C global warming, as opposed to the current target of +2°C.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

The final outcome  of the Third International Financing for Development Conference which took place in Addis Ababa has been published. The Heads of State and Government and High Representatives expressed their support for sustainable agriculture, including forestry, fisheries and pastoralism, as well as the importance of action to fight malnutrition and hunger among the urban poor. The document notes of encouragement for increased public and private investments. Many international organizations received recognition for their work in the field of agriculture, including the Committee on World Food Security, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Food Programme, the World Bank and other multilateral development banks, as well as the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme.