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Second Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change in Viet Nam

Second Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change in Viet Nam ( The Seychelles Minister of Natural Resource and Industry, Mr. Peter Sinon, and his Special Advisor, Mr. Antoine Marie Moustache, are back in the country after attending the Second Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (AFC). Attended by over 500 delegates, the Second Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change took place in the capital of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, Hanoi, from September 3-7, 2012.

The conference was a joint initiative with FAO, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Viet Nam, the World Bank, and the Dutch government. It was launched by the Vietnamese Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Cao Duc Phat, under the theme, “Hunger for Action.” The First Global Conference on Agriculture Food, Security and Climate Change took place at The Hague in the Netherlands in 2010.

The prime objective of the Second Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change was to bring the world decision-makers together to discuss and present their perspectives and further sensitize them on the issues of climate change and food security through agricultural production (crops, livestock, forestry, and fisheries) as well as to promote the relatively new concept of Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) and the need to adopt its best practices.

Secondly, the Global Conference was to also provide a platform for networking among countries’ senior decision-makers along with the exchanging of experiences in national policy affairs relevant to climate change, food production, and food security.

The Seychelles’ delegates saw it opportune to network with potential international cooperating partners (ICPs) attending the conference to explore areas in which these partners can provide some assistance, especially in the upcoming Seychelles’ National Agricultural Investment Program (SNAIP), an investment project portfolio for the revival of the national agricultural sector.

The discussions in the conference were initiated following a number of presentations on the best practices under a wide range of circumstances for the Climate Smart Agriculture approach, first introduced in the First Global Conference in 2010.

Since then, there have been greater concerns on the impacts of more frequent extreme weather events brought on by climate change. While there are renewed efforts galvanized by the calls of the many recent world food conferences on the need to work towards a better world food security status, natural calamities such as prolonged droughts, floods, incidences of pests and diseases in both crops and livestock continue to dampen such efforts. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Viet Nam noted that these are felt to an even greater degree in regions of the world with predisposed natural conditions, particularly among the developing nations.

However, impacts of extreme weather events are not only felt in developing countries. Extremely low cereal harvests in the United States, which is one of the world leaders in cereal production, following serious prolonged droughts, are currently raising concerns on the prices of cereal-based food outputs, which are consumed by both humans and livestock. A rise in the price of this commodity will inevitably impact on food consumption and possibly lead to deterioration in the current status of the world food and nutrition security.

The conference highlighted the fact that presently some 1 billion people go to bed each day suffering the plight of hunger by virtue of their inability to access food. In the next 40 years, with a world population of 9 billion, food output would have to increase by some 70% if the food requirement for the population is to be met. The conference speakers hinted further that the implementation of Climate Smart Agricultural (CSA) practices would be one of the approaches that might save the planet from a human catastrophe.

Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) is defined as an agriculture that sustainably increases productivity, resilience (adaptation), reduces/removes greenhouse gases (mitigation), while enhancing the achievement of national food security and development goals. Good examples of CSA include conservation agriculture; agro forestry; and integrated forest, farm, and fish systems.

The Minister of Natural Resource and Industry, Mr. Peter Sinon, and his Special Advisor, Mr. Antoine Marie Moustache, also participated in the high-level ministerial segment of the Global Conference, which was launched by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam. The Ministerial segment entailed many reflections on the discussions undertaken in the conference for the week. It was at that high-level segment of the conference that Minister Peter Sinon had the opportunity to present to some 46 participating states the recommendations arrived at by the member states of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), except for Reunion which was absent at the pre-conference workshop in Seychelles. These recommendations were drawn at the close of a two-day, pre-conference workshop on August 13 and 14 in the Seychelles.

The pre-conference workshop in Seychelles identified both sea- and land-based food production issues brought on by climate change, as well as assessed the roles that agricultural cooperatives played and will play in the achievement of a more adequate food and nutrition security and sovereignty of the IOC member states. Upon hearing the IOC member states’ recommendations to the Second Conference, the chair of the high-level ministerial meeting commended the initiatives of small island developing states of the IOC. The report can be found on the AFC website: .

During the high level meeting, Minister Peter Sinon highlighted the peculiarities the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) like the Seychelles face and singled out piracy, which for some three consecutive years has seriously disrupted both sea-based tourism activities and fisheries with marked loss in national GDP and a threat to national food security. Minister Sinon hinted that a possible global conference addressing food security issues in the context of Small Island Developing States could be considered by the organizing committee.

At the close of the day, the high-level ministerial segment came up with eight statements of what have been termed messages. They are reflections on the way forward and can be interpreted as key guiding statements towards CSA until these are further reviewed at the Third Global Conference, which will take place in South Africa in 2013.

In defining the climate smart agriculture as a forward-looking perspective, it notes that important commitments and actions are being undertaken to tackle the challenges of food security, poverty, climate change, and environmental sustainability with climate smart agriculture as an important approach in this regard.

In the same manner, one of the messages stressing the need for public-private partnership (PPP) in any future agricultural production, notes that innovative partnership among national and international stakeholders can play an important role in enhancing capacity and technology and are at the heart of CSA.


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