Answering Tough Questions on Agriculture


The Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture (KJWA) met for a second session on Monday and anticipates an informal meeting tomorrow. The second session offered few answers to questions posed in the first session but highlighted country and organization experiences implementing work related to agriculture and climate change with the help of constituted bodies. Countries found the examples helpful but still lacked the clarity to move forward under the KJWA.

Zambia, in collaboration with the constituted body LEG, integrated agriculture into its National Adaptation Plan (NAP-Ag) project. LEG supports partners under a country-driven process to identify and integrate climate adaptation measures for agricultural sectors into national planning and budgeting processes.

Information on the Adaptation Fund can be viewed in my colleague, Amanda’s blog. The questions asked by the EU included how to link the services to the farmers and what the timeline looked like. It was answered with “ the timeline depends on the context in each country. They first identify user needs and tailor to those needs. Then, identify how the system works, what is missing to understand the market, the best way to deliver the information, and how to fund it.” “It takes around 2 years.”

Climate Technology Centre and Network Advisory Board (CTCN) Technical Assistance in Viet Nam provided assistance in bio-waste minimization and valorization for low carbon production in the rice sector, particularly in south-east Asia. Thailand asked, “how would you link this with the national programs as this is a local one?” Kenya stressed, “who is funding this project?” Which was answered with, “funding by donor countries and the GCF to be distributed by priority.”

Food and Myanmar-Philippines-to-work-together-on-agricultural-developmentAgriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations provided examples of work with the Technology Mechanism: TEC and CTCN, CGE, LEG, and SCF. Questions Kenya included “when you look at the five workshops and with FAO being specialized body, how do you see the FAO helping countries to implement those outcomes and the current workshops in Koronivia? Think beyond 2020. What is the synergy? The answer included “supporting a country through GEF and refocusing climate change through the GCF.” “Also, working with a country with their problems and taking a realistic approach.” The second portion of this session focused on “looking ahead” and asked the questions talked about in Amanda’s blog.

  • Tunisa, on behalf of the African group, stressed that meeting with the constituted bodies to discuss how to integrate implementation of the outcomes of the five workshops would help address these questions.
  • The EU said “first, institutionalize involvement of the constituted bodies with KJWA and invite them to the workshops to keep the communication going.”
  • Brazil added “There is so much synergy and work KJWA can share.” “The Parties can strength the linkages to become available to them so KJWA can move forward.”
  • Uruguay, in line with Brazil spoke about how it is key to establish a two-way road between Koronivia and the constituted bodies. Strong communication is essential.
  • Kenya continued “ these are useful inputs, but curious why GCF did not present. (Amanda’s blog covers this top) The question of what to do with the outcomes of the five workshops and the five workshops under Koronivia was not addressed.

The presentations and discussions barely scratched the surface of questions asked. These lingering concerns most likely will be addressed at the informal session on Wednesday.

Where Do We Grow From Here?

The historical first workshop on the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture (KJWA) took place on the second day of COP24. The discussion focused on the modalities for implementing the outcomes of the five in-session workshops on issues related to agriculture and other future topics that may arise from this work. There was more than what met the eye happening. The workshop revealed across-the-board concerns the parties had going forward.

kjwa24The decision, 4/CP.23, requests the SBSTA/SBI to jointly address issues related to agriculture, working with constituted bodies (CBs) under the Convention. Representatives of the CBs presented information on the following questions:

  1. What is the general mandate of the constituted body?
  2. How has the work of the constituted body contributed to Parties’ implementation of work on agriculture?
  3. How can the work of the constituted body help Parties to advance their work on agriculture?

The Adaptation Committee (AC) seeks to advance Parties’ work in agriculture by incorporating an agriculture lens into an upcoming technical paper on linkages between mitigation and adaptation. Additionally, the AC provides guidance to the Nairobi Work Programme on potential agriculture-related activities. Kenya proposed the questions “how do we see using Nairobi Work Programme to help agriculture or what can we do differently? Make it useful? To receive knowledge?” Kenya continuing, “what can we do as parties and the KJWA that can advance agriculture? How do we implement the outcomes of the five workshops? How can we help you?”

The Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG) are working on supplemental guidelines based on water, gender, agriculture, etc. Their percentage distribution of NAPA projects = 21% agriculture and food security. The European Union (EU) asked the question “how do you see the contents of 5 workshops useful to your work?” Uganda, looking at the key elements identified by the workshops, sought answers to “how can we increase the access of knowledge for farmers from the five workshops?” “How can we improve connectivity?”

The Standing Committee on Finance (SCF) has improved the coherence and coordination of climate change finance delivery. In SCF forums, agriculture has been addressed as well as forestry. “From the presentation, looking at the investment, how do you see the committee engaged in KJWA?” Kenya asked. Further, Uruguay inquired, “the reduction of emissions should be considered in agriculture, so how can we ensure that emission reduction is not an obstacle for implementation?”

The Climate Technology Centre and Network Advisory Board (CTCN) discussed how the CTCN can support a country’s agricultural systems by enhancing agricultural and rural development. CTCN can identify appropriate technology-neutral approaches that make agriculture more resilient. In response, Kenya explains “you are aware of the five topics and the last two require technology development and transfer under Koronivia. Has the CTCN considered the outcomes and topics under KJWA? What can parties do? How do we send a message to you to incorporate the topics discussed here?”

Climate-AgricultureConcerns going forward are apparent and have only minorly been addressed. The only known going forward is the procedure.  The Koronivia workshop will be meeting again on Wednesday.



Adaptation and GCF at the Koronivia Workshop

Today was our delegation’s first day at COP24 in Katowice, Poland. The experience was a whirlwind. We all were figuring out where to go for meetings, identifying who was speaking for each Party, and how to best soak in all the activities of COP. We attended sessions in our area of expertise, and sometimes those sessions overlapped areas of expertise. The Koronivia Workshop was such a program with an overlap between adaptation and agriculture.

The Koronivia workshop was split into sessions: morning and afternoon. Both sessions included adaption and financing discussions. Presenters offered a PowerPoint about projects in their respective countries. The agenda can be found here.

At the end of the afternoon session, countries and NGOs were able to contribute to an open discussion. The Co-Facilitators opened the floor to discuss three questions about the constituted bodies (CBs), useful modalities to implement outcomes from the workshops, and future topics that may arise from the outcomes. Suggestions from the countries were helpful and constructive, but there was no decision made on how to proceed. Check the blog tomorrow for more specific answers given to the above questions from our ag expert, Liz.

One concerning question was raised about the role of the GCF. A GCF representative was present; however, GCF did not give a formal presentation because the workshop was focused on Parties and CBs. The GCF is not a CB, so its role in Koronivia is not mandatory. But the GCF representative stated that many projects currently funded by the GCF are agriculture focused and expressed that the GCF will continue to fund similar programs. GCF addressed concerns about their funding process. GCF guided all Parties to provide more information about their projects to develop tailor-made funding efforts. GCF can, and will, support climate resilient agriculture. Each country needs to request to funding in order for funds to be dispersed to their project.

The workshop concluded with the announcement that there will be an informal consultation on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, at noon to discuss some issues that were not addressed during this workshop. For information on the first session, and an overview of the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture, please see this blog post.

Adaptation and Animals

National Adaptation Plans, or NAPs, were established at the 17th conference of the parties to help enable countries to assess their vulnerabilities, assess climate change risks, and address adaptation (Decision 5/CP.17) “The agreed objective of the NAP planning process are: (a) to reduce vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, by building adaptive capacity and resilience; (b) to facilitate the integration of climate change adaptation, in a coherent manner, into relevant new and existing policies, programmes and activities, in particular development planning process and strategies, within all relevant sectors and at different levels, as appropriate.” (Decision 5/CP.17, paragraph 1)

These plans are intended to aid countries for medium and long-term planning. The plans are intended to be used by countries to advance current country plans, consolidate adaptation activities, ensure learning in planning and implementation, identify climate change risks, and create confidence in the agencies implementing these plans. There are four main elements of NAPs: (1) lay groundwork and address gaps, (2) preparatory elements, (3) implementation strategies, (4) reporting, monitoring and review. (Annex to Decision 5/CP.17)


Laying the groundwork involves initiating the NAP process by assessing overall goals of the country and what strategy the country should take. This includes stock-taking (identifying possible and probable impacts to the country from climate change and any vulnerabilities) and assessing institutional and technical capacity gaps the country may have that would inhibit their implementation of their NAP.

The preparatory stage looks at models and scenarios of possible affects climate change could have on the country. For example, the country looks at current weather patterns and observed data collected by scientists to analyze and predict what might happen in the future. This process helps to assess any vulnerabilities that the country may have and create plans locally and nationally. This is also the stage where costs and benefits are analyzed for each of the possible plans, as well as how to prioritize, how inputs of stakeholders will be incorporated, and how information about the NAPs will be communicated and disseminated. Finally, integration takes place; integrating the NAP into the ongoing development process, looking at opportunities that can be generated through the integration, and facilitating the process.

Implementation strategies prioritize climate change adaption in national planning, develop long-term NAP implementation strategies, enhances capacity for planning and implementation, and promoting coordination at the local and multilateral level. The final stage – reporting, monitoring, and review – is just that.

At a side event this afternoon, I learned Bangladesh is currently working on a NAP which looks at health security, disaster management practices, infrastructure, knowledge/management/research, and institutional impact. Bangladesh is currently experiencing storm surges, and flooding (which impacts crops and food security), out-migration, fog and hail,  and a changing ecosystem. Malawi is also seeking to implement a NAP based on their vulnerability, which includes road flooding. Some challenges Malawi faces are insufficient policy, institutional and legal framework, problems up-scaling, issues with insufficient capacity building and training programs, low skills and know-how among the general public, and low public awareness.

You may have noticed, as I did, that biodiversity and wildlife are not directly considered under NAPsMiddle_Patuxent_report_cover. While it is true that many species would probably indirectly benefit from NAPs, their survival and the maintenance of their habitats is not part of the guidelines. Wildlife organizations, such as the National Wildlife Federation, have taken it upon themselves to create plans and guidelines (like the UN for NAPs) for helping wildlife and habitat conservation. These guidelines assess wildlife and habitat vulnerabilities and provides strategies for dealing with climate change. To help protect and conserve biodiversity, NAPs should include guidelines and assessments for wildlife adaptation plans.

Why should people care about conserving biodiversity? Aren’t the people of the countries implementing NAPs more important than the animals? No. Wildlife is just as important and, in fact, countries depend on biodiversity. For most people, biodiversity provides various sources of food, clothing, shelter, and medicine.* Other benefits include the contribution of animals to the food web by the transferring energy and nutrients and the fact that many species that help with decay and regeneration of plants and forests.* These reasons make terrestrial ecosystems dependent on a high diversity of organisms for the functioning of the ecosystem to be efficient.*

It is essential that adaptation include biodiversity. All species must be considered when implementing adaptation plans for the coming effects of climate change. Animals did not create this problem, but they are being effected in the same way, or worse, than people. They deserve to be protected and considered in NAPs.

*Ruth Patirck, Biodiversity: Why Is It Important?, in Biodiversity II 15, 15-17 (Marjorie L. Reaka-Kudla, Don E. Wilson & E.O. Wilson eds., 1997).

**Much of the information gathered for this report was from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s “The National Adaptation Plan Process: A Brief Overview” put together by the LDC Expert Group, December 2012.