Sustainable agriculture

Climate change and sustainable agriculture

Dr Roger Leakey our UNA Edinburgh International Development Working Group member has been asked to present a paper to the influential United Nations Trade and Development Review report of 2011 (UNCTAD).  We will shortly publish Roger’s paper when released by the UN.

Much of Roger’s thinking and revelations on agroforestry and the implementation of more effective management of farming which delivers better crop yield in Developing Countries is now well recognised and better understood by our UNA Edinburgh Working Group members and the serious challenge before us now is to seek ways to better acquaint our fellow citizens and our
political representatives of these startling facts and solutions.

It is interesting to note that UNCTAD’s compelling report will highlight some startling facts, including the following attention
grabbers;

Global warming is likely to reach 3-5 degrees before the end of the century, which will have devastating implications, in particular for agriculture.

  • Green House Gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture, associated land-use changes, erosion of soil and soil loss, the production of agricultural inputs and machinery and from the agri-food chain, when taken together, are significantly higher than from any other sector, including from the key energy-intensive industrial sectors (i.e. iron & steel, cement, chemicals, non-ferrous metals) and even the global energy sector (i.e. generation of electricity, heat and other fuel combustion)
  • GHG emissions from agriculture and forestry are likely to increase by 40-60% in the next 2 decades, when actually a drop of a similar order of magnitude would be required.
  • Unless significant climate adaptation and mitigation measures are undertaken, food insecurity, massive migration into urban areas, but also from South to North as well as food riots and social unrest are the clear painting on the wall.

There is however the possibility of a solution!

  • Agriculture if properly and fundamentally transformed, can not only become climate neutral, but absorb more carbon than it emits in Green House Gases.

Watch this space for the forthcoming UNCTAD Review Report and Roger Leakey’s enlightening treatise.

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