Three-year Sharm-El Sheikh Support Programme designed to ‘unlock’ financing and other means of support for farmers and small agri-businesses
Food systems comprise one-third of global anthropogenic emissions, and close to 20% of the global food supply chain is in Asia, making it a critical region for climate-smart agricultural investments. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Boston Consulting Group to encourage regenerative practices across the global agricultural supply chain. These initiatives and investments represent a long overdue step towards ‘greening’ food systems. Food security is extremely susceptible to the changing climate, and any effort to address the climate crisis must address the destructive impacts of global food systems.
The United Arab Emirates’s COP28 presidency, in partnership with the FAO, World Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the global partnership of international organizations, Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research, recently announced the three-year Sharm-El Sheikh Support Programme designed to ‘unlock’ financing and other means of support for farmers and small agri-businesses.
Nearly 159 parties signed the UAE Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action. The signatories are responsible for 77% of global food production. While the declaration is not legally binding, it sends a strong signal by moving agriculture up the global climate agenda, a critical component previously lacking.
At least C$9.5 billion was mobilized during COP28 for food-system-related climate action. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) also released its three-year roadmap to sustainable agriculture during the recent conference.
In addition, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) in Dubai, food systems featured prominently discussed for the first time, with more than 130 countries making multiple commitments to integrate this overlooked sector into their climate action plans.
Aside from state-level initiatives, the multistakeholder-led Action Agenda on Regenerative Landscapes was also launched by the COP28 presidency earlier in Dec 2023. The FAO’s first phase is a global roadmap, and the subsequent two phases, to be released at COPs 29 and 30 (happening in 2024 and 2025) will focus on regional and country-level plans to transform global agri-food systems.