UN desertification chief anger at lack of progress in Doha

The postponement of a decision on agriculture and climate change at the UN climate talks in Doha is a mistake nations will live to regret, UN desertification chief Luc Gnacadja has told RTCC.

Reports emerged over the weekend that negotiations focusing on agriculture had been deferred until next year’s summit, COP19 – it is unclear exactly what issues proved intractable.

The USA’s Environmental Protection Agency estimate agriculture contributes 14% to global emissions, while farmlands are also expected to be severely affected by drought and flooding as a result of climate change.

Speaking to RTCC, Gnacadja said reports that the next high-level opportunity to discuss desertification and climate change would be in 12 months time had left him deeply disappointed.

“The prospects are not encouraging when I heard that agriculture, which is one part of land use, is pushed to COP19,” he said. “My question is what else do they need to know to take agriculture on board. Do they mean we can still afford to take more time?

“When you consider that if you talk about pro-poor adaptation which is also about food security issues, then it is also about agriculture. If you talk about poverty in the nexus of climate change it is also about agriculture.

“If you talk about the potential for mitigation, agriculture comes second. And if you talk about Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) agriculture comes number one.”


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