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3rd Global Science Conference on Climate-Smart Agriculture, March 2015. © INRA, MAITRE  Christophe

Climate change: COP21, research to find solutions

3rd Global Science Conference on Climate-Smart Agriculture

The 3rd global science conference on climate-smart agriculture took place in Montpellier from 16 to 18 March 2015. The conference provided an opportunity to draw up an agenda for future research, inform policy-makers and present ideas for future courses of action. The conference could be followed at @Inra_France and @Inra_Intl, #CSA15

Updated on 04/27/2015
Published on 03/13/2015

In advance of the 2015 Paris conference COP21 (21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), which will take place from 30 November to 11 December at the Paris-Le Bourget site, this was the first of two major international scientific events organised in France. The second, “Our Common Future under Climate Change”, will address all aspects of climate change and take place at UNESCO in Paris from 7 to 10 July 2015.

The conference on climate-smart agriculture opened on the morning of Monday, 16 March, in the presence of the heads of all organising research bodies, including François Houllier, president of INRA. The following people also participated: Anne-Marie Descôtes, Director General of General Affairs, Development and Partnerships and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development; Yves Pietrasanta on behalf of Damien Alary, President of the Languedoc Roussillon region; Isabelle Touzard on behalf of Philippe Saurel, mayor of Montpellier; and Mihail Dumitru, Director General for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission.

The second part of Monday morning’s plenary session, dedicated to the global aspects of climate change, was presided over by Jean-François Soussana, IPCC member and Scientific “Environment” Director at INRA. Over the following three days, several scientific workshops took place alongside one another.

A third plenary session was held the morning of Tuesday, March 17, dedicated to key issues of climate-smart agriculture and presided over by Jean-Luc Chotte, Director of the ECO&SOLS unit at  IRD. During this plenary session, Stéphane Le Foll, the French Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, announced that public subsidies will be available for an international research project on the restoration of degraded soils and soil carbon sequestration, a major option that can support the three pillars of CSA (adaptation, mitigation, food security).

Four other plenary sessions were held the afternoon of Wednesday, 18 March. The first two were dedicated to feedback from the scientific workshops, and the third to expectations of end-users and policy-makers. The fourth and last session culminated in a road map for climate-smart agriculture, in the presence of Laurence Tubiana, Ambassador and representative of the French government at COP21; Martin Bwalya, Director of Agriculture and Food Security at NEPAD and Co-president of the World Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture; Patrick Caron, Director General of Research and Strategy at CIRAD; Jean-Luc Chotte; and Jean-François Soussana.

As a conclusion to this conference, delegates also stressed that CSA solutions already exist and can be implemented provided there is a clear commitment from relevant stakeholders. Agricultural transition will act as one of the main levers for other sectors, because of its linkages with employment, energy, food, health, nutrition and environment.
Read all the conclusions on the press release >

Find out more: csa2015.cirad.fr/

Organised by: csa2015.cirad.fr/organizers_and_partners

Climate-smart agriculture

With world population expected to reach around 9 billion by 2050 and the effects of climate change already being felt, we are faced with three major challenges: food security, climate change adaptation, and climate change mitigation.

This three-fold challenge is at the heart of Climate-Smart Agriculture. This approach aims to encourage and support farmers, countries and other stakeholders in rolling out policies and other initiatives to:

  • sustainably increase agricultural productivity and incomes in order to reach national food security and development goals;
  • strengthen the resilience and adaptation of agriculture and food systems to climate change;
  • keep greenhouse gases in check and boost carbon uptake.