As part of the side events held in the EUROCLIMA+ Pavilion at the COP25 on climate change, on December 12, 2019, this regional programme

for Latin America organised a high-level conference to address the challenge of maintaining land productivity in order to ensure food security in facing the effects of climate change.

The activity, called “Latin American responses to climate change for resilient food production”, aimed at sharing the experiences of three projects supported by EUROCLIMA+ to promote resilient food production; highlighted how these projects are considering the recommendations of the latest special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “Climate Change and the Earth”. The document points out that land is a resource that is subject to growing human pressure and that reducing greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors of society, including the food sector, is the only way to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

The event was opened by Felice Zaccheo, Head of the European Union’s Regional Programmes Unit for Latin America, who pointed out that the new President of the European Commission since December 1st, Ursula von der Leyen, has put climate change as one of the priorities in the coming years, and an example of this is her presence at the inauguration of COP25 on December 2 (her second day of work), as well as the launch on December 10 of the European Green Pact, an ambitious package of measures that should enable European businesses and citizens to benefit from a sustainable ecological transition that will make the European Union the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.

Also accompanying Zaccheo at the opening were Marlon Escoto, Presidential Delegate, Presidential Office of Climate Change of Honduras and Focal Point of EUROCLIMA+ in that country; Vera Scholz, Director of the Climate Change, Environment and Infrastructure Division of GIZ; and Jérémie Pellet, General Director of Expertise France.

Escoto indicated that the initiatives of EUROCLIMA+ “become experimental and learning spaces to later promote broad-scope public policy on each issue”. For her part, the GIZ representative said that “in the climate negotiations and at many COPs we discuss energy, forests and drought, but not agriculture and food production. It is an excellent idea to make food production more resilient. We can promote low-emission livestock production; we can promote resilient food production and we can also improve incomes and work on mitigating inequalities in Latin America,” she stressed.

Meanwhile, the Director of Expertise France said that “increasing the sustainability of food production is the only way to reconcile ecosystem protection with climate change and that is why EUROCLIMA+ is focusing on this issue in Latin America, following the indications of the IPCC report”.

Iris Barth, Technical Advisor of the Project “Resilient food production in family farming horticulture-livestock systems in climate-vulnerable regions of Argentina and Colombia”, of the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) of Argentina, explained that they are making use of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guide “Integrating climate change adaptation into development cooperation”, modified by GIZ for participatory planning processes, in conducting participatory workshops with beneficiary families to jointly identify the impacts of climate change on family farming.

For his part, Martin Morales, Coordinator of the project “Promoting the heritage of our ancestors: Resilient production, commercialisation and consumption of cañahua and tarwi”, for SWISSCONTACT, Bolivia, pointed out that they are combining best agricultural practices with ancestral knowledge to produce resilience beyond just the sustainable use of the soil.

Finally, Douglas Benavidez, Coordinator of the Project “Climate-Smart Family Farming with an Integrated Watershed Management Approach for Resilient Food Production in Central America”, of the Dutch Service for Development Cooperation (SNV) in Honduras, reported that they are promoting an inclusive rural green financing scheme to accompany producers with climate financing that is currently difficult to access. He also said he was convinced that the watershed should be the management unit for the management of natural resources and production systems, since adequate water governance provides a favourable enabling space for resilient food production.

The event closed with the message “We know enough about climate change. It is time to act.”  

The event was broadcast via Facebook Live.

About EUROCLIMA+

EUROCLIMA+ is a programme financed by the European Union to promote environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient development in 18 countries in Latin America, particularly for the benefit of the most vulnerable populations. The Programme is implemented under the synergistic work of seven agencies: the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), French Development Agency (AFD), Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Expertise France (EF), International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP), the German society for international cooperation (GIZ), and UN Environment.

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