Young people discussed about the contradictions of the United Nation’s initiative Smart Agriculture, that was the main theme on the workshop “Climate change and agriculture” held at the COY10, the Conference of the Youth in preparation for the COP20.
By Milena Rettondini and Alice Tomaselli
But, what are we talking about here? According to FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organization, alimentary security and climate change mitigation are two challenges that need to be faced together. In order to guarantee the achievement of these objectives it is necessary to increment agricultural production sustainably.
For this reason, last September it was decided the creation of the Global Alliance for Climate-smart Agriculture (CSA). It is an alliance of voluntary adhesion with the objective of helping those working in the field of agriculture, from farmers to ministries, mainly through the modification of culture techniques and the implementation of public policies. The alliance presents numerous contradictory aspects as reported by civil society.
The definition of “climate-smart agriculture” is still unclear. In fact, is this reality what is in a first place contributing to the planet’s deterioration, such as intensive agriculture, deforestation or the use of fertilizers in which the label states they are the best “climate-smart” solution to agriculture. Another main concern is the guarantee of diverse participation.
The alliance is in fact open to people from any reality and any level of development, leaving a very high risk for disparity between small farmers struggling to make their voices heard and major food companies and industrial agriculture casting a shadow upon them. Actually it seems more likely that this platform will benefit the last. Giving more power to those actually responsible for the problems at stake just seems incoherent.
The conclusion reached by the youth participating in the workshop is that the Global Alliance for Climate-smart Agriculture is at risk of becoming an instrument to reinforce that which in fact should be stopped: sustaining an agriculture that has very little of “smart”.