Climate Change Stakeholders Across the Globe Elevate Role of Ag and Forestry in Stemming Climate Change December 24th, 2009 Goto comments Leave a comment While debate continues over just what was accomplished at the international climate change talks this month, one development that cannot be underemphasized is the significant progress made in positioning agriculture and forestry to deliver near-term and cost-effective energy and climate change solutions. The global agricultural and forestry communities united in Copenhagen behind a core message that the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the sequestration of carbon by farmers, ranchers and forestland owners are essential components of any strategy to address climate change. This critical recognition on the world stage generates momentum that must be maintained by policy makers for the agriculture and forestry sectors to reduce emissions, while increasing productivity and sustainability. In a joint statement issued at a major side event staged by agriculture organizations from around the world, it was recognized that agriculture must nearly double food production to meet the demands of a growing population expected to reach 9 billion by mid-century, all while minimizing and countering GHG emissions. Meanwhile, forestry interests in Copenhagen committed themselves to helping design and implement new mechanisms to curb deforestation and mobilize forests for climate mitigation and adaptation. The production and use of emission-lowering biofuels and bio-power; the sequestration of carbon through soil and forest management practices; and the capture and conversion of methane into energy on livestock operations are among the solutions in use, and being improved upon, by food and tree production operations to meet the climate challenge. However, agriculture and forestry leaders around the world share the belief, as does 25x’25, that additional policy initiatives, and substantial financing and investment, will be needed across the entire value chain to further advance these solutions. Unfortunately, while forest- and agriculture-based adaptation strategies are available, they are not yet fully appreciated by policy makers and the general public. Nonetheless, global agriculture and forest interests in Copenhagen pledged to continue their pro-active role in developing mechanisms that reduce emissions and increase productive capacity through the development and deployment of sustainable practices. A key message that emerged from Copenhagen is that agriculture and forestry are where poverty reduction, food security and climate change come together and must be addressed in an integrated fashion. Global climate negotiators should embrace this reality and construct a policy framework and plan of action to capitalize on win-win-win solutions farms, ranches and forests can provide.