Ministers, secretaries and senior officials of the ministries of Agriculture of 30 countries of the Americas; as well as representatives of multilateral credit agencies and global climate funds will meet this week in Costa Rica to discuss the strategic role of the region’s agriculture sector in addressing climate change, ahead of the upcoming Conference of the Parties (COP27) in November.
The meeting, which will take place on September 22 and 23 in San Jose, will be entitled “Challenges for agriculture in the Americas to address the climate crisis”.
Organized by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the ministerial meeting will serve as a regional coordination forum in preparation for COP27, in which the 197 countries that are signatories to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will participate and in which agriculture will play a leading role.
At the meeting in Costa Rica, the agricultural authorities of the Americas, representatives of multilateral credit agencies and IICA will seek to identify priority areas for climate action. In doing so, they will take into account the unique role of regional agriculture in leading global efforts in this area, as well as potential benefits with respect to food and nutritional security, poverty reduction, sustainability, and water conservation and management, among others.
The meeting will be opened by 2020 World Food Prize winner Rattan Lal, IICA’s Special Envoy to COP 27 and the world’s leading authority on soil science; Manuel Otero, Director General of IICA; and Costa Rican government authorities.
In addition to the ministers and secretaries, the Vice President of the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), Christian Asinelli, and a representative of the government of Egypt, the host country of COP 27, will also be in attendance.
Ministerial discussions will focus on the challenges and opportunities for regional agriculture within the current context. The Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), in turn, will present their multilateral financial perspectives. Participants will also discuss how the financial mechanisms of the UNFCCC relate to agriculture, as well as review their objectives.
The meeting “Challenges for agriculture in the Americas to address the climate crisis” was convened as a follow-up to a decision by the Ministers and Secretaries of Agriculture of the Americas, who, last May, identified the need to raise the profile of the agriculture sector in global discussions on climate change, and instructed IICA to coordinate this process.
They also requested that IICA prepare messages to be presented in the lead-up to COP27, based on the regional consensus reached in preparation for the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit.
On that occasion, the continent presented a unified position—developed through an extensive debate process coordinated by IICA—which underscored the idea that agricultural producers and other food systems workers are an essential and central link in the food system, and that, without agricultural production, there would be no raw material to transform into food.