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Current COP26 draft falling short and putting farmers at risk: RFA

Rainforest Alliance COP26

Rainforest Alliance experts are attending The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP26 climate summit that took place in Glasgow, Scotland from 31 October to 12 November, presenting critical initiatives to raise the importance of nature-based solutions and climate-smart practices.

Eliminating deforestation from commodity supply chains and building climate resilience for farming and forest communities are among these solutions.

But according to Rainforest Alliance, which had experts attend the event, COP26 and the current draft agreement will not be enough to help farmers and workers in regions hardest hit by climate change.

Fairtrade’s Head of Delegation at COP, Mary Kinyua, who is a flower producer from Kenya and Fairtrade International’s representative to the COP26 President’s Civil Society and Youth Council, says a clear plan needs to be made to give farmers a fighting chance of averting climate catastrophe.

“While it contains some elements of progress, the current draft of the COP26 negotiation outcome, which we’ve seen today, suffers from an overwhelming lack of commitment. Right now, commitments from governments remain far short of what scientists say is needed to keep warming below dangerous levels,” she says.

The Coalition on Preventing Pandemics at the Source, a group of leading global environmental, public health and human rights organisations and experts, is also urging governments to commit US$10 billion per year for pandemic prevention at the source.

Pandemic prevention actions such as reducing deforestation also help to combat climate change whilst saving lives from infections. These actions would cost far less than one percent of the cost of fighting COVID-19 alone.

Conventional agriculture accounts for 24 per cent of human-made greenhouse gas emissions and 75 per cent of tropical forest deforestation. Moving to a nature-positive production system which includes climate-smart approaches will go a long way to address these challenges.

“We must cut emissions in half by 2030, according to the scientists who produced the latest IPCC report, if we are to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change. There is no more time to waste. The time to act is now,” says Abdul-Razak Saeed, Climate Change Lead at the Rainforest Alliance.

The Rainforest Alliance works with millions of farmers and with forest communities all over the world to promote sustainable and climate-smart practices and improve livelihoods—both of which are critical to building farm and farmer resilience, stopping deforestation, and increasing biodiversity.

For more information, visit the Rainforest Alliance website.

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