Dubai, COP28 Summit – The recent COP28 climate summit in Dubai marked a historic moment in the global effort to combat climate change, particularly in the realm of agriculture. With the first-ever global declaration aimed at curbing emissions from food production, the summit brought food systems transformation to the forefront of the climate agenda. This groundbreaking move aligns perfectly with the African Development Bank’s ambitious initiatives focused on food and climate.
The COP28 UAE Declaration: The COP28 UAE Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action has been signed by 134 countries, including 25 from Africa. This declaration is a comprehensive strategy to reduce global emissions while simultaneously protecting the livelihoods of farmers who are battling the frontline effects of climate change. Its objectives are in harmony with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the African Development Bank’s programs that aim to enhance food systems, build climate resilience, reduce emissions, and fight hunger globally.
Impact of the Dakar 2 Food Summit: The declaration is expected to amplify the outcomes of the Dakar 2 Food Summit, co-hosted by the Bank in Senegal earlier this year. The summit witnessed significant commitments from African Heads of State, ministers, and leaders of development organizations. They endorsed Country Food and Agriculture Delivery Compacts, aiming to increase production of key agricultural staples through supportive policies and innovative financing. The Bank pledged $10 billion over five years, contributing to the overall $70 billion committed by development partners.
TAAT Program and the Fight Against Hunger: The Bank’s Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) program is a crucial element in this initiative. Targeting to double the productivity of over 40 million smallholder farmers by 2025, TAAT is focused on distributing climate-smart seeds and other agricultural technologies. Already, it has benefited approximately 13 million farmers, directly supporting the declaration’s goals of combating hunger and climate change.
Africa Emergency Food Production Facility: In response to the food crisis triggered by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Bank launched a $1.5 billion program to aid 20 million smallholder farmers in 36 countries. This initiative is providing access to affordable certified seeds and fertilizer, anticipated to produce around 38 million metric tons of food, valued at $12 billion.
Sustainable Agriculture and Resilient Food Systems: The African Development Bank’s commitment doesn’t end here. With an investment of $850 million since 2017, the Bank has been supporting regional programs to build the resilience of 14 million smallholder farmers across various African regions. These efforts are in line with the COP28 UAE Declaration’s objectives, reinforcing the emphasis on sustainable resource management and climate risk management tools.
Conclusion: The alignment of the African Development Bank’s initiatives with the COP28 declaration is a significant stride towards sustainable agriculture and robust climate action. It represents a coordinated global and regional effort to address the dual challenges of food security and climate change, setting a precedent for future collaborations and initiatives.