United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Experts & Policymakers Re-Imagine African Agriculture in Face of Climate Change

65% of Africa`s Land Affected by Degradation; New Approach Essential

Nairobi -- Over 1,200 experts, policy makers and participants today adopted the Nairobi Action Agenda on Ecosystem based Adaptation for food security and formed the Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security Assembly (EBAFOSA), which re-imagines a system of agriculture for the continent that would be beneficial both economically and environmentally.

The formation of EBAFOSA and the adoption of its constitution come as land degradation affects nearly 65 percent of Africa's land, with some 6 million hectares of productive land lost each year. Part of the Nairobi Action Agenda, the assembly is a result of the 'Africa Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security (EBAFOSC): Re-imagining Africa Food Security Now and into the Future under a Changing Climate' conference, the second of its kind.

As the world gears up for the Climate Change conference and the adoption of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) later this year, a new approach is urgently needed to build an inclusive food system that is robust enough to create jobs and wealth for all in Africa, including the youth. Ecosystem‐based adaptation (EbA) provides flexible, cost-effective, and broadly applicable alternatives for building robust food systems on fewer inputs while reducing the impacts of climate change.

The participants at the conference converted existing lessons and experiences into common solutions for food security and climate change adaptation on the continent, their objectives being to determine how to protect and restore Africa's ecosystems, achieve food security, identify scalable inclusive business and finance models, put in place policies that incentivize public and private investment in EbA and increase the likelihood of increased investment from oil earnings back into the Earth's ecosystems, which underpin the entire food security system.

The adoption of the Nairobi Action Agenda reflects the importance of the issues on a continent where food imports exceed food exports by 30 percent and the agricultural sector uses over 60 percent of Africa's labour force.

The EBAFOSA replaces the Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security Conference (EBAFOSC) to become the continental body dialoguing and working with the African Union and other partners to help drive the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) agenda in line with the Malabo Declaration as well as the proposed SDGs and Agenda 2063.

Delegates from the UN, regional economic communities, non-governmental organizations, Civil Societies, researchers, the private sector and others including UNEP, FAO, AfDB, AFRA, FARA, ACTS, Greenpeace, ActionAid, Global Environmental Facility, Equity Bank and many other partners discussed multiple topics including how 'Green Revolution' technologies can be made more EbA-friendly, how to build resilience under a changing climate, how to use examples from other southern countries, avert post-harvest loss, use EbA policy to shape the implementation of international agendas, subsidy reform, land tenure and tax incentives as well as how to harness EbA-driven agriculture to stimulate job creation, growth, and value additional partnership in Africa.

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