Facing the climate crisis: looking for resilience – increasing welfare

Facing the climate crisis: looking for resilience – increasing welfare


Farming means living with weather patterns, adjusting your actions and trusting your knowledge, legacy and traditions. Smallholder farmers and forest owners in developing countries, are among the most vulnerable people to climate change because of poverty, marginalization and reliance on natural resources. 113 million people face food insecurity due to climate shocks experiencing acute hunger and requiring urgent food, nutrition and livelihoods assistance. I think farmers around the world, they are in a key position in combating climate change. As we all know, we need urgent climate action and these are the masses of people that haven’t yet been engaged fully in the climate action. We can reach the farmers, and they are the ones who decide, how they use the natural resources in their work. They decide if they want to fell the forest, or if they want to keep it. They decide how to use water. They decide how to use the soil, and improve the fertility of soil. That is the level where the activities are needed. Smallholder farmers must feed a growing population, while overcoming known and unknown negative impacts of climate change. Smallholders are key actors in achieving food security. Lack of production at the farm level, heavy rains, flooded fields Them [farmers] perceive that the temperatures raise and that rain has increased in reference to past years. After heavy rains, we can find several problems. For example, lack of production . The lack of production can cause an hunger in the community, and increase health issues in the communities, such as malaria and cholera among others. Women play a vital role in food production. The situation for women in Ethiopia is that most of the women are still living in the countryside around 80% of the population. Women are often resonsible for gathering and producing food, collecting wood, and source fuel for heating and cooking with the climate change these tasks are becoming more difficult. Therefore, inclusion of women is crucial. It is important to develop women skills and knowledge, and increase their participation and power in decision-making. These will ensure equal benefits and access to resources for men and women alike. This is the only successful way for a community to adapt to climate change. Climate change adds to the uncertainties in food production and poses a threat to global food security. We need to build resilience and assist farmers to live through extreme weather conditions and adversaries. In 2018 climate and natural disasters pushed additional 29 million people into food insecurity, mostly in Africa. To achieve a more resilient food system I think it is important that we have a systemic approach, so we do not try to solve one problem here and another there but we look at the whole system. and we try to identify the major bottlenecks. That is the only way how we don’t create other problems when we try to solve one problem. Smallholders are key actors in natural resources management. They play a crucial role in managing global greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sinks and in creating and maintaining resilient ecosystems. In the poor countries, the farmers are smallholders, most of them, they manage a very small piece of land It can be something from half a hectare to three hectares. and they may have many needs: food security related needs, livelihood related needs so they do their decisions based on their needs. And based on their traditional knowledge they are able to manage their natural resources. However, in the changing context, for example: climate change or market prices. They may also adopt new practices they don’t have information how to manage sustainably. For instance, if farmers have good and high productivity soils. For the agricultural production these soils contain a lot of carbon already. So increasing carbon content or organic material in the agricultural soils, is sequestering carbon and helping them to produce. Another way is adding trees to the landscape, so we should somehow promote the land rights to the people so they can really invest in agricultural production and in planting trees. In our perspective forest is land cover and adaptation to climate change which benefits the country. As a household planting teff, corn, wheat it costs a lot of money and labour. and you may not get enough result. You can even be a loss maker. Once you plant a tree it has a long-term positive impact and you can transfer it to your grandchildren like in Finland. 2.4 billion people depends on wood and charcoal as their domestic energy source The demand for these, exceeds the supply in several countries already which is endangering natural forests. So we have to pay attention to the energy systems in Africa and the other one is of course expansion of agriculture both commercial and the subsistence so we have to make sure that our agricultural productivity is high so that we don’t need to take new lands from forests for agricultural production. Increasing resilience means increasing productivity and diversity which increase farmers possibilities for adaptation. Farmers’ resilience towards climate change depends solely on: their access and proper utilization of information, technology, resources and support services or support institutions. So farmers organizations like TAHA (Tanzania Horticultural Association) have a critical role to play in this agenda. By guiding our farmers to access better technologies and information but also farmers’ organizations in Africa may act as a buffer in creating resiliency towards climate change Climate resilience requires different actions in different regions on sustainable use of natural resources and income generating opportunities. It’s important to deal both with the poverty and then work with the climate action. The last IPCC report said that Without reducing poverty there is no hope of combating the climate change. So we need just and fair economic growth in those areas. The farmers need to have income. and then they can do something in order to adapt or to even mitigate the climate change. Andasa Agriculture Research institute together with AgriCord’s [FFD] project, are improving the quality of the tree seeds and harvesting time has reduced from 6 to 4 years. AgriCord has done a great job. In addition, we combine forestry, and honey production. As we combine forestry, honey is harvested from beehives on the trees. Resulting in an increase in honey production. This improves our resilience to climate change and helps the rain to come on time. Forest development means better results than only crops. In our country [Ethiopia], it provides better income. The training teaches improvement of forestry, how to combine trees and crops, and how honey and trees are related. It helps farmers out of poverty and all these results are thanks to FFD. There is an interdependency between poverty and vulnerability Reducing poverty contributes for climate actions. diversification of species, species in a certain matching use of sustainable harvesting processes are some of the forest management activities that contribute to climate actions. Extreme weather conditions, as led to our current pests and diseases ,which we are not experienced in the past, Change in activity calendar and our current forests fires due to increase temperatures. There are a number of climate-smart practices, and technologies that are applied now in developing countries like in Tanzania. One of them includes use of water efficient technologies such as drip irrigation, mulching to prevent loss of water but also the use of high quality seeds or high quality inputs such as seeds, seedlings, fertilizers, biological control agents and other kind of technologies. So we do make sure that these technologies are available to farmers but they are also accessible and they are properly utilized by our farmers. So what prevents farmers from accessing or make better use of these technologies? One of them is purchasing power, and another ones is: actually some of these technologies are not available in our countries. So it is the role of private sector organizations, and the role of the government just to make sure that the right technology is available in the market for use by our farmers. One of the reasons why some programs have failed in promoting climate-smart agriculture is that they have not paid enough attention to the barriers to adaptation. It is very difficult sometimes for farmers to adopt new practices unless they are sure that also these new practices will ensure their food security and will generate some income, and will maintain their livelihoods So the farmers they need enough information, they need to see that these practices really work and only then they can take the risk and adopt these new practices So I would say that more attention is needed to understanding these barriers to adoption of these practices. Oh well, in my opinion Vietnamese government is still lacking of sufficient guidelines, and the forest governance as the land tenure sometimes is not really clear, the forest quality is quite low due to the limited technical capacity, also lack of investment and additionally, sometimes regional character risks also cause some problems. For example in central Vietnam, when the typhoon comes every year, and becomes very severe every fifth year longer rotations may impose higher risks of loss for smallholder foresters. FFD strengthens the governance of farmers organizations and their advocacy work aiming at smallholders inclusion in decision-making and setting the climate agenda. This work requires considerable technical knowledge and data collection. FFD has really helped TAHA to understand the climate change, the climate smart, the climate change agenda In relation to horticulture development in our country FFD has empowered us technically, but also with resources to drive the agenda on the ground. And it is through this collaboration that TAHA has been able to really drive it at the national level. South-South-North cooperation mechanisms and knowledge transfer are a vital part of fighting climate change Nevertheless, only 5% of the climate related funding, trickles down to farmers organizations hence limiting actions and impact. However, there is a lot of benefits both in developing world and developed world as a results of this kind of cooperation. we call it a win-win partnership. So Finland may offer as a sustainable but also profitable market to our farmers in Africa. But again, Tanzania or developing countries may become as a major consumer of technologies and knowledge from Finland. Development cooperation is critical for climate change because we need to reach out for those countries that are suffering from climate change that need to adapt that have to many storms, droughts or flooding. At the same time, they are the people who can make the change. It is important at the same time to reduce poverty and to help farmers to live with climate change.

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