Mitigation and adaptation go hand in hand
Parties attending the 20th UN Conference of Parties on Climate Change in Peru (Lima COP 20) have been asked to think about climate change mitigation and adaptation together.
At a COP 20 side event organised by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Dr Lalisa Duguma, post-doctoral fellow at ICRAF, pointed out that it has become confusing that climate adaptation projects are mostly handled by ministries of agriculture, while mitigation projects usually fall under ministries of environment.
“A smallholder farmer from Malawi told me there was no way a farmer could say ‘I adapt today, and I mitigate tomorrow,’” he told the side event. “It is all in one package.”
Dr Duguma said that separating mitigation from adaptation was inefficient, inadequate, and creates competition for resources. “It leads to separate policy streams since it has to be handled by different ministries, under separate financing schemes,” he said.
The scientist told delegations that there was need to build synergies by identifying key practices, understanding the process, while at the same time addressing the tradeoffs. For this to happen though, supportive policies and empowerment of implementing institutions are needed.
Duguma said indicators for the holistic implementation of mitigation and adaptation actions are generally still very weak in many countries, and therefore there is need for efforts to be placed there.
“We are not saying the synergy approach should replace the existing mitigation and adaptation framing, but rather arguing for making use of the existing synergistic opportunities to make climate change policies effective and efficient,” he said.
By Isaiah Esipisu
The World Agroforestry Centre at the COP20: http://worldagroforestry.org/cop20