ICRAF Statement to the UNFCCC COP21 High Level Session, Paris, December 2015

Here is the Statement from International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF) to the UNFCCC COP21 High Level Session, Paris, December 2015

Delivered on Tuesday, 8 December 2015, by ICRAF Director General Prof  Anthony Simons

We are pleased to be given the opportunity as the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF), one of the 15 CGIAR Centres, to share a few thoughts with you about climate change and agroforestry.

Making high-level statement at Paris COP21, 8 December 2015

Making high-level statement at Paris COP21, 8 December 2015

Firstly, on Behaviours – and here it is easy to point the finger at others. We now have 183 INDCs, Intended Nationally Determined Contributions from a bottom up country process. But at the real bottom are individual citizens. Here every person’s Unintended Personal Undetermined Totals or UPUTs – are not factored in. The message is clear: ‘you put’ your house in order at both country and individual levels. Of course that will only happen if going forward we all accept real carbon prices and values.

Secondly, on Accountability – which is easy to define but harder to apportion. We urge world leaders in the Paris agreement to go beyond just carbon accounting and include all forms of natural capital. Here the new Livelihoods Fund approach is a powerful example of combining new investment with climate smart actions.

Thirdly, is the issue of Vegetation. 400 million years ago the world was ten degrees hotter and CO2 concentrations where ten times those of today. It was vegetation that took carbon out of the atmosphere and cooled the planet. But in the past 200 years we are reversing that biological magic by cutting down forests and burning fossil fuels. Some countries, such as Indonesia, Ethiopia and Kenya are taking that link seriously by exploring new bio-energy options with trees.

Fourthly, we need to make agriculture more sustainable and include agriculture in future climate change priorities. Agroforestry is a kind of farming that integrates trees into agricultural landscapes thereby increasing food and nutritional security, reducing climate risks and storing carbon in soils and standing biomass. India has the most progressive National Agroforestry Policy in the world and the largest domestic financing for agroforestry. We urge other countries to emulate this by expanding agroforestry in their INDCs, NAMAs and NAPs using already available resources such as those in CTCN.

Lastly, we remain grateful to the EU, IFAD, private-sector and other partners who continue to value the role of research in helping to accelerate positive impacts that we all benefit from.

Visit ICRAF at www.worldagroforestry.org

See ICRAF’s participation at the Paris Climate Change Conference, COP 21, at: www.worldagroforestry.org/COP21

See more photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/icraf/albums/72157661908799136


Tony Simons

Tony Simons is the Director General of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). He has worked 27 years on issues at the tropical agriculture/forestry interface, within the private sector (Shell Forestry); academia (University of Oxford); official development assistance (ODA/DFID); and research (CGIAR). He holds degrees from Massey University and Cambridge University, and an Honorary Professorship in Tropical Forestry at the University of Copenhagen, and has published over 100 research papers. Tony is passionate about the transformative change that the private sector can bring to development.

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