Finland is the first country to contribute to a $60 million FAO programme to support climate change mitigation in agriculture in developing countries.
The multi-donor programme aims to promote sustainable low-emission agriculture in developing countries over the coming five years, in partnership with countries and other relevant organisations.
Finland will provide an initial support of around $3.9 million for the period of 2010-2011, FAO announced in the context of the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. FAO will approach other donors for further funding.
Agriculture is a key source of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, accounting for 14%. But the sector also has a high potential to reduce greenhouse gases by removing CO2 from the atmosphere and sequestering it in soils and plants and by reducing its own emissions.
The Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs underlined that the effects of climate change on agricultural production and on the rural population are becoming increasingly evident, especially in the developing countries. Rural development, food security and climate change are all top priorities of Finland's Development Policy. This new programme is able to integrate all the relevant dimensions in a sustainable way, giving every country the needed capabilities to develop their agricultureal sector, increase their food security and mitigate climate change at the same time.
In order to address key drivers of carbon emissions, there is a need need to focus on the agriculture-forests interface to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation as well as agriculture in a mutually supportive way. The decision of the Finnish contribution was made by Dr Paavo Vayrynen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development of Finland.
The programme will create a global database on current and projected GHG emissions in land and agriculture for the most important agricultural commodities, countries and regions. There are currently no data on GHG emissions from individual agricultural commodities by country or by region available.
Source: FAO – Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations