Today was day 2 of the UNFCCC COP25 conference. I got to start the day off with my first experience at a negotiations meeting. This meeting was an informal consultation on local communities and the indigenous peoples platform. There were over ten different countries involved at the roundtable along with different indigenous tribes. The presentation and discussion were in regards to a work plan for Facilitative Working Group for Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples (FWG- LCIP), that was newly established last year at COP24. It was interesting to see so many countries involved and in support of indigenous communities given their past and current rights issues. If this work plan is approved by the end of the conference next week, it will be the first work plan for the FWG-LCIP!
After the negotiations I ran over to catch a side event that caught my eye, as it pertained to my interest of agriculture and food security. There was a great panel, but since I came in a little late I only caught the second half. However, I’m glad I did. This panel discussed the issues the agricultural industries are facing with their immense contribution to emissions, pollution and land degradation, in the face of a rising population. I can talk all day on this topic, but the greatest contribution this event gave to me was a perspective from the farmers. Dr. Theo de Jager was on the panel as the President of the World Farmers Organization (WFO). He discussed the truth that current agriculture and food systems are a large contributor to climate change, BUT that also means they can be a large solution. The potential in altering the food systems are immense from green farming subsidies, to using practices that promote sequestration practices. There was hope that farmers would be open to change, as long as their economic safety stays strong. Good points were made that these farmers are also suffering from climate impacts, so if there are reliable systems that can give them more consistency, they will be open to it. On the other side of this panel, there was a man from the International Fertilizer Association (IFA) pressed on the fact that fertilizer use is necessary, and that the blame is put on the farmers inability to use the right amount. This bothered me as it’s not just the consumers responsibility, which was a common theme I have heard in other events. Regardless, I left feeling as though I gained more of an understanding towards what SHOULD and CAN be done… but now it is up to the higher ups to make it happen.
To end the night off right, the Northeastern Delegate team met up for a team photo before heading home.