SfL Leaders Bring North American Climate Smart Agriculture Ideas to Global Summit

June 16, 2016

For immediate release

ROME (June 16, 2016) – Solutions from the Land (SfL) is taking an active role in the Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture (GACSA) summit underway this week in Rome, pressing business, government, NGO and other leaders there to take full advantage of the contributions that agriculture and forestry producers can make to improve food security and nutrition in the face of changing climatic conditions, while simultaneously delivering high value, near term and lower cost mitigation and ecosystem services.

SfL leaders, representing the North American Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance (NACSAA), are engaging with farmer organizations, along with government, academic, science, business and civil society interests gathered at this dynamic global forum to discuss challenges, share solutions and build partnerships on climate-smart agriculture (CSA).

CSA aims to develop food, feed and fiber production practices that sustainably increase output and system resilience, while simultaneously reducing and sequestering greenhouse gas emissions.

SfL President Ernie Shea headed an opening session summit panel Wednesday highlighting the value of partnerships in meeting CSA goals. The panel featured representatives from a cross section of interests, including farmer groups, non-government organizations, research institutes, businesses and governments.

Key emerging issues and take-aways from Shea’s panel included a shared embracement of the three pillar definition of climate-smart agriculture (increased sustainable production, improved resilience and reducing/sequestering GHG emissions) that is taking root across the globe; the need for a shared goal forged through communication, collaboration and cooperation among and between partners; the benefits of working at a landscape scale; along with the need to break down “silos” and integrate partner efforts. Of paramount importance, was recognition that farmers must be at the center of all efforts, allowing the work to come from the bottom up, not the top down.

Among the next steps cited by panel members is for CSA advocates to replicate what is working for others; grow initiatives by determining who else should be at the CSA table and invite them to join the conversation; share experiences, and monitor and measure success.

Today, NACSAA Chair and SfL Board Member Fred Yoder spoke to summit attendees about the role of regional alliances in achieving climate-smart agriculture. NACSAA provides a platform for engagement, dialogue, knowledge sharing and application of climate science to the agriculture and forestry sectors of North America.

Yoder was joined on a panel composed of leaders of regional alliances in Africa, Southeast and Central Asia, and Latin America.

“This summit provides a forum for mature and thoughtful discussion of the worldwide need for climate-smart agriculture,” Yoder said. “It also provides an opportunity for North American stakeholders to press the importance of collaborating with farmers, ranchers and foresters in developing the tools, resources and programs needed to attain the goals of the growing climate-smart agriculture movement.”

Yoder told attendees that NACSAA is a diverse, farmer led regional CSA alliance composed of farmer organizations, businesses, conservation and environmental groups, academic and government partners and others.

“NACSAA is built on trust among its members,” Yoder said. “We came together following the GACSA framework plan, but we operate as an independent, self-directed alliance. We embrace all types of production systems. And it’s important to note that in conversations with farmers about CSA, we emphasize improved productivity and greater profitability benefits.”

Yoder said NACSAA is now working on defining a set of outcomes that the alliance hopes to achieve. The work is being led by a Performance Outcomes team lead by Ray Gaesser, past president of the American Soybean Association.

For more information on NACSAA, please feel free to contact NACSAA Facilitator Ernie Shea at 410-952-0123 or [email protected].

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The North American Climate Smart Agricultural Alliance mission is to enable farm leaders and their value chain partners to collaborate in developing ways to improve the resiliency of production systems, and adapt to and mitigate present and future risks from changing climatic conditions. The alliance advocates solutions for agricultural landscapes, under variable weather and climate, to maintain sustainable productivity of food, feed, fiber and energy, and ensure the integrity of our natural resource base.

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An Agricultural Renaissance, led by innovative and entrepreneurial farmers, ranchers and foresters constructing sustainable, profitable and resilient systems that lay the foundation for a world of abundance on many scales capable of producing nutritious food, feed, fiber, clean energy, healthy ecosystems, quality livelihoods, and strong rural economies.