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COP28 Thematic Day Nine: Pioneering the Future of Food, Agriculture, and Water in a Changing Climate

December 11, 2023

As the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) unfolded, Thematic Day Nine marked a pivotal moment: Adopting the Glasgow-Sharm El Sheikh Food Systems Declaration. Governments, businesses, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders adopted the Glasgow-Sharm El Sheikh Food Systems Declaration, which outlines a shared vision for transforming food systems to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The declaration commits to ensuring that food systems are climate-resilient, inclusive, and sustainable, reducing food loss and waste.

Key takeaways:

  • The nexus of food, agriculture, and water security: Participants recognized the complex relationship between food, agriculture, and water security and the need to address these issues in an integrated manner.
  • Sustainable agricultural practices: Participants discussed the importance of adopting sustainable agricultural practices, such as precision agriculture and agroecology, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve soil health, and enhance water efficiency.
  • Resilient food systems: Participants emphasized the need to build resilient food systems that can withstand climate shocks and ensure food security in the face of a changing climate.
  • Water management and conservation: Participants stressed the importance of water management and conservation practices to ensure sustainable water use in agriculture.
  • The role of technology: Participants highlighted the potential of technology, such as precision agriculture tools and data analytics, to improve agricultural practices and enhance food security.
  • The need for cross-sectoral collaboration: Participants stressed the need for collaboration between governments, businesses, civil society, and farmers to address the challenges of food, agriculture, and water security holistically.

Specific initiatives and announcements:

  • Launch of the Global Platform on Sustainable Food Systems: This platform will provide a platform for stakeholders to collaborate on developing and implementing sustainable food systems.
  • As mentioned in the introduction, adopting a Food Systems Innovation Framework will guide the development and implementation of innovative solutions to address the challenges of food, agriculture, and water security.
  • Adoption of a Statement on Water and Agriculture: This statement emphasizes the importance of sustainable water management in agriculture and calls for increased action to address water scarcity and pollution.

Calls for stronger action:

Despite progress, there were calls for more ambitious action to address food, agriculture, and water security. 

Participants urged:

  • Scaling up investments in sustainable agricultural practices and resilient food systems.
  • Strengthening policies and regulations to promote sustainable water management in the agriculture sector.
  • Enhancing capacity building and training for farmers and other stakeholders.

Focus on innovation and collaboration: The day showcased innovative approaches to addressing food, agriculture, and water security. Participants emphasized the importance of collaboration between sectors to scale up these solutions.

Overall, COP28 Thematic Day Nine highlighted the interconnectedness of food, agriculture, and water security and the need for a holistic approach to address these challenges. We can create a food-secure and sustainable future for all by working together.

Next article: Final Negotiations

As we conclude the COP28 thematic days, the stage is set for the final negotiations, which often occur over the night for over two days. These negotiations are pivotal, involving countries making their ultimate offers and working to bridge gaps. Ministers and even heads of state may step in to break any deadlocks, infusing urgency and importance. If an agreement is reached, a final text is produced and presented to the COP for approval, leading to the agreement’s adoption. While the final negotiations are challenging, they are crucial for addressing climate change on a global scale, shaping the path toward emissions reduction and climate resilience. Stay tuned for updates on these critical deliberations, with a final update after the conclusion.

TAGS: Purpose & Social Impact, Environment, Sustainability & ESG

POSTED BY: Christopher Nial

Christopher Nial