Differentiation under the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture

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Date produced: 04/05/2018

  1. Will the activities required of the Parties under the KJWA be the same or different?
  2. More generally, does the KJWA differentiate between the Parties, specifically between Annex I and non-Annex I countries?

 

Advice:

About the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture (KJWA)

At COP23 Parties agreed to streamline two separate technical discussions into one process: between 2013-15, the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) hosted 5 workshops addressing climate change and agriculture. To build upon these workshops, the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture (KJWA) brought together the SBSTA and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI).

The goal of the KJWA is to have these bodies work together to address issues related to agriculture, for example, through workshops and expert meetings. In fulfilling this agenda, the bodies must take into account the vulnerabilities of agriculture to climate change and approaches to addressing food security (see Art. 1 of Decision 4/CP.23)). This part of the mandate is of particular importance to developing country parties (non-Annex I countries).

In order for the KJWA to reach this goal, the COP Decision invited Parties and observers to submit their views on what should be included in the KJWA’s work. The Parties were invited to address issues such as adaptation, soil, livestock, and socio-economic and food security dimensions of climate change (see Arts. 2(a)-(f) of Decision 4/CP.23).

As of 3 May 2018, 20 Parties have made submissions. There are also 5 submissions from various United Nations organizations.

Answers

  1. The KJWA does not currently place any obligations on Parties themselves. They are not required to carry out any specific activities, regardless of whether they are Annex I or non-Annex I parties. The only obligation is for the two subsidiary bodies to report on the progress and outcomes of their work by November 2020.
  2. The KJWA does not explicitly differentiate between Annex I and non-Annex I Parties. However, it does ensure that the KJWA’s work is informed by food security concerns and the vulnerabilities of the agriculture sector. In their submissions, numerous Parties have addressed the issues of “food security” and “vulnerabilities” as it pertains to their own countries. They have also expressed their own views on how those issues should be addressed in the KJWA’s work.

At this point in time, it is impossible to predict how the KJWA will eventually distinguish between Parties. However, based on the submissions of Parties there appears to be a trend to focus the work on (non-Annex I) developing country party concerns.

While the link between the needs of developing countries and the issues of food security, vulnerability, and socio-economic considerations are not always made out explicitly, it is clear that these issues, and specifically as they relate to developing countries, feature prominently in the parties’ submissions.

Many countries begin their submissions (e.g. Kenya, Argentina) by highlighting their country’s dependence on the agricultural industry, particularly in poor and rural areas, and how they are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Almost all submissions (15: Australia, Bangladesh, Benin, Brazil, Burundi, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, United States of America, Viet Nam, AGN, EU, LDCs) refer to the socioeconomic and food security dimensions of climate change in their agricultural sectors.[1]

The EU, for its part, states that food security should have a “prominent role” in discussions that take place under KJWA, and specifically mentions the interests of women, children, and the poor: all work needs to consider the vulnerabilities of agriculture to climate change and the approaches to addressing food security (page 2 of the EU submission).

Non-Annex I countries, have emphasized the need to enhance research and scientific knowledge pertaining to crops, livestock, and fisheries, particularly for developing countries.[2] Similar views were also discussed in the submissions of Malawi and Kenya. Malawi, for instance, stated that the KJWA should aim to build adaptive capacity and reliance, particularly among vulnerable populations, including small-scale food producers and women (page 7 of Malawi’s Submission). It notes that within the context of agriculture, insufficient consideration has been given to how inequality shapes access to resources for productive and sustainable livelihoods and highlighted how climate change will increase inequalities for access to nutritious food. Finally, it argues that food security should encompass well-being, health and nutrition, and not just be seen as a matter of livelihoods.

Consistent with this theme, Egypt (on behalf of the African Group of Negotiators – AGN) calls on the KJWA to consider the impact of climate change-reduction efforts on agriculture exports from Africa specifically, in addition to measures that could be taken to contain such impacts.

So, while the traditional differentiation between Annex I and non-Annex I is not explicitly rejected, substantive criteria such as food insecurity or the vulnerability of agriculture are likely to play a far more important role in determining Parties’ roles in the future.

In their submissions Annex I countries have not offered financial resources to support the KJWA’s work. Several Annex I Countries (Australia, Japan, New Zealand, United States) have provided submissions where they detail “good or best practices” taking place in their own countries as it relates to livestock or soil, for instance. But it appears that none have offered further resources beyond this knowledge-sharing.

New Zealand, for its part, noted that it had initiated the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases – this alliance was created several years ago as a response to global challenges relating to agriculture, and includes over 29 developing countries and 20 developing countries. New Zealand proposed that KJWA consider the Global Research Alliance’s wealth of knowledge – but it does not appear that any collaboration has been extended beyond that.

Two UN organizations (the Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Fund for Agricultural Development) showed that they have a variety of programs (such as technological, capacity-building, and knowledge sharing programs) that cover the factors mentioned in 2(a)-2(f) of the Decision. These programs seem like excellent endeavours, but it is still uncertain whether/how they will be incorporated specifically in the KJWA’s work.

Three countries (Benin, Kenya, and Egypt on behalf of the AGN) have called on the Green Climate Fund to be a source of finance in implementing the outcomes of the 5 workshops and more broadly, the vulnerabilities of agriculture to climate change and to ensure food security.

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[1] Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture Summary of the Submissions from Parties, Draft 27 April 2018

[2] See pages 15-16 of the FAO report (FN1)