Brussels, 24 September 2012/ CTA/ ACP: An development seminar this week in Brussels will focus on the effects of climate change on the livelihood of farmers in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, and ‘climate smart’ practices that could reduce agricultural contributions to harmful emissions.

While farming practices make up for up to a quarter of all human-generated greenhouse gases (including the same carbon dioxide equivalent emissions as the world transport system and 6-18% due to deforestation for agricultural expansion), the sector is also the most hard-hit by the effects of climate change. Sensitivity of yields, food quality and diseases are notably vulnerable to higher temperatures, unpredictable rainfall patterns and water availability, as well as extreme climate events such as heat waves, floods and droughts.

In many parts of Africa for instance, warmer climates and rainfall changes will destabilise agricultural production, which is expected to undermine the systems that provide food security. Significant economic losses are projected for African agriculture under climate change.Meanwhile, Caribbean and Pacific island countries– which contribute less than 1 percent to global GHG emissions – face increasingly variable rainfall, cyclones / hurricanes, accelerating storm water runoff, floods, droughts, decreasing water quality and increasing demand for water, threatening the economic development, health and livelihood of their people. These communities are expected to be among the earliest and most impacted by climate change in the coming decades, because they are the least able to adapt to climate change impacts.

To debate these issues, the 29th Brussels Development Briefing this Thursday 27 September will bring together around 120 ACP-EU policy-makers and representatives of EU Member States, civil society groups, research networks and development practitioners, and international organizations.

Under the topic ‘Climate change, agriculture and food security: proven approaches and new investments’, the event aims raise awareness in ACP countries on the key challenges posed to agriculture by climate changes; increase the exchange of information and ideas on strategies for successful climate-smart agriculture; and facilitate networking among development partners.

Exchanges on climate-smart agriculture includes proven practical techniques – such as mulching, intercropping, conservation agriculture, crop rotation, agro-forestry, and improved water management – but also innovative practices such as early warning systems and risk insurance.

The session will include two panels of international experts and agriculturalists, including those from ACP regions. The first panel will give an overview of the international negotiations on climate change and how they feature agriculture, farmers’ perspectives on how progress can best be achieved, and climate finance for agriculture relevant to ACP countries. The second panel will focus on proven innovations to deliver climate-smart agriculture, including climate-smart interventions that work – socially, economically and environmentally – and can be scaled up in ACP agricultural and food systems.

(See the full programme )

The Brussels Briefing is organised by the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Development (CTA), in collaboration with the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), as part of a bi-monthly series on rural development issues in ACP regions.

(Photo: CTA)

To register for the event, and for more information please visit

– CTA/ ACP Press