The Declaration on Agricultural Diversification was launched and signed in Paris on December 7, 2015 by world-renowned scientists and leaders during the recent meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP21. The declaration, which aims to build agricultural resilience and food security for future climates, will underpin a Global Action Plan for Agricultural Diversification (GAPAD) to be developed during 2016. The declaration recognizes that global agriculture must provide greater food and nutrition security, minimize environmental harm, alleviate poverty and support the better use of land. Commenting on the importance of signing this declaration, Prof. Sayed Azam-Ali, Chief Executive Officer of Crops for the Future (CFF) said: “We can no longer depend on maize, wheat, rice and soybean to feed the world. By 2030, the world will need 50% more food and energy and 30% more fresh water. The Declaration on Agricultural Diversification calls upon states, intergovernmental organizations and the non-government sector to work together to develop and implement the necessary actions worldwide to diversify agriculture.” The Declaration on Agricultural Diversification will stand alongside the UNFCCC COP21 Agreement as a historic document and will be the main agenda item at the COP13 CBD meeting in Cancun, Mexico, in December 2016. It is based on the following actions:
- Develop a Global Action Plan for Agricultural Diversification (GAPAD).
- Convene an International Conference on Agricultural Diversification under the auspices of UNFAO.
- Agree at the CBD COP13 (Mexico 2016) on a process to formulate a “Protocol on Agricultural Diversification” to the Convention on Biological Diversity, 1992.
The Declaration was signed in the presence of Former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Founding signatories included Dr. Trevor Nicholls of the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience (CABI), Dr. David Molden of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Dr. Jose Joachim Campos of the Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE), Prof. Meine Van Noordwijk of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and representatives from the Association of International Research and Development Centers for Agriculture (AIRCA), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA).Speaking at the event, Ms. Setta Tutundjian, Director of Partnerships and Knowledge Management at the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), reiterated the center’s commitment to providing innovative solutions and diverse crops to combat the agricultural challenges faced by some 1.4 billion people living and working in marginal environments. She said: “ICBA’s management and staff fully support this declaration as we are convinced of its common benefit for all of us and we look forward to collaborating with CFF and our AIRCA partners on the next critical steps and we join the other voices in this room today to encourage everyone to support this important declaration.”More on the launch ceremony could be viewed below: