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Australia Takes a Stand for Sustainable Agriculture on the Global Platform

Australia has joined the Emirates Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems and Climate Action at the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, in a move that has been endorsed by the Nation Farmers Federation.

“This Declaration stresses the importance of the agriculture sector as a major stakeholder in the debate, and reaffirms farmers being at the core of decisions made that affect them,” explained NFF President David Jochinke who is attending COP28.

“The NFF recognises the fundamental challenge that adaptation and emissions reduction represent to our industry.

“It’s critical that climate adaptation doesn’t compromise our ability to produce food and fibre, or result in reduced productivity, by limiting herd numbers for example.”

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt said the endorsement supported long-standing industry leadership on sustainable agriculture.

“Australian agriculture has a proud track record of sustainable farming, and many farming groups are working towards ambitious emissions targets they’ve set for themselves, finally with a Federal Government at their side,” Minister Watt said.

“The Emirates Declaration is a commitment to scale-up adaptation and resilience activities across the agriculture sector, which is important because Australian farmers face all sorts of challenges made worse by climate change, including drought and increased natural disasters.

“The declaration aims to maximise the climate and environmental benefits associated with agriculture and food systems.

“And it will deepen ties with valued trading partners across the globe—countries who are increasingly demanding strong sustainability credentials for food and fibre imports.

“Everybody wins: our farmers, our exporters and the next generation of Australian primary producers.”

The Emirates Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action at COP28 is a commitment made by more than 130 countries to better align efforts on agriculture and food systems with climate action.

The Declaration marks an important milestone related to sustainable agriculture, food systems, and climate action, underscoring the critical role that food systems play in both driving and mitigating climate change.

The main points of the declaration include nations integrating food into their climate plans by 2025, and enhancing access to finance to adapt and transform agriculture and food systems in response to climate change.

Preparing for the devastating impacts of drought is critical for Australian farmers. Many are adopting new technologies and practices to mitigate the effects of future climate events.

ABARES modelling shows that over the last 20 years climate change has reduced the average Australian farm’s profitability by 23 percent. The Government has recently begun consultation on Australia’s first agriculture and land sector plan for reducing emissions.

On December 10th, a discussion is set to take place surrounding the Emirates Declaration. This meeting will bring together not only influential leaders but also a broad range of collaborators, each contributing their unique expertise in both the practical and financial aspects of transforming our agriculture and food systems.

During this event, a clear plan of action is set to be outlined to achieve the ambitious goals of the declaration by 2025. Attendees can also expect to see a showcase of helpful instruments, platforms for creating policy, and the unveiling of a practical COP28 heritage bundle, called the “Climate Policy Toolkit for Food”. This toolkit is designed specifically to help those who have signed the declaration to speed up their implementation process.

Sources: The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water, Forbes, Senator the Hon Murray Watt – Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, National Farmers Federation, Remarks by Antony J. Blinken, US Secretary Of State at COP28, World Resources Institute


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