Protecting agriculture central to roadmap made by experts - GulfToday

Protecting agriculture central to roadmap made by experts

Philippine envoy to UAE Alfonso-750x450

(left to right) Philippine Ambassador to the UAE Alfonso Ferdinand Ver along with Dycoco and Bacudo at the forum in Dubai.

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

A Climate Policy and Finance, Land Use and Climate Smart Technology expert has encouraged her fellow Filipinos to become movers of innovation and let the world know they have these inventions that require financing that could eventually help bring out the necessary changes to the entire global food system, for the realisation of the much-desired food security for all.

She is Global Alliance on Climate Smart Agriculture co-chairperson Imelda “Dada” Bacudo who, at the just-concluded United Nations Framework on Climate Change Conference of Parties 28 (UNFCCC-COP28), was the Senior Adviser on Agrifood Initiatives and Food Systems to the COP28 Presidency.

Bacudo spoke on the need for her countrymen to be more actively involved in the science and technology of addressing the plague of climate change on Monday evening as a resource speaker at the “Sustainable Agriculture for a Resilient Future: COP28’s Vision” forum.

Organised by the Philippine Business Council - Dubai and the Northern Emirates-League of Food and Beverage Entrepreneurs (PBCDNELFBE), the COP28-related session also had Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Singapore) graduate James John Dycoco as the other panellist.

Dycoco, like Bacudo, stressed that another solution to failing global food ecosystems is consumer empowerment that calls for the choice of ecologically-friendly produced and manufactured yet healthy crops and food items to drive down production costs without leaving farming communities at the tail-end.

Dycoco is the brainchild behind the Sustainability & Power Assistance for Rural Communities Project and Solarscape Renewable Energy Solutions whose Chinese migrant great-grandfather led him to become a fourth generation farmer. He is a third generation banker by way of the family-owned Banco de Libon, set up to assist farmers and their families in their hometown in Albay Province, Bicol Region.

Ahead of the discussions, held at the Canadian University Dubai, PBCDNELFBE chairman/Agemono owner Roberto Capulong said the forum was pursued because “the food landscape is undergoing transformation and all restaurants play a big role in the transformation towards sustainable agricultural practices.” This demands stakeholders to strongly consider becoming “champions of sustainability.”

Specifically, Bacudo pointed out the value of agricultural innovations and the relevance of scientists in the entire range of food systems when she mentioned the crafting of the historic “UAE Declaration on Agriculture, Food Systems and Climate Action” which, the Philippine leadership alongside 152 others had endorsed.

In both Filipino and English, Bacudo explained that throughout the 28 years of the COP, it is only now that food systems had been put on the table as the UAE had opted: “Because all of us need food. So we really need to talk about where our food is coming from and how is climate change impacting us.”

Bacudo who, since 2013 is the senior advisor to the 10-member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on strengthened regional and international policies to support their transition to low emission and resilient agrifood sector, also said of the declaration: “This shows how the world works and comes together. This sends a very high political signal that change really needs to happen to protect our front liners from the agricultural sector, our farmers, our fishermen, our pastoralist herders, even our commercial traders because they are the ones feeling the impact of so many global shocks and we need this document and having this high political signal, it is like the cascade of changes in all the policies.”

Discussing a bit the December 1 $200 million (Dhs734,466,000) pledge of Bill Gates to support the programme on agricultural innovations, she continued: “We need innovation because climate is changing and our old ways are unable to deal with the changes. We need to basically find ways in which we will be able to adapt and at the same time lower emissions.”

“I hope that all of you or some of you have ideas on low emission and other innovations in the food system to support COP 28,” ended Bacudo.


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