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International fora

FAO contributions to global and regional climate negotiations

The agricultural sectors are a critical component of the global response to climate-change. FAO assists member countries to understand the challenges and opportunities for the sectors and the range of possible responses.

Negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are nearing an important milestone with the post-2020 global climate agreement scheduled to be concluded in Paris in December 2015.

FAO is an observer to UNFCCC and provides technical support to developing countries, taking into account their specific needs. FAO supports the implementation of the Nairobi Work Programme which was developed to help all countries improve their understanding of climate change impacts and make better informed adaptation decisions.

FAO is also assisting countries for the integration of agriculture, forestry and fisheries in broader national strategies and plans like the national adaptation plans (NAPs), nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) as well as for the design of the climate actions to pursue the objectives publicly pledged by countries in their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).

FAO is also working with IPCC on technical aspects of inventories in agriculture, as well as land use, land use change and forestry.

BURs

Biennial Update reports (BURs). It was decided at the sixteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 16) that developing countries should submit biennial update reports to communicate their national efforts. BURs share information on greenhouse gas inventories, on mitigation actions, on their needs, and the support received.

To date, the secretariat of the Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) has received 11 biennial update reports (BURs) from developing countries. This demonstrates the commitment of developing countries to share their efforts to implement the Convention with the international community.

INDCs

Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) are countries’ commitments to reducing emissions and addressing climate change in the build up to the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (CoP21) in December 2015. FAO supports member countries in their preparation of INDCs and other important international processes under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

INDCs allow countries to demonstrate leadership on addressing climate change, communicating internationally how they will cut emissions for the post-2020 period.  Through their INDCs, countries can tailor their contributions to their own national priorities, capabilities, and responsibilities and can be a basis for collective action.

NAMAs

Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) refer to any action that reduces emissions in developing countries and is prepared under the umbrella of a national governmental initiative. NAMAs can help to upscale tested and successful CSA practices by supporting appropriate policies and institutional arrangements and opening access to sources of finance.

Until now only a few agriculture and land use NAMAs have received international financial support, whereas other sectors are more advanced. In order to develop NAMAs in agriculture and land use sector, FAO is helping to provide countries with specific guidance.

NAPs

National Adaptation Plans (NAPs). Adaptation to climate change is becoming a necessary component of planning at all levels. At its seventeenth session, the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) acknowledged that national adaptation planning can enable all developing and least developed country (LDC) Parties to assess their vulnerabilities, to mainstream climate change risks and to address adaptation.

The COP also acknowledged that, because of their development status, climate change risks magnify development challenges for LDCs. It recognized the need to address adaptation planning in the broader context of sustainable development planning. With this in mind, the COP established the national adaptation plan (NAP) process supported by FAO as a way to facilitate effective adaptation planning in LDCs and other developing countries.

REDD+

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation is a mechanism that has been under negotiation by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) since 2005, with the objective of mitigating climate change through reducing net emissions of greenhouse gases through enhanced forest management in developing countries.

"REDD+" goes beyond Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) to include the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

REDD+ policies address different drivers of deforestation both within and outside the forestry sector. When designing national REDD+ strategies, policies, laws and action plans, consideration should be given to agricultural and rural development goals, and an integrated landscape approach should be adopted.