Argentina is considered a high-income economy with a GDP of US$600 billion in 2016 and a population of over 44 million. In the last decades, the country has experienced marked growth in its agriculture and
food sectors, accounting to 54 percent of its land use, and playing a strategic role in the socio-economic development of the country, with 54 percent of employment. Agriculture and animal
husbandry and fragile ecosystems are also especially vulnerable to the intensification of extreme climate events, affecting the production and supply of food on a national and global scale. The country is considered a
top emitter for agriculture, forestry and other land use sectors, contributing to 2.1 percent of the global emissions, and with domestic emissions made up of livestock (21.6 percent); agriculture
(5.8 percent) and land use change and forestry (9.8 percent).
Argentina’s climate change plans and priorities
In 2016, Argentina submitted its nationally determined contribution (NDC) that identified several agriculture-related priorities. Argentina has prioritized the development of adaptative capacities and the promotion of agriculture’s strategic role as a solution to climate change. In 2020, the country signed the new United Nations Strategic Cooperation Framework (2021-2025) and confirmed its interest to push forward the agenda that seeks to enhance ambition and catalyze action for land use and agriculture. Argentina submitted its second NDC in December 2020, ratifying a more ambitious commitment to the Paris Agreement and providing a specific and broader role to adaptation, with the national goal of decreasing 19 percent of its total GHG emissions by 2030. The country has committed to elaborate its Long-Term Climate Strategy by the end of 2021.
The key priorities communicated for the agriculture and land use sector focus mainly on prioritization of adaptation, strengthening the role of agribusiness as a source of solutions to climate change, integrating agro-industrial production and encouraging the development of process and product technologies. To support the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process, Argentina is implementing the Readiness Project for the NAP Process, financed by the Green Climate Fund and implemented by UNDP.
Along with these actions, the country aims to strengths the implementation of Minimum Budgets for the Environmental Protection of Native Forests, as well as achieve a substantial reduction in the deforestation rate. To support this goal the country implements the National Forest Management Plan with Integrated Livestock (MBGI), the Forest Watershed Plans and Comprehensive Community Plans (PIC), and the national forest extension system and the Deforestation Early Warning System (SAT). By 2030, the country also expects to deepen the development of fire, flood, and drought prevention measures - of great importance for the agricultural, livestock and forestry sectors.
Overcoming barriers in the implementation of climate plans
Argentina faces different types of barriers in achieving its adaptation and mitigation goals. There is a lack of planning for sustainable management of native forests `and agri-food systems. There are gaps in the articulation between managing bodies/ministries, as well as inefficient bureaucratic financing channels and there are difficulties for producers to access financing. The objective of the NAP in Argentina is to carry out the process in a participatory manner across managing bodies and ministries. The process requires economic efforts to ensure the full participation of all representatives and to support them in parallel processes for formulating provincial plans.
Moving ahead- Argentina 2021 and beyond
Argentina’s agriculture is highly innovative and has much to offer in terms of win-win climate actions. It has great potential to scale up actions and production processes that will simultaneously cut mitigate emissions and enhance resilience to improve productivity. Argentina is one of the 100 countries being supported by UNDP’s Climate Promise to enhance their NDCs. The country is also part of FAO’s Sub-Regional Project on "Low Emission Livestock, a contribution to the Sustainable Development of the Sector in South America”, and many other projects related to climate management.
The government of Argentina considers the SCALA programme as strong support for the revision of its NAP in the agricultural sector, and to carry out actions that allow the implementation and achievement of the commitments established in the country’s NDC. The programme will leverage participatory methods to address Argentina’s institutional and financial barriers, which allow for a transformative shift in the agriculture and land use sectors. Moreover, to engage and mobilize the private sector to increase its investments in climate action. With the SCALA programme supporting Argentina over the next five years, UNDP and FAO will strive to foster a more inclusive multi-stakeholder process that eventually meets the needs of smallholder farmers, rural communities, women, and youth, who are the most vulnerable to climate change.