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It’s Down 2 Earth - Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change

31 October - 5 November 2010 | The Hague, Netherlands

Highlights for Thursday, 4 November 2010


L-R: Kofi Annan, Chairman, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, and HRH Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, at the plenary session.
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Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate ChangeOn Thursday morning, participants met in a plenary session to hear four keynote presentations. HRH Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, emphasized that financial services underline and accelerate rural development, and that financial services will only be effective within a broader enabling environment. Kofi Annan, Chairman, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, expressed optimism that Africa, which is hardest hit by climate change and food insecurity, can be part of a global solution to combat climate change, for example by transforming carbon sources to carbon sinks. He shared the work of the Alliance, which focuses on smallholder farmers and provides access to new crops and knowledge, reliable weather information, better land and water management programmes, and investment. Jeffrey Sachs, Director, Earth Institute, the United States, by video message, highlighted the need for financial means for impoverished farmers to purchase quality fertilizers and seeds and a second green revolution to address environmental problems. Feike Sijbesma, CEO, DSM, stressed the potential of biotechnology, particularly for waste utilization, to support a shift from fossil fuel use and the need for stronger private-public partnerships for knowledge and technology sharing.

Michael Jenkins, CEO, Forest Trends, reported from Wednesday’s Investment Fair discussion on whether large-scale commodity production can be turned from a leading cause of deforestation to a driver of sustainability.

Chair Bleker presented the draft roadmap for action and participants made comments and provided elements for further elaboration. Two parallel Ministerial Roundtables discussed the draft roadmap throughout the day. The Investment Fair focused on public-private partnerships.

Plenary Session
The dais during the morning plenary session. L-R: Feike Sijbesma, CEO, DSM; Kofi Annan, Chairman, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa; HRH Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development; Chair Henk Bleker, Minister for Agriculture and Foreign Trade, the Netherlands; and Hans Hoogeveen, Director General, Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation.
Kofi Annan, Chairman, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa
HRH Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development
Participants listening to Kofi Annan’s speech.
Feike Sijbesma, CEO, DSM
Participants watched a video message from Jeffrey Sachs, Director, Earth Institute, United States

Working Groups
Michael Jenkins, Forest Trends (right), reported from the Investment Fair, highlighting commitments by the World Bank’s BioCarbon Fund and Eco-Asset Management.

Participants reading the draft roadmap for action on agriculture, food security and climate change.

Participants during the discussion
Georgina Peard, International Union for Conservation of Nature
Mohammad Ghafouri, Research Institute for Water Scarcity and Drought, Iran
William Hohenstein, United States Department of Agriculture
Cecilia Nordin Van Gansberghe, Sweden
Daniel Westerink, France
Bagorikunda Séverin, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Burundi
David Gustafson, Monsanto Company, United States
Ian Pickard, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, United Kingdom
Harald Jahn, European Investment Bank
Florin Vladu, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat
Dirk-Jan Verdonk, World Society for the Protection of Animals
Shefali Sharma, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Around the venue
Project stands around the venue.
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Related Links
Conference resources
*Conference website
*Conference programme
*Conference papers
*Conference side events

IISD RS resources
*IISD RS summary report of the Agriculture and Rural Development Day 2009, 12 December 2009, Copenhagen, Denmark (HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS coverage of the World Summit on Food Security, 16-18 November 2009, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Headquarters, Rome, Italy
*IISD RS coverage of the Twelfth Regular Session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA-12), 19-23 October 2009, FAO Headquarters, Rome, Italy
*IISD RS coverage of the Third Session of the Governing Body (GB 3) of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, 1-5 June 2009, Tunis, Tunisia
*IISD RS briefing note of the High-Level Meeting on African Agriculture in the 21st Century, 9-10 February 2009, Windhoek, Namibia (HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS archive of meetings on climate change, and backgrounder
*Climate-L - A mailing list for news on climate change policy

*Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
*MEA Bulletin - Newsletter on key MEAs and their secretariats
*Climate-L.org - News and information on the actions of international organizations in responding to the problem of global climate change
*African Regional Coverage
*Latin America and Caribbean Regional Coverage
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