Home » Environmental News » COP28: UAE Declaration On Sustainable Agriculture Is A Good News For Small Farmers
During the opening days of COP28, the global climate summit in Dubai, 134 world leaders endorsed a declaration that agriculture and climate experts say the COP28 Declaration brings good news for Global Small Farmers worldwide. Known as the COP28 UAE Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action, this initiative has mobilized over $2.5 billion to address agriculture-related climate issues.
One of the highlights of the UAE Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture is a $200 million partnership between the host UAE and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is dedicated to agricultural research. Summit officials announced these commitments, emphasizing the importance of putting food systems and agriculture at the core of global climate ambitions.
Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, stressed the significance of the commitment, stating, “Today’s commitment from countries around the world will help to build a global food system fit for the future.”
Agriculture and climate experts have enthusiastically welcomed the declaration, representing countries with over 5.7 billion people and nearly 500 million farmers. Richard Ouedraogo, project manager for Secrétariat Permanent des Organisations Non-Gouvernementales (SPONG) in Burkina Faso, highlighted the potential impact: “If well-managed with farmers at the centre, accompanied by civil society organizations, these resources and partnerships will enable farmers to scale up sustainable food systems, reducing their vulnerability to climate change.”
Rosinah Mbenya, the country coordinator for PELUM Kenya, expressed hope that the declaration would place small-scale farmers at the centre of climate action through increased attention to resilient programs and financing. The funding is expected to support initiatives like those in Ethiopia, where a warning system has saved millions of dollars by preventing losses from crop diseases.
However, experts caution that there is a growing gap between farmers’ needs and available resources. Climate models predict a significant drop in food production in Africa and Southeast Asia, where small family farms play a crucial role. Edward Leo Davey, who advised COP28 on food, emphasized the importance of genuine implementation in signatory countries to impact smallholder farmers’ lives positively.
Ewi Stephanie Lamma, a climate justice advocate from Cameroon, noted that the declaration encourages sustainable farming techniques such as agroecology, organic farming, and agroforestry. These practices help reduce the use of harmful agrochemicals, conserve water resources, and protect soil health, enabling farmers to withstand climate-related risks. The COP28 declaration offers hope for a more resilient and sustainable future for small farmers worldwide.