Xinhua Copenhagen, December 11, exclusive interview: Agriculture and land use should be included in the final document of the Climate Change Conference -- interview with Cook, an official of the International Fund for Agricultural Development
Rodney Cook, director of the Technical Advisory Department of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua News Agency on the 11th that agriculture and land use should be included in the final document of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen as an important part of climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Cook, who has been engaged in research on agriculture and land use for a long time, said that carbon dioxide emissions from agriculture and land use are often ignored, mainly because their impact on land is difficult to measure and monitor. In fact, agriculture and land use are extremely sensitive to climate change. For example, if effective measures are not taken to adapt to climate change, agricultural activities on semi-arid land will be seriously affected, and food security may face severe challenges.
Cook said that by 2050, the total global population is expected to reach 9.1 billion, which means that the food production of developing countries must double by then, so that the problem of feeding the new population can be solved. At present, 1 billion people in the world are facing the problem of hunger, almost all of them come from developing countries, and the development of agriculture is the most important driving force for these countries to get rid of poverty.
In Cook's view, it will be "a great challenge for us" to help developing countries not only extricate themselves from difficulties but also adapt to climate change.
Turning to China's agriculture and land use, Cook said that he saw that the Chinese government is actively cooperating with international financial institutions, including the International Fund for Agricultural Development, to reduce poverty and cope with climate change. At present, the Foundation is implementing six poverty alleviation projects in rural areas of Anhui, Ningxia, Guangxi and other provinces and autonomous regions in China, providing 30 million to 40 million US dollars of financial assistance for each project, and other funds are from the Chinese government. At present, the total investment of each project is about 100 million dollars.
Cook said that the operation of these projects is very successful. "We help local farmers grow drought resistant plants and crops, improve their farming methods, and develop biofuels according to local conditions to solve the problem of energy consumption.". He said that these projects have benefited local farmers.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development is a specialized agency of the United Nations, headquartered in Rome, and China joined the organization in 1980.