head of Agriculture Division at the ECOWAS Commission, Ernest Aubee, recently
presented a paper on Climate Smart Agriculture, “A tool for food and nutrition
security in ECOWAS region.”
During his presentation held at the UTG Faculty of Law, Mr. Aubee gave a brief background information on Climate Smart agriculture; saying it is an approach that provides conceptual basis for assessing the effectiveness of agricultural practice change to support food security under climate change.
He also dilated on the background of ECOWAS, as well as agricultural context of West Africa.
He then emphasized on the ECOWAS agricultural and environmental policies, saying collaborative programmes on climate change are sub-regional programmes of action, meant to reduce vulnerability to climate change.
Mr. Aubee further explained the definition of climate change and its changes attributed directly or indirectly to activities.
He also spoke about adaptation, saying that it is an adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities.
Mr Aubee said, according to FAO, climate smart agriculture is based on 3 core principles: sustainability, increasing agricultural productivity and income, adapting and building resilience to climate change, and reducing and or removing GHG emissions relative to business as usual practices.
He highlighted some of the impacts of climate change, such as agricultural and land use, drought, flood, evaporation, crop pests, and diseases, ecosystem and biodiversity, ecological, heat wave’s species reduction and loss of wetlands.
He said coastal and river flooding, severe rainstorms, tropical cyclones and raised water levels are all impacts of climate change.
He also gave a background on ECOAWAS, saying that the objective is to promote cooperation and integration, leading to the establishment of an economic union in West Africa, in order to raise the living standard of its peoples.
It was also meant to ensure economic growth, foster relations among member states and contribute to the progress and development of the African continent.
According to him, the ECOWAS Vision 2020 statement is to create a borderless, peaceful, prosperous and cohesive region, built on good governance where people have the capacity to access and harness its enormous resources, through the creation of opportunities for sustainability, development and environmental preservation.