The UN’s International Fund
for Agricultural Develop-ment (IFAD) and the US State Department are partnering to support small-scale farm-ers in developing countries to better adapt to climate change and further reduce highly polluting methane emissions.
As part of the Global Methane Pledge partnership, the US and IFAD will work together to prioritize methane mitigation in upcoming IFAD projects currently in the pipeline.
These projects are valued at an estimated US$500 million and will apply low-methane techniques to what are often considered methane-emitting activities like livestock and paddy rice production.
“Currently, as much as 80 per cent of IFAD’s portfolio includes activities that have a role in contributing to the achievement of the methane pledge,” said Jo Puri, IFAD’s Ass-ociate Vice-President, Strategy and Knowledge Department.
“Small-scale farmers can make a valuable contribution to global mitigation efforts.
“IFAD is already working on low methane livestock methods. Better feed and better animal health care can make a difference in reducing methane emissions,” Ms Puri added.
IFAD will identify and build upon
lessons learned to reduce agri-cultural methane – and apply these methods within the context of IFAD’s goals to help vulnerable rural communities be more resilient, improve their ability to produce food and boost their overall economic development.
“This partnership will help get smallholder farmers the financial and policy support they need to reduce methane emissions while also increasing their resilience to the effects of climate change.
“IFAD is an excellent US partner and I look forward to working with them on achieving the goals of the Global Methane Pledge,” said Rick Duke, Deputy Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.
Overall, small-scale farming con-tributes less to climate change than large-scale agricultural activities, as small-scale producers use fewer fossil fuel-based fertiliser inputs, use less machinery powered by fossil-fuel and emit less greenhouse gases.
“The partnership with the US State Department is an opportunity for us to lead globally in addressing climate change at that mid-point between mitigation and adaptation,” said Ms Puri.
“Many farmer-led programmes focused on increased productivity, can achieve economic development, adaptation, and methane mitigation goals simultaneously.”
IFAD has committed US$1.2 billion in climate finance between 2019-2021, with most of the funding allocated to adaptation activities (US$1.1 billion).
Established in 1977, the US is a founding member of IFAD and its largest donor – contributing US$1.1 billion and pledging an additional US$129 million during the current three-year replenishment cycle.
The US announced a Methane Pledge Action Plan at COP27 with actions across all sectors to reduce methane emissions.
This plan includes new regulatory steps to reduce methane emissions in the oil and gas sector and over US$500 million in domestic investments to reduce agricultural methane emissions.
Internationally, the US has ann-ounced over US$25 million in support of developing countries in the Global Methane Pledge to advance national action plans and build methane abatement project pipelines.
IFAD is developing a new project together with the Green Climate Fund in east Africa (Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda) to bring the dairy sector down to zero net emissions.
Together with the Global Dairy Platform and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), it provides technological solutions to increase productivity and reduce methane and other greenhouse gas emiss-ions.
IFAD has also been a long-time supporter of low-methane rice cultivation with specific techniques to use less water to grow rice, or thanks to the use of improved varieties that reduce the time between planting and harvesting.
In Cambodia, IFAD is supporting national government efforts to significantly reduce the rice sector emissions as part of its Nationally Determined Contributions.
Peatlands can also be a source of methane when excessively drain-
ed or burned. IFAD has been supporting sustainable peatland management in southeast Asia to combat peatland fires and haze pollution for a decade.
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