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Climate Smart Agriculture

Round Table on climate mitigation through CSA and the role of financial institutions

The World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) recently held a stakeholders round table as part of their “Scaling Up Climate Finance through the Financial Sector” initiative, and the Red Meat Industry Services were invited to participate in the conversation. The discussion focused on the potential for the South African agricultural industry and the financial sector to contribute to Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) as a means of addressing the interlinked challenges of food security and climate change.

CSA is an integrated approach to managing landscapes that includes cropland, livestock, forests, and fisheries. The approach aims to achieve the triple win of increased productivity, enhanced resilience, and reduced emissions. While the conversation did not result in any immediate actions, it was compared to the process of “peeling an onion,” suggesting that a series of follow-ups and deeper investigations will be necessary.

As businesses increasingly incorporate sustainability into their development plans, there is a growing misconception of what sustainability actually entails. Unfortunately, this has led to a prevalence of misinterpretations of the science behind climate change, with those with the least knowledge on the topic often being the most confident in discussing it.

The Red Meat Industry must take care not to fall into this trap and instead engage with experts on the topic to ensure that they are translating the latest, evidence-based science into understandable, transparent messages. This includes debunking the umbrella term “Greenhouse gas emissions” and steering the narrative away from using terms such as methane and carbon emissions interchangeably.

Ultimately, education on sustainability is crucial to the long-term survival of the Red Meat Industry and the planet. This requires engagement with consumers, the entire value chain, and opinion leaders. By embracing the principles of CSA and working towards the triple win of increased productivity, enhanced resilience, and reduced emissions, the industry can help to address the interlinked challenges of food security and climate change. #climatesmartagriculture

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