Responding to the publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report on Climate and Land, Matthew Spencer, Oxfam director of campaign and policy, said:
“Land is central to the fight against the climate crisis and hunger. Industrial agriculture, deforestation and increasing weather shocks are destroying the land we depend on for food, with the world’s poorest hit hardest.
“We need to put a stop to destructive industrial agriculture and invest in agro-ecological approaches that store carbon, improve soil health and increase yields. Governments must also invest in smallholder farmers and uphold the rights of people to their land and forests, so that poor communities on the frontline of the climate crisis are able to feed themselves now and in the future.
“Politicians must aim for zero hunger as well as zero emissions. They must reject false solutions that divert land away from growing food and into producing crops and trees for energy and carbon capture.”
Notes to editor
Below are case studies of the impact of the climate crisis and an agroecology programme:
Somalia: A persistent drought in the Horn of Africa has left an estimated 7.6 million people are in severe hunger. Consecutive poor rains have destroyed people’s crops and their means to earn a living. The situation is exacerbated as millions have been forced to flee their homes as a result of the drought and the ongoing conflict.
Cambodia: Rice production is the largest source of employment and income for rural people throughout the world and a staple food for least half the world’s population. Rice production is also a major contributor to the climate crisis – half of all emissions of methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases, come from cattle and rice fields. The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is a way of managing the plants, soil, water and nutrients so that farmers can produce more rice using less water, chemicals and seeds. It significantly reduces methane emissions. More than 1.5 million smallholder farmers in groups supported by Oxfam’s partners in Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam have benefited from SRI.