Morocco Determined to make the COP 22 ‘the African Cop’: The Guardian
London 08/11/2016 (MAP) – As the host country for the COP22 climate change talks, which opened in Marrakech on Monday, Morocco is determined to make this meeting the “African COP”, British newspaper “The Guardian” pointed out.
“Explaining its own experience and acting as an advocate for other African countries, Morocco wants to put the impacts of erratic weather patterns on agriculture at the heart of the discussions,” the publication went on.
Morocco is using the COP22 conference to formally launch its “Adaptation of African Agriculture” (AAA) initiative, the source added, noting that as food security becomes increasingly challenged by erratic weather patterns, the initiative proposes measures such as improved soil management, water and irrigation management and better weather forecasting and insurance programmes for farmers affected by drought.
Morocco believes its main contribution can be to persuade world leaders to sign up to a concrete plan of how to divide up the $100bn (£81bn) promised to support adaptation and mitigation projects in developing countries.
“We have to translate the big ideas written in western offices about responses to climate change into something that actually changes the lives of small farmers,” said Morocco’s minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Aziz Akannouch, at a recent conference launching the AAA. “It’s about pragmatic responses – things like irrigation projects, developing oases, improving access to fertilisers and credit.”
For Bruce Campbell, director of the global programme on climate change, agriculture and food security, better management of water sources will be crucial. Just 3.3% of arable land (approx 6 million hectares) in sub-Saharan Africa is irrigated, compared to 37% in Asia.