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Home » Second Arab Climate Forum concludes with strategic recommendations for small-scale farmers 

Second Arab Climate Forum concludes with strategic recommendations for small-scale farmers 

by Madaline Dunn

The second edition of the Arab Climate Forum, hosted by the Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG) and launched in collaboration with the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND) and the Arab Gulf Program for Development (AGFUND), successfully concluded in Dubai this week. 

The event was held under the patronage of HRH Prince Abdul Aziz bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Chairman of AGFUND, with the theme focused on “Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security: Together to Achieve the Resilience and Social Development of Small-Scale Farmers.”

The two-day forum addressed the impact of climate change on agriculture and small-scale farmers in Arab countries.

Discussions centred around food security, supply chain challenges, and strategies to bolster the resilience and adaptability of small-scale farmers, emphasising climate-smart agriculture practices.

His Excellency Dr. Ali Al Marri, Executive President of the Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG), commented: “The second Arab Climate Forum kicked off critical discussions and research efforts to address the challenges of climate change faced by Arab nations and the global community. These discussions focused on understanding the vulnerability of the agricultural sector to climate change, its effects on food security, and the development of agricultural policies tailored to the Arab region. These policies are aimed at mitigating the harsh climatic impacts on small-scale farmers and strengthening their resilience, ultimately contributing to ensuring food security in the Arab world.”

At the event research and civil initiatives aimed at empowering small-scale farmers to adapt to climate challenges were presented. 

These initiatives promote sustainable, climate-smart agricultural practices to support diverse and resilient food systems in Arab countries, contributing to the global goal of eradicating hunger by 2030.

The forum concluded with nine key recommendations to aid in enhancing small-scale farmer resilience and social development. This included sustainable agriculture, integrated resource management, support for vulnerable communities, financial investment, policy development, civil society involvement, technological innovation, sustainable supply chains, international collaboration, and effective monitoring systems.

The importance of expanding training and capacity-building programs for small-scale farmers in sustainable agricultural practices, was underlined, as well as the importance of encouraging farmers to adopt efficient water resource usage and advocating for methods like drip irrigation, precision agriculture, and water recycling. 

It also placed a spotlight on community resilience, focusing on the challenges faced by low-income rural women, who often experience marginalisation and gender inequality.

Recommendations emphasised the importance of public-private partnerships in securing funds for climate-resilient agriculture and water projects, especially in agribusiness. 

They also highlighted the necessity for additional research on agricultural initiatives led by civil society, focusing on enhancing the resilience of small-scale farmers and expanding the effectiveness of successful methods.

The forum also highlighted the significance of fostering regional and international collaboration and knowledge exchange to adapt to climate change and bolster the agricultural sector’s resilience. 

The approach encompasses everything from national adaptation and mitigation plans to civil initiatives and local efforts, emphasising the sharing of results with stakeholders to ensure continuous improvement and achieve better outcomes in the face of climate action.

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