Agriculture is what we make of it, and nowhere is this truer than its environmental ramifications.
On the one hand, agriculture currently bears a heavy toll on climate: the global food system accounts for approximately 21-37% of global greenhouse gas emissions. On the other, agriculture can be a cornerstone of climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts by reducing and removing emissions while enhancing agricultural resilience.
While daunting, this is also a deeply empowering message: the future of agriculture is not beyond our control. We simply need to act.
AIM for Climate and Volcani International Partnerships
Enter AIM for Climate: an exciting international initiative designed to increase and accelerate investment in and support for climate-smart agriculture over the course of the next five years. Spearheaded by the United States and the United Arab Emirates, it boasts a growing coalition of some 50 organisations from 35 different countries.
In November, we joined AIM for Climate as a Knowledge Partner: signalling our intention to increase funding for climate-smart agricultural research in Israel and to help foster international coordination and collaboration to deploy climate-smart agricultural innovations. Indeed, climate-smart agriculture aligns perfectly with our mission. Not only is it vital to ensuring farmers can achieve food and income security, it is also a field where Israel is a true pioneer with much to offer the world.
Comprising over two thirds desert and with scarce water resources alongside scorching temperatures, Israel is on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Despite this, it has emerged as an agricultural powerhouse – a global leader in agro-technology, including climate change mitigation and adaptation – with an impressive record of overcoming the challenges which climate change is likely to exacerbate throughout the world.
Reasons why Israel is ideally placed to contribute to such efforts include:
> Capacity for agricultural R&D innovation – Israel is renowned for its agricultural achievements driven by a world class agricultural R&D innovation ecosystem.
> Natural climate laboratory – As a narrow country stretching from north to south, Israel offers a wide array of climatic conditions spread across a small area. It also boasts a large variety of crops, enabling a broad range of research. These features, alongside the significant impact of climate change on the Mediterranean, make Israel the perfect setting to study agricultural adaptation.
> Israel boasts infrastructure uniquely suited to drive innovations for climate change mitigation and adaptation, including:
Israel’s Model Farm for Sustainable Agriculture: a unique platform, comprising +40 hectares of farmland adjacent to laboratories, used by scientists to bridge the gap between research and farming in sustainable agriculture. It is ideally suited to host research on climate change mitigation.
The Gilat Research Centre: located in the Negev desert, the Center is dedicated to agricultural research in arid and semi-arid environments. It is ideally suited to host research on climate change adaptation.
The Israel Plant Gene Bank: it houses over 1000 plant species indigenous to Israel. Many of these species bear much promise for climate adaptation research.
A Call to Action
We’ve always believed that agriculture should benefit people and the planet. We’re pleased to have joined this community of like-minded change-makers.
If you are interested in partnering with VIP on a project, or simply want to hear more about Israel’s contributions to climate change adaptation and mitigation in agriculture, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org