On Dec. 13, 2018, the 4 per 1000 Initiative held its annual meeting in Katowice, on the sidelines of the COP24 (24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change).The discussions among participants were fruitful and marked the entry of a dynamic phase and the need to start demonstrating the benefits of the Initiative. It now has tools such as the benchmark, of which the quality was praised, and is now available for members and partners to use. Through holding workshops, partners and members were able to share thoughts on the importance of co-construction with the different parties, and the sharing of experience and knowledge, particularly at the local and regional levels.
The Consortium also adopted a suite of decisions, including the roadmap for 2019 and the principle of creating an office as an advisory and support body to the president and vice president, whose specific missions and goals will be laid out in coming weeks, in order to adopt the resolution by electronic consultation.
The day was started with an introduction by the Polish Secretary of State for Agriculture, M. Zarudski, and was presided by the vice president of the Initiative, Stéphane Le Foll, former French Minister of Agriculture. M. Zarudksi underlined the importance of agriculture in the response to the challenges posed by climate change and the needed cooperation among actors, particularly in research.
Several figures also brought their support to the initiative, including the Tunisian Minister of Agriculture, Samir Taïeb, who reminded all present of the extent that Mediterranean agriculture is affected by climate change. French Minister of Agriculture Didier Guillaume, in a video message, reminded all of the support of France for the Initiative, and called all actors to mobilize in putting in place the actions of the 4 per 1000 Initiative and to use the tools provided by it.
The meeting of the 4 per 1000 Initiative’s Forum was marked by holding workshops on the following themes, supported by concrete illustrations:
- Innovation and spreading best practices in managing organic carbon in soil
- Following this up with benefits at different levels
- Shared management of organic matter between urban and rural areas
- The involvement of the private sector, including through carbon compensation
Coming out of these discussions is the observation that the Initiative is now entering a decisive phase, calling for a multiplication in actions and their financing. The importance of co-construction with the different parties to the Initiative, and training actors, highlights the need to have local levels for 4 per 1000.
In his conclusion, Stéphane Le Foll highlighted on the one hand that public policy needs to be changed to lead to an environmentally performative agricultural system, but also in the economic and social systems, and on the other that investments must be made while taking into account the problems we avoid through the use of sustainable agricultural models.