IFAD goes to COP26 – Putting rural small-scale farmers at the centre of global climate negotiations

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IFAD goes to COP26 – Putting rural small-scale farmers at the centre of global climate negotiations


From 31 October, world leaders, experts, and climate activists from across the world will gather in Glasgow, Scotland for COP26, the biggest climate conference since the Paris Accords. IFAD will be there, calling for greater investments in climate adaptation – and we will be giving the floor to rural small-scale producers to share their own experiences and solutions.

These producers are the foundation of the world’s food systems and the custodians of its resources. They produce one third of global food while working to protect their lands and livelihoods against the changing climate. In developing countries, their role is even bigger. Yet they remain greatly underserved by climate finance, receiving only 1.7 per cent of global funding flows, and they seldom have a voice at international forums.

At COP26, IFAD has created a space to listen to their stories and present solutions. With more than 30 interactive events hosted at our pavilion, IFAD will highlight the crucial role of these producers in producing our food, and advocate for increased investments to help them adapt to erratic weather and increasingly frequent natural disasters.

Solutions exist for small-scale farmers to adapt to climate change, but substantial investments are urgently needed. Earlier this week, IFAD warned that staple crops in Africa are at risk from rising temperatures and that COP26 will fail to achieve a lasting impact if world leaders continue to neglect investments in climate adaptation.

“COP26 is our call to act,” said Dr Jo Puri, Associate Vice-President of IFAD’s Strategy and Knowledge Management Department, who leads IFAD’s climate change work. “It may be our last chance to control runaway climate change and to prepare for the effects of warming on billions of people. It is also happening as we rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic – just as we’re poised to rethink normal ways of working. This is our chance to work together for a global green recovery that takes into account the needs of marginalized people.’’

COP26, also known as the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, will bring together world leaders in government, science, business and civil society to discuss the state of the changing climate and determine the actions needed to adapt and mitigate. Many countries are poised to re-commit to their Nationally Determined Contributions towards global climate finance, and the pressure to make large-scale positive change is at an all-time high.

As the world turns its attention to the challenges before us, IFAD is ready to put rural small-scale producers where they belong: at the heart of these discussions. Supporting these producers against the many challenges they face has cascading benefits that will put us on the path to meeting both the humanitarian and environmental goals of the 2030 Agenda.

Join us at the IFAD Pavilion

Starting on Wednesday, 3 November, you can join us in person or virtually in the IFAD Pavilion for a chance to interact with small-scale farmers and climate experts. Our events will cover a wide range of adaptation topics, including science and technology, nature-based solutions, ecosystems services, the power of gender equality, the role of indigenous communities, the fate of small island states, and solutions for financing climate adaptation.

Find out more and register for the Pavilion events.


IFAD President Gilbert Houngbo and other senior managers will represent IFAD at key events, including the New York Times Climate Hub panel Not So Fast: Ensuring a Just Agricultural Transition on 8 November.