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PAR and Rotational Farming at the Bangkok Climate Change talks

October 19th, 2009

The Platform for Agrobiodiversity (PAR) took part in a series of Indigenous Peoples’ side events held during the UNFCCC Bangkok Climate Change talks 2009. The main theme of the Indigenous Peoples’ workshops was Rotational Farming (shifting cultivation or swidden cultivation). This farming practice can offer adaptation and mitigation opportunities and, hence, qualify for REDD, as long as the cycles are long enough to allow fallow regeneration (seven or more years). At present rotational farming in the text of UN-REDD (here referred to as slash and burn) is criminalised as one of the main reasons of deforestation. However, rotational farming entails very high levels of diversity within and amongst crops, provides the building blocks for tomorrow’s climate stress tolerant seeds and is, therefore, fundamental in building resilience and ensuring adaptation.

During the Q&A session it was stated that points are needed to: validate the importance and sustainability of rotational farming; produce a one page we could use for advocacy; and document the good practices of shifting cultivation.

The Platform for Agrobiodiversity Research will engage by looking for national regulations and policies that hinder or encourage rotational farming by: raising awareness about sustainable rotational farming systems; collecting and compiling information from Latin America, West Africa and beyond to transfer information and knowledge and reinforce case studies. Moreover, PAR will support the revitalization of the Jhumia network order to increase the knowledge base and to ensure focus is also placed on a livelihood perspective as well as a cultivation aspect.

Read more and access PAR’s brief report.

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