Network Updates / Washington, D.C., United States of America / 2019-11-05

Webinar: Advances in agricultural sector practices for methane and black carbon depletion in Latin America and the Caribbean:

This sixth session of the current series of BreatheLife campaign webinars, held in Spanish, focuses on opportunities to reduce emissions in the agricultural sector

Washington, D.C., United States of America
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It’s that time of year again: the Indian megacity of Delhi and its 20 million-strong population is choking under a blanket of air pollution several times the limits set by WHO guidelines as crop residue burning joins other sources of pollutants and a winter meteorological phenomenon called “inversion” to create a public health nightmare.

Delhi is not alone; burning to clear crop residue and unwanted vegetation occurs in many agricultural areas around the world, endangering the health of those who live and work nearby.

It’s the most visible contribution agriculture makes to climate change and air quality, adding to the sector’s standing as one of the biggest sources of short-lived climate pollutants; according to the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, the agriculture and forestry sectors are together responsible for 24 per cent of all greenhouse gases emitted worldwide, including about 40 per cent of global black carbon emissions and half of all anthropogenic methane emissions.

These emissions form part of an ironic cycle that shoots itself in the foot: methane reacts in the atmosphere to raise levels of tropospheric ozone, which damages crops and reduces yields, while black carbon darkens surfaces covered in ice and snow, increasing melting, threatening the future of glaciers— a source of irrigation for crops in several major food-producing regions of the world.

But change is happening in Latin America. In the case of reducing burning, it’s already delivering success stories: in 2015, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition observed that farmers in the region were both driving and buying into “no-till agriculture”, a practice that involves chopping crop residue rather than burning it, and planting through the residue.

In 2015, 80 per cent of all crops in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay (MERCOSUR) were being produced under no-till. Argentina and Brazil significantly boosted their no-till acreage from 1990 to 2015, the latter while doubling grain production and increasing cropped land by only 9 per cent.

And, in May 2019, the head of Government of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo, announced her intention to end the practice of agricultural burning, also announcing over one billion pesos in support of forest conservation and sustainable agricultural practices. The capital city had previously declared itself under “environmental contingency” for four days as levels of very fine air pollutants (PM2.5) spiked.

It is in this context that the sixth session of this year’s series of BreatheLife campaign webinars will be held to facilitate the exchange of experiences and strengthen capacities in the cities, countries and regions of Latin America and the Caribbean, focusing on opportunities to reduce emissions in the agricultural sector.

Peru will be attending as a guest country. Also in attendance will be the Agriculture Initiative of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition.

The series of webinars of the Breathe Life Campaign for Latin America is jointly organized by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the United Nations Environment Program (UN Environment), the Climate and Clean Air Coalition for Reduce Short Life Pollutants (CCAC) and the Clean Air Institute.

The webinar will be held in Spanish.

BreatheLife Webinar Series para América Latina y el Caribe
Sesión 6: Avances en las prácticas del sector agrícola para el abatimiento de metano y carbono negro

Fecha: Martes, 5 de Noviembre de 2019

Hora: 11:00 am-12:00m EST (Colombia, Panamá, Perú, Ecuador)

10:00 am-11:00m Ciudad de México

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Chile

Nos complace invitarles a la sexta sesión de las serie de webinars de la Campaña Respira Vida, para intercambio de experiencias y fortalecimiento de capacidades en las ciudades/países/regiones de América Latina y el Caribe. Esta sesión tendrá como tema central las oportunidades de reducción de emisiones en el sector agrícola. La sesión contará con la participación de la Iniciativa de Agricultura de la Coalición de Clima y Aire Limpio y Perú como país invitado.

Las actividades relacionadas con el uso de la tierra hacen que el sector agrícola sea un foco importante de generación de contaminantes climáticos de vida corta (CCVC). Al igual que los gases efecto invernadero y los contaminantes al aire, los CCVC impactan negativamente la productividad de los cultivos y ponen en peligro la salud y el sustento de millones de personas. Es por esto que, la iniciativa en agricultura de la Coalición de Clima y Aire Limpio enfoca sus esfuerzos en avanzar en las prácticas de reducción o recuperación de metano y carbono negro de las fuentes de emisión calve en el sector agrícola.

Esta sesión discutirá las lecciones aprendidas de los programas de asistenicia técnica de la Coalición en Colombia, y contará con la participación del Instituto Geofísico del Perú y agricultores de la zona del Perú donde se ha avanzado bastante en este tema.