National Farmers' Federation

Emirates Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action

The National Farmers’ Federation welcomes the announcement by the Australian Government to endorse the Emirates Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action (the Declaration).  

“This Declaration stresses the importance of the agriculture sector as a major stakeholder in the debate, and reaffirms farmers being at the core of decisions made that affect them,” explained NFF President David Jochinke who will attend COP28 in Dubai next week. 

“The NFF recognises the fundamental challenge that adaptation and emissions reduction represent to our industry.  

“It’s critical that climate adaptation doesn’t compromise our ability to produce food and fibre, or result in reduced productivity, by limiting herd numbers for example.  

The Declaration stresses “that any path to fully achieving the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement must include agriculture and food system”. The NFF maintain that the commitment to the goals of the Paris Agreement should continue to recall Article 2, which recognises the importance of “Increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food production”. 

The Declaration pledges to “revisit or orient policies and public support related to agriculture and food systems to promote activities which increase incomes, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and bolster resilience, productivity, livelihoods, nutrition, water efficiency and human, animal and ecosystem health while reducing food loss and waste, and ecosystem loss and degradation”. 

Mr Jochinke said that this was pleasing to read, and reemphasised the NFF’s commitment to addressing climate change.  

“The NFF is fully committed to working collaboratively and constructively on this matter with the Government, particularly as we consult on upcoming sectoral plans during 2024”.  

The Declaration also called for Parties to “accelerate and scale science and evidence-based innovations – including local and indigenous knowledge – which increase sustainable productivity and production of agriculture”.  

Mr Jochinke noted that a continued focus on science and innovation was critical.  

“Farmers are continually seeking improvements and innovation based on risk, science and evidence, and policies that support the innovation and uptake of new technologies that reduce emissions should be encouraged,” Mr Jochinke said.  

The NFF will be attending COP28 from 7-11 December and looks forward to discussing the Declaration with international and domestic policymakers.