The work will be implemented in two spheres of activity: field work and advocacy and education. Over the next five years, this project will:
- Directly impact more than 3.5 million individuals through Heifer's field work(Years 2-5).
- Touch 2-3 million people with education and advocacy messages (Years 2-5).
- Assess agro-ecological practices and production systems' ability to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (Years 1-2).
- Work with independent third party researchers and service providers to validate the results of farming systems implementation and assessments (Years 1, 2, 5).
- Implement practices that enhance carbon sequestration efforts (Years 2-5).
- Work with farmer communities to integrate sustainable approaches such as manure management, efficient wood burning stoves, managing grasslands, planting trees (Years 2-5).
- Build on the current agro-ecological practices that will assist communities' adaptation strategies such as increasing soil productivity and water-holding capacity, and implementing water harvesting strategies to reduce the risks associated with droughts (Years 2-5).
Advocacy and Education
- Conduct research to btter understand how climate change will impact the communities with whom it works(Year 1).
- Educate the public, other organizations, partners, and governments to empower and give voice to those likely to be most affected by climate change (Year 1-2).
- Implement a public campaign targeted at reducing individuals' carbon emissions by making small changes in daily habits and use patterns (Years 1-3)
- Advocate with national and international decision makers in support of limited resource farm communities (Years1-5).
- Publish materials that will be used by small scale farmers to improve their farming models with sustainable agro-ecological farming practices and increase their capacity to adapt to climate change (Year 2).
The mission of Heifer International is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the Earth. Heifer has long recognized the integral role that caring for the Earth plays in our efforts to end hunger and poverty. One billion people depend on livestock and the majority of the world's poorest depend on livestock for at least a portion of their livelihood. Heifer's work is focused on working directly with communities through living loans of livestock and training on integrated sustainable agriculture methods and community organization. The proposed commitment will focus on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and livestock production by promoting agro-ecological farming systems in the communities where Heifer works.
Agriculture is known to contribute 13.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and the UN FAO, through a recent publication, contends that livestock is responsible for nearly 80% of agricultural emissions. Sustainable agriculture can change these numbers and create a net positive effect on carbon emissions. Mitigation and climate change adaptation will be achieved through working with the small scale farmers to enhance implementation of agro-ecological farming practices that result in reduced greenhouse gases and reduce the risks of climate related disasters.
Livestock are considered to play a role in negative negative environmental impacts in general and global climate change in particular. Heifer commits to demonstrate that agro-ecological approaches to integrated crop farming used in its field work build soil organic matter, enhance farm productivity and food security while storing carbon in plants, trees and the soil. These systems create a balanced equation in a sustainable agriculture model that offsets the greenhouse gas emissions created by livestock. Heifer also commits to using these documented findings to advocate for changes in policies, systems and practices (e.g. food security, local food systems, climate change adaptation and mitigation) in support of limited resource farmers.
SEEKING: financial assistance, implementing partners, best practice information. 1. Donors/Advocates to support this commitment. 2. Companies dealing with innovative agro-ecological practices and environmental services (in-kind professional services) to scientific support for mitigation and adaptation 3. Research and Training institutes (in-kind professional services) to assist in the training and capacity building of community institutions.The organization also seeks collaborative action oriented research that can leverage information for developing training material