IICA Conference COP 27

Dr. Rattan Lal is an IICA Goodwill Ambassador and Chair in Soil Sciences, and Co-Leader of the Living Soils of the Americas Initiative.

September 22-24, Dr. Lal attended and spoke at the COP 27 Conference held by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA). The conference was to prepare various leaders and organizations throughout the Americas for the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Egypt. The conference explored that leaders in the region of the Americas come to a unified consensus and discuss issues that affect agriculture, such as climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the Ukrainian-Russian Conflict, and how those issues contribute to malnutrition and hunger. The meeting was made up of senior officials and leaders, ministers, secretaries, and high-level officials of Agriculture of the Americas. Leaders aimed to discuss the strategic role of the region’s agriculture sector in addressing climate change. A great point that was made by Dr. Lal is that “climate change is not something that will happen in the future; it is already happening.” Climate change is apparent throughout the world: rising global sea levels, diminishing ice caps, rising sea surface temperatures, rising global temperatures, etc. Another great point made by Dr. Lal is that we should look to take better care of our natural resources by looking to sustainable agricultural practices to lead to sustainable development. Climate change is gravely affecting food security around the world. Efforts to make sure every human on Earth knows where their next meal is coming from is literally a life-or-death situation. Overall, the conference sought the “value of building consensus within the region’s agriculture sector” as stated by IICA Director General, Manuel Otero. With the innovative ideas on how the regions can uniformly come together to discuss external issues affecting the world’s agriculture, COP 27 looks forward to the UN Climate Change Conference this coming November in Egypt.