Moving beyond traditional diplomacy - Alliance on Climate Smart Agriculture

Several concepts and partnerships are being built at the margins of international instruments and traditional diplomacy, aiming at being more inclusive and enhancing implementation. One of these examples is Climate Smart Agriculture and its recently created Alliance.

Deforestation is responsible for almost one quarter of global anthropogenic carbon emissions. Agriculture is one of the main drivers of this deforestation. Currently, deforestation is being addressed within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), through the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in developing countries (REDD+) discussions. REDD+ has positioned itself as a central element of the international climate change governance system and is receiving large amounts of funding. The consideration of agriculture within the UNFCCC, however, has faced opposition, even though agriculture is closely linked to deforestation.  As a reaction to this lack of progress and as a way to enhance action on the ground, new and more inclusive initiatives outside the traditional intergovernmental mechanisms have been created. One of them is the recently launched Alliance on Climate Smart Agriculture. This research will thus fill the following knowledge gaps: a) increase understanding on why forests have become more institutionalized in the international climate regime and governance system, while agriculture has not, and analyse the interplay between forestry and agriculture; b) analyse how a public-private initiative mobilized outside UNFCCC, such as the new Alliance, is framed and designed, and how it contributes to and interacts with the climate change governance system. The research will apply an analytical framework based on the literature on institutional interaction and interaction management, as well as framing theory. Data will be collected through primary and secondary sources, as well as through participatory observation.