China-UN Initiative to Boost Smallholders’ Resilience to Climate Change Launched at COP23


China and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) on Thursday launched a new initiative that will boost smallholders’ resilience to climate change through South-South Cooperation, during a side-event at the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) in Bonn, Germany.

Smallholders in developing and least developed countries who suffer from food insecurity and income instability are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Therefore, strengthening their resilience is critical not just for the development of the agricultural sector but also for achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Under the new initiative, institutions from China and United Nations partners including ESCAP, WFP, FAO and IFAD will enhance their collaboration to better equip smallholders to deal with these challenges by facilitating policy dialogue, providing evidence-based research and advisory services, and supporting capacity building to help countries enhance value chain development for the benefit of smallholders in rural areas.

At the side event organized by ESCAP’s Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization (CSAM), in partnership with China partners and collaborating UN agencies, United Nations Under Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP Dr. Shamshad Akhtar highlighted that smallholders are at a disadvantage in accessing finance and resources to cope with climate-related risks to strengthen their resilience, and that South-South Cooperation can be an important part of the solution to tackle the climate change challenge.

“Helping smallholders promote climate resilient crops, make the most of efficient planting techniques and other methods to ensure biodiversity and sustainability are urgent,” said Dr. Akhtar. “Every country must be ready to not only draw upon its own resources, but also complement the strengths and expertise of others.”

Mr. Xie Zhenhua, Special Envoy for Climate Change Affairs of the People's Republic of China said, “China is committed to sharing its experiences with developing countries in order to help smallholders improve their capacity to adapt to climate change, especially in the areas of agricultural early warning systems, and capacity for disaster risk reduction. China invites the engagement of United Nations entities to conduct triangular cooperation to extend each other’s comparative advantages, better execute China’s technical assistance projects and engage in South South Cooperation with China.”

Participants, which included senior officials, and representatives from international organizations and the public and private sector, also discussed shared needs and priorities, such as climate smart and sustainable agricultural development, and showcased successful strategies and models from China.

For media enquiries, please contact:
 Katie Elles, Public Information Officer, Strategic Communications and Advocacy Section, ESCAP, M: (66) 9481 525 36 / E: