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Organic agriculture at COP23

At the UN climate summit COP23 in Bonn, Professor Jan Szyszko, Minister of Environment, took part in a discussion on organic farming and its links with climate change. The event was organised by Hungary with the participation of France, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the International Food Policy Research Institute.

“Forestry and agriculture are good examples of efforts towards achieving sustainable development. They are also part of the implementation of the obligations resulting from the Paris Agreement. The main objective of this global agreement is to achieve climate neutrality; however, accomplishing this will not be possible without taking advantage of our forests and soil”, said Professor Jan Szyszko during the meeting.

“The efforts aiming to reduce and stabilise carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere should not only stimulate the development of new technologies in the field of energy production. It is also necessary to remediate natural habitats such as forests, peat ecosystems and soils, because they absorb CO2 from the atmosphere.

Moreover, the absorption of carbon dioxide by living natural systems translates into the protection of biodiversity, improvement of air and water quality, as well as an increase in the production of biomass”, Minister of Environment Professor Jan Szyszko added.

The Minister also stressed that Poland has good soils, capable of producing food of the highest quality. In order to preserve their biodiversity, a number of measures are being implemented in order to combine soil and climate protection. For instance, farmers are obliged to maintain grassland and landscape features that are not used for agricultural purposes. In order to protect waters in Poland, measures are being implemented aimed at maintaining organic elements in soil in order to prevent its erosion.

Regarding biodiversity

Another meeting at COP23, attended by Professor Jan Szyszko, concerned biodiversity. The event was also attended by Dr. Cristiana Paşca-Palmer, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

During the meeting, Professor Jan Szyszko pointed out that the recognition of the importance of environmental dimension in ensuring global worldwide growth and maintaining adequate living conditions for present and future generations is a major achievement on our way towards sustainable development.

“Resource efficiency, universal access to clean water, counteracting the loss of biodiversity, sustainable forestry and adaptation to climate change – they all should be the focus of our efforts in order to ensure sustainable development”, Minister Jan Szyszko added.

Professor Jan Szyszko's meetings, which took place on the 16th of November in Bonn, also included the event organised by the Eastern European Group countries devoted to climate negotiations. EEG is one of the five unofficial UN regional working groups. The Eastern European Regional Group comprises 23 countries of Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Baltic States and the Caucasus.

In addition, on the 16th of November, the Polish delegation to COP23 organised an event on geothermal energy and its impact on air protection.  

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