Katowice, Poland, December 5th, 2018 – “A global alliance that aims to bring together, first and foremost, all the farmers of the world to promote farmers’ contribution to the Paris Climate Agreement”. With these words Dr Theo De Jager, President of the World Farmers’ Organization (WFO), welcomed the over 100 attendees that, on Wednesday December 5th, brought together in Katowice, Poland, within the context of the UNFCCC COP 24 Farmers Day, for the launch event of the first ever climate action led by farmers, “The Climakers. Farmers Driven Climate Change Agenda”.
“Farmers are not alone in this new adventure but benefit from the trust of all the main actors of the agricultural sector that believe that farmers can have a real impact in the global decision-making process on climate change. If we don’t approach this as a team, we will not really make an impact”, said Dr De Jager during his opening remarks.
No one in the world is more vulnerable to climate change than farmers. They are at risk because of the effects of the weather events, which threatens their production and revenues, especially in some areas that already have high levels of food insecurity and scarce means of coping with adverse weather conditions. In the same time, farmers are called to play a crucial role to face another key challenge that the human kind is exposed to: feeding the increasing global population in a sustainable and efficient way.
Although the agricultural sector is often identified as a cause of climate change, farmers hold an important part of the solution to address the challenges of combating climate change and its impacts. That is why farmers want that the political decisions take into account their needs and expectations.
The event featured the interventions from all the actors already engaged in the alliance, both farmers’ leaders from all over the world and other stakeholders committed to support this ambitious initiative, including representatives of the research world and the private sector, any one of which brought on the debate its own perspective.
It was the occasion for a forward-looking and constructive exchange among all the actors of the entire value chain on how “the climakers”, farmers first, can drive the change in the global political debate on agriculture and climate change.
The first part of the debate gave the floor to the representatives of farmers’ organizations from Africa and Caribbean. They shared with the attendees their willingness to work together to make the farmers’ contribution to the implementation of the Paris Agreement a success.
Mr. Abdelmajid Ezzar, president of the Pan-African Farmers’ Organization (PAFO) highlighted the need of sustainable farming practices to face the climate change challenge, whereas Dr Majola Mabuza from the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU) stated that farmers, especially young farmers, need to be part of the process. They need to engage with policy makers at the right stage.
“The Farmers Driven Climate Change Agenda is definitely the way to go and we stand formerly behind this progress”, said Claude Browne, Treasurer of the Agriculture Alliance of the Caribbean (AACARI), to reiterate AACARI commitment to be part of this Global Climate Change Alliance.
Then was the time of key stakeholders, representing the research world, the private sector, and the civil society to illustrate what they are currently doing or plan to do to support farmers in their challenging and ambitious initiative.
Ms. Anette Engelund Friis, Head of Partnerships & Outreach of CGIAR research program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security CCAFS emphasized how much central is the farmers’ role to drive the change and transformation that is needed in the agricultural sector and the wider food systems to achieve the Paris Agreement objectives. On the other hand, Mr. Clyde Graham, the Executive Vice-President of Fertilizer Canada, reminded the importance for farmers to become climate smart by considering the so called 4R of nutrient management (right source, right rate, right time, right rate).
In the ensuing discussion, all participants agreed on the relevance of working together to address the challenges of combating climate change and its impacts. As reminded by Yemah Mukum Melody, Communications Officer of the Climate-Smart Agriculture Young Network (CSAYN), extreme weather conditions in every part of the globe do not leave anyone indifferent and working together offers the opportunity to reach an effective impact.
Farmers are ready to make a change and willing to be the change!
The solution starts with farmers… now!
This is just the benning. All the farmers of the world, together with all the relevant stakeholders, are called to join their hands in a Farmers Driven Climate Change Alliance, and work together to strengthen farmers’ capacity to influence the decision-making processes on climate change
About THE CLIMAKERS:
THE CLIMAKERS are the members of the Farmers Driven Climate Change Alliance, which is to say all the farmers of the world and all the stakeholders in the agricultural sector that are committed to provide solutions to climate change, working together to strengthen farmers’ capacity to influence the Governments’ decision-making process on climate change.
To RSVP or schedule interviews, please contact:
Valeria Di Marzo