The 8th World Farmers’ Organisation General Assembly was a successful demonstration of how teamwork within the agricultural sector can be driver of a sustainable future for all.
Rome, Italy, June 8, 2018 – The 2018 World Farmers’ Organisation General Assembly ended on 31 May, with a renewed enthusiasm and desire of all the actors involved to work together in the search for effective solutions to climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Under the theme “Towards a Farmers Driven Climate Change Agenda”, the event featured the involvement of more than 700 participants from more than 40 countries all over the world, from New Zealand to Canada, from Argentina to Japan, from South Africa to Norway.
During the opening ceremony, Mr. Vladimir Plotnikov, president of the WFO Russian member organization, AKKOR - the Association of Peasant Farms and Agricultural Cooperatives of Russia, welcomed hundreds of farmers’ leaders from all over the world, as well as representatives of the Russian authorities, such as the new Minister for Agriculture H.E. Mr. Dmitry Pátrushev, economics and academia.
Farmers’ leaders met in Moscow to exchange their views and share their experience of climate change impacts on their farms and in their countries. In addition, representatives of multilateral organisations, research centres, private sector entities and civil society took part in the debate. These included FAO, IFAD, UNISDR, OIE, UPOV, World Bank Group, Bioversity International, IFA, Crop Life International, IFOAM, IDF and Bayer, to name but a few.
The WFO General Assembly lasted four days, from 28 to 31 May 2018, and the first was dedicated to four interactive workshops. Speakers and participants shared their opinions and experiences to improve farmers’ resilience to climate change to achieve global food security, within the framework of the 2030 Agenda. The relevant role of the agricultural sector in climate change mitigation practices was also explored.
The debate covered different topics, such as the opportunities of climate- smart approaches, the role of insurance schemes, the relationship between organic farming and climate change, and the importance of innovation. All the topics were discussed in a holistic manner, thus achieving an inspiring and constructive exchange among all the actors of the entire value chain.
The second day consisted of the Internal Affairs Session, during which the General Assembly approved the launch of the “farmers’ driven climate change agenda”.
Farmers play a leading role in providing a global sustainable future and they want to be the real leaders of the political process on the climate change in agricultural sector.
The relaunch of the bottom-up approach by the WFO member organisations was a tremendous achievement as it set the principle that will guide WFO activities over the next years.
“We want to say to the world what farmers we can do to tackle climate change and, instead of waiting for politicians to tell us what to do, we want to come up with a farmers’ driven climate change agenda”, said the president De Jager.
During the High-Level Panel Session on 30 May, the spotlight was once more on farmers that had the opportunity to tell their own stories of climate change, presenting their best practices to tackle it.
Key stakeholders illustrated what they are currently doing or plan to do to support the farmers to develop resilience to the climate change or implement effective actions to mitigate it.
The third day featured also the participation of one of the strongest voices in the global food industry, Danielle Nierenberg of Food Tank, a no-profit organisation founded in 2013 to highlight sustainable ways of alleviating hunger and poverty.
The General Assembly culminated in the farms visit around the Moscow Area, during which participants had the opportunity to share their own knowledge and experience and learning from each other.
The next edition of WFO General Assembly will be held in Luxembourg in the spring of 2019.
About the World Farmers’ Organisation:
The World Farmers’ Organisation is a member-based organisation bringing together national farmers’ organizations and agricultural cooperatives, from all over the world. Our aim is to strengthen the voice of food producers on the global scene, enhancing their relevance as economic, social and environmental actors. Currently, WFO has 82 members from 54 countries all over the world, representing approximately 1.5 billion farmers. WFO is the reference organization representing the farmers’ community in the United Nations processes including, among others, the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development, the United Nations Convention on Climate Change.
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