“Before COVID outbreak invested us, protecting the Planet while ensuring Food Security was priority number one in the international community. Now that COVID19 is here, it is in our duties to resume the work of protecting the Planet while building resilience”. With these words, Dr Theo de Jager, President of the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO), as Lead Discussant on behalf of the Farmers’ Major Group, began his statement at the official meeting “Protecting the planet and building resilience” of the 2020 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

The session was aimed at highlighting opportunities, innovation, and solutions to safeguard the Planet, managing risks, and building resilience.

WFO was actively engaged in the preparation of this official meeting, as well the one on “Ending Hunger and Achieving Food Security”.

Thanks to WFO advocacy work, the Climakers programme has been officially included in the background paper of the session, among the good practices within the context of food systems.

Here are some inspiring messages from the WFO President’s statement it is worth remembering:

  • A paradigm shift is needed to ending poverty worldwide while addressing climate change and building resilience of the food systems.
  • Farmers and rural communities play a significant role in the transition to sustainable food systems. They stand at the heart of any process related to ending hunger and malnutrition.
  • Farmers are primary custodians of ecosystems and need support from public policies and investments in this critical function.
  • Financial institutions must be strategic partners for the development of services supporting rural communities in capacity-building processes. Agriculture is a unique sector and should be treated as such when strategizing on financing agricultural activities.
  • Innovating the management of risks and understanding the opportunities and challenges of the family farmers, especially women and youth, is critical for the development of any successful financial products directed to farming communities.
  • Trade policies, as well as production and consumption patterns, should be directed by the principle of “healthy people on a healthy planet.”
  • Right investments may increase the already huge potential of agriculture to be part of the solution to climate change through carbon sink for mitigation, sustainable soil management, risk-sensitive agriculture practices, biodiversity preservation.
  • Governments and other stakeholders must shift their approaches to natural resources management to prevent and reduce risks and address climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.
  • Conservation, restoration, and sustainable management of ecosystems are cost-effective, safe, and available means of sequestering carbon, preventing the emissions of the greenhouse gases, preserving biodiversity, and reducing vulnerability and exposure to disasters.

Watch the event recording on the UN Web TV