As a member of the Climakers Alliance, we are pleased to announce the launch of the COVID-19 Special Edition of “The Climakers-Stories from the Field”. This publication collects 15 science-assessed best farming practices from 14 countries across the globe, selected to showcasing solutions that farmers worldwide are implementing to cope up both with climate and COVID-19 challenges.
The efficiency of the agricultural production model has always depended on farmers’ capacity to interpret nature and respond and adapt to changing conditions. Farmers are innovators by nature and necessity: they have always looked for better ways to manage their work, save time and resources and adapt to a changing environment.
This efficiency and capacity are under the threat of the negative effects of climate change. Compared to the past, this is spreading rapidly, not compatible with natural rhythms of ecosystems and economic actors. Farmers must cope up with a completely different climate scenario from the one in which they have historically built their professional planning experience in use resources and ensure the economic survival of their activity.
Climate change is a huge burden on the shoulders of farmers and the agricultural sector: farmers are called to feed the world facing immense impacts from a rapidly changing climate, while sudden shocks can hamper the survival of many of them across the globe.
The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak arrived at a time when many countries in the world are already confronted with serious pre-existing burdens of climate change and food insecurity. Many farmers experienced and are still experiencing huge losses due to natural disasters – droughts, floods, insects’ invasion – and the pandemic outbreak exacerbated existing critic conditions.
While the world is struggling to flatten the curve on COVID-19, climate change effects have not disappeared, and neither should action to fight climate change.
The way farmers and all the stakeholders of the food value chain responded to the resulting shocks of the pandemic outbreak could be considered as a best practice to react resiliently to current and future climate change ripple effects: when the world came to a standstill, holding its breath for the COVID-19 pandemic to pass, farmers and the broader agricultural sector have been working to ensure food and nutrition security for the world population.
Always at the forefront of dealing with nature, farmers have embraced the necessary risks and stood up for their families, communities and home countries. But farmers are not alone in this: sustainably bringing nutritious food onto the tables of billions of people is a joint effort of the entire value chain.
That is why, this year, together with the other members of the Climakers Alliance, we decided to raise the voice of farmers in their struggle to fight climate change and the pandemic outbreak, by asking them two questions:
- In the actions of mitigating climate change effects and adapt it to, how does COVID-19 affect the capacity of the farmers in your country?
- Which are the best practices you are implementing to adapt to it and/or mitigate its effects considering the need to continue working during the health emergency?
The experiences we collected in this special edition of The Climakers publication “Stories from the field” shine a light on how the farming community has been reacting resiliently to the climate crisis during COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. They show and testify farmers’ unique practical expertise, as a combination of traditional knowledge and experience from living and working on the land and with the hands in the soil every day.
Climate Change does not stop, and neither do the Climakers! Check out more about these stories and the farmers-driven climate change agenda at www.theclimakers.org.