In the middle of August, from 14th to 16th, a delegation of the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO), led by the Vice-President, Mr Dave Velde, joined over 50 delegates representing Farmers’ Organizations from the Caribbean, Governments, multilateral institutions and research organizations in St. Kitts and Nevis, the Caribbean, for the first of the regional workshops of the CLIMAKERS, the WFO-conceived initiative according to which all the actors in the food value chain and other stakeholders work together, to advance the global political dialogue on agriculture and climate change, promoting farmers’ contribution to the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Organized by the Agricultural Alliance of the Caribbean (AACARI) with the International Cooperation and Development Fund (Taiwan ICDF), this event was the first of the series of regional workshops to be organized in 2019 and 2020 across the globe to discuss farmers’ challenges and best practices on mitigation and adaptation to climate change as well as to explore opportunities to enhance the position of the farmers in the global political discussion on climate change.

The event took place against the backdrop of the approval by the world’s governments of the Special Report on Climate Change and Land (SRCCL), released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

As highlighted by the WFO Vice President, during his remarks, several organizations and entities are misusing the report to make it as a basis for their own communications objectives where farmers only appear as the cause of climate change.

The speech was the occasion to reaffirm the tremendous need to strengthen the perspective of farmers in all the processes on agriculture, at local, national and international level.

Here an extract of Mr Dave Velde’s speech:

Everybody in this room knows well that farmers are the most impacted people by climate change. Farmers depend on their land, on the water availability, on the raining patterns, on the level of temperature to grant sustainable food production. If these patterns change because of the climate, farmers are obliged to adapt to the new conditions. 

Farmers are the only economic actor able to adapt to climate change and mitigate it at the same time. 

They are seen just as those who provoke climate change with agricultural practices, but we don’t have to forget that when the land is treated, its ability to retain CO2 raises of 30%. So, agriculture has a big role in carbon sequestration, especially thanks to the livestock sector. 

This applies to the forests as well, when cultivation is there, the soil is much more fertile and saner. 

Despite all this, farmers are under accuse for climate change. 

The Climakers initiative is the response to this. Farmers must be united and speak one voice if we want to be heard effectively. 

The Farmers Driven Climate Change Alliance – the Climakers – was launched exactly to give voice to the farmers in a way that the world starts recognizing their role of food producers and carers of the environment.

WFO is tirelessly committed to bringing the voice of the farmers, including the remotest ones, to highest political agenda on agriculture, the COPs, the United Nations process with the support from all of you”.

Find out more information about the event here