The 2019 UN Climate Change Conference took place in Madrid, Spain, from December 2nd to 13th.
The conference hosted a wide range of events, meetings, and negotiating sessions aimed at turning the point in climate ambition before the Paris Agreement begins in 2020.

A delegation of the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO), led by the President, Theo de Jager, joined the conference, getting involved in several panels and roundtables so ensuring that farmers’ voice was heard.
The group included: Arnold Puech d’Alissac, WFO Board member and bureau member at FNSEA; Abdelmajid Ezzar, WFO Board Member and President of UTAP;  WFO Gymnasium Young Farmers; Ceris Jones, Climate Change Adviser at UK NFU and Facilitator of WFO Working Group on Climate Change; Niels Peter Nørring, Climate Director, and Tobias Gräs, Senior Policy Advisor at DAFC; Gerolf Bücheler, Policy Advisor Environment & Sustainability at DBV; Olivier Dauger, Responsible Énergie Climat,  and Carole Le Jeune, Chargée de mission Énergie Climat at FNSEA.

In a nutshell, it is what happened in Madrid!

3 December 2019
The WFO President, Theo de Jager, joined the event “Earth, Air, Fire and Water Elements for Sustainability”, co-organised by International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and International Fertilizer Association (IFA). During his speech, de Jager drew the audience attention on the real-life perspective of farmers when it comes to exploring options for farmers to address the biggest challenge of the 21st century.

4 December 2019
Within the context of the UNFCCC COP25 Farmers Day, the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) together with the CGIAR Centre for Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) hosted the event on “Transforming Food Systems with a Farmers Driven Climate Agenda “. The event was the occasion for a forward-looking and constructive exchange among all the actors of the entire value chain on how farmers can drive the change in the global political debate on agriculture and climate change, based on their practical experience on the field. Read more

In parallel, within the framework of the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture, Brenda Tlhabane, a young farmer from South Africa and student in the WFO Gymnasium training program represented the Farmers’ Constituency in the discussion on how improvements in nutrient use and manure management can help to build sustainable and resilient agricultural systems.

5 December 2019
Theo de Jager, President, and Nono Sekhoto, a young farmer from South Africa and member of the Working Group on Climate Change, joined as WFO delegates the Agri-Food Roundtable “Advancing Action on Resilient and Sustainable Food Chains for a 1.5 °C Resilient World”.
Organised by Global Resilience Partnership and FAO, the roundtable aimed to increase the ambition for climate action, agriculture and food value chains to deliver resilient systems.
Click here to watch the full debate.

In the afternoon, the WFO President brought the voice of the farmers within the event organised by World Bank to officially launch the Climate Smart Agriculture Investment Plan (CSAIP) Series.
“Nothing makes Farmers as bankable as insurance. When you plant a tree, it takes three years to see it grown. Farmers don’t have access to international funding directly. Governments do, and often farmers don’t receive it as they need it” said de Jager, stressing the need for proper insurances and access to long term investments.

At the same time, Veronica Barbati, President of Coldiretti Young Farmers, took the floor on behalf of WFO Young Family Farmers at the event “Family Farming, Biodiversity and Climate Change. The opportunities of the United Nations Decade for Family Farming” organised by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Government of Spain, the Embassy of Costa Rica in Spain, the Union of Small Farmers (UPA) and the World Rural Forum (WRF).

11 December 2019
During the “Stocktake on Pre-2020 implementation and ambition – High-Level Part” Theo de Jager on behalf of the World Farmers’ Organisation and hundreds of millions of farmers across the world presented the Farmers’ Constituency statement. As FARMERS’ representative, he reminded that greater ambition and implementing climate actions are at the forefront of farmers’ minds. Still, science and innovation, coupled with their traditional knowledge, and an ambitious financing framework, are essential to enhancing implementation.
Listen to Theo de Jager’s speaking out on behalf of farmers!

At the same time, Ceris Jones, Facilitator of WFO Working Group on Climate Change and Climate Change Adviser at UK NFU, addressing BAYER Crop Science side event on “SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEMS – BUILDING A PROGRAM FOR COLLECTIVE CLIMATE ACTION” stressed the role of agriculture as a carbon sink. “Not right to penalise farmers for practices overall the value chain” affirmed Ceris Jones during her speech.

12 December 2019
Attending the FAO event “Linking Technological Innovation and Climate Change Actions for a World Free of Hunger, Malnutrition, and Poverty”, Theo de Jager took part in the discussion.
He took the floor to remind panellists and audience the need of a framework that considers the perspectives of the farmers so that their needs and expectations can be met, and the best available innovation can reach each and every farmer on the farm.
“When you speak about investments in agriculture, you talk about investments for families. What we need is certainty of policies by governments. Farmers cannot go green while they are red”, highlighted de Jager during his speech.