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What?

A regional conference and policy dialogue to advance the case for agroecology as the most relevant approach for agriculture resilience and reducing risks to farmers, in climate change policy at national and regional level.

Who?

Officials, leading experts and practitioners drawn from the African Union, regional economic commissions, NGOs, CSOs, small scale food producers, small businesses, academia, and UN bodies including FAO.

Why?

For the majority of Africans, around 70%, their ecological, economic and social agenda is tied to agriculture. This dependence on agriculture means massive vulnerability to the effects of climate change. Dealing with the climate crisis is key to ensuring resilience, food sovereignty, justice and livelihoods for Africa.

Agroecology is increasingly considered as a positive way to respond to the productivity, nutritional, environmental, cultural and human rights crises that are exacerbated by climate change.

Agroecology is also recognized as a valuable way of life for food producers and consumers by key global institutions including the UN FAO. Increasingly, academic institutions, some small business actors and many non-state actors are considering agroecology as a strategy for countering the social and ecological emergencies that we are facing including climate change and poverty.

A growing recognition is emerging that agroecology is a dependable vehicle to reach sustainable development goals and associated targets. Even so, policy frameworks and institutional arrangements, both at national and regional levels, are yet to integrate agroecology best way to adapt and mitigate to climate change in agricultural communities. The conference will address this gap through focused dialogues with national, regional and global actors.

Objectives

  • To inform policy on the significance of agroecology for food sovereignty and climate resilience and through joint formulation of specific recommendations to overcome major barriers to scaling of agroecology.
  • To strengthen collaboration among key actors in Africa and national actors in Ethiopia for future joint policy action in support of the recommendations generated at this conference.

Thematic areas

  • Agroecological approaches:highlighting the best practices that enhance soil fertility, increase productivity, ensure nutrition and health, and demonstrate that they are done without harming the environment and are culturally appropriate.
  • Research and science:highlighting research results demonstrating both the socio-economic and ecological value of agroecology. Research related to socio-economic and ecological resilience, soil fertility, productivity, gender sensitive and participatory technology development, and labour.
  • Policy and institutional matters:exploring policy spaces related to agricultural resilience to climate change. What do the National Adaptation Plans say about agroecology? What about the UNFCCC Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture? Does agroecology have a role in Nationally Determined Contributions?  and what about the nine climate actions that are proposed by the UN Secretary General? What are the institutional mechanisms at national and regional level to mainstream and advance agroecology in major development planning, notably in agricultural and climate change adaptation related initiatives?
  • Principles and guidelines for an effective process for scaling up of Agroecology for resilience to Climate change; How to effectively create an effective enabling environment in support of local government and rural communities to rapidly adapt and spread an integrated, systems-oriented approach for promoting agroecology

Facilitation

The conference will have keynote speakers. The first morning will be dedicated to plenary opening, keynote speeches and discussing agroecological practices. The second session, in the afternoon of the first day, will focus on research and science. The second day morning will focus on policy and institutional issues. In all of the sessions, good case studies will be presented to stimulate discussion. The afternoon will be allocated to wrapping up discussions as well as charting out the future, including issuing a declaration of future action/intentions. Facilitation technique will rely on a mix of approaches, including both conventional and innovative art-based methodologies.

Outputs

Workshop proceedings, papers, keynote speeches and a joint declaration on future actions and a commitment.

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