climate change

Climate change

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Introduction

Climate change is increasingly recognized as one of the major economic, environmental and social challenges of our time. Scientists and politicians alike are acknowledging the challenges of climate change to food production, the environment and human life. It is also important to note that Africa is taking centre stage in the climate discourse as one of the most vulnerable regions (IPCC). Small scale farmers, pastoralists and fisher folk, the major producers of food on the continent, are reporting how climate change and unpredictability – drought, floods, temperature rise – is increasingly affecting food production and livelihoods.

Justification

Whereas the urgency of dealing with climate change has been acknowledged by governments around the world, many of the solutions proposed are largely to the detriment of food sovereignty, environmental conservation, and livelihoods. Many of the agriculture policies proposed are moving towards promoting industrial agriculture characterised by use of hybrid and genetically modified seed and increasing the use of chemicals in agriculture. This model is also ironically promoting the type of agriculture that is further exacerbating the impacts of agriculture by degrading the soil, destroying biodiversity with monoculture plantations and using fossil fuel based inputs that generate more greenhouse gas emissions.

Other categories of food producers including fisher folk, hunter gatherers and pastoralists are wrongly criticized as contributors to environmental degradation. Pastoral activity is for example often regarded as degrading lands and increasing production of methane. Artisanal fisher folk are discouraged while lakes are leased to large scale fishing businesses.

The voice for sustainable solutions is suppressed and not being heard strongly in regional and global policy discussions on climate change. While industrial production systems are becoming recognised as unsustainable and unhealthy, agroecology as an alternative isn’t strongly promoted. Policy negotiations around climate change have largely been turned into very technical and scientific discussions with little or no contribution from farmer organizations and civil society networks especially from Africa.

Goal

Making an evidence based case for Agroecology in climate change policy as a sustainable and long-term solution.
Objectives

  1. To advocate for policies that reflect the contribution of small scale food producers who through agroecology practices are regenerating the environment and at the same time producing and feeding the world on nutritious foods.
  2. To create policy spaces at regional levels and reflect the voice of small scale food producers and civil society organisations working with smallholder farmers.
  3. To hold governments accountable in meeting their commitments to global and regional frameworks and programmes in combating the effects of climate change.
  4. To deepen the understanding and appreciation of agroecology as a solution to climate change.
  5. To build the capacity of actors on the ground to be able to demystify the various concepts and bring on board the voices that are practicing and advocating for agroecology as a solution.

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