We are small-scale food producers, youth, women, academics, environmentalists and scientists, part of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa, the continent’s largest civil society movement representing 200 million small-scale farmers, fisherfolk, pastoralists, consumers, religious groups and indigenous peoples. We met in Addis Ababa from 19th to 21st September 2022 to dialogue on Africa’s roadmap to adaptation through agroecology and now issue this call to action to COP27 and beyond.
We demand that COP27 put agroecology at the centre of Africa’s climate adaptation, creating resilience for Africa’s small-scale farmers, fishers, pastoralists, indigenous communities and their food systems.
Africa is suffering the effects of the climate emergency every day. Rising temperatures, floods, storms, droughts and depleted lands impact small-scale food producers across Africa first and worst. Forced to adapt to sustain livelihoods and feed families, we are met with negligible support or access to climate finance.
Africa has great potential, rich cultural diversity, natural resources and creative young people. Yet African agriculture is plagued by under-investment and policy gaps that prevent access to productive capital and land. We need a radical and just transition away from industrial agriculture, corporate monopolies, and false climate solutions – toward food sovereignty and agroecology.
Uniting generations of indigenous knowledge, farmer-driven and science-based innovation, and an ecosystem’s natural processes, agroecological food systems can adapt to the climate crisis and even help solve it. Farmers, pastoralists, fisherfolk, indigenous peoples and local communities use agroecology to steward their land sustainably, produce nourishing food that celebrates cultural heritage, and strengthen local markets and economies. Most importantly, by embedding diversity and resilience, agroecology provides the ability to absorb carbon and adapt to the existential threat of climate change – as the IPCC acknowledges. Africa can lead the world in the transition to sustainable food systems through agroecology.
We call on COP27 to:
#1: RECOGNIZE AGROECOLOGY FOR ADAPTATION
Prioritize agroecology to transform the agri-food system, build resilience, and enable small-scale farmers, pastoralists and fishers to adapt to climate change. Include agroecology in the UNFCCC climate negotiations.
#2: PUT SMALL-SCALE FARMERS AT THE CENTRE OF ADAPTATION
Meaningfully engage small-scale food producers and indigenous communities, including women and youth, in the COP27 negotiations and beyond – they manage landscapes across Africa. Reject false solutions that threaten land, seeds and breeds and increase reliance on global agrochemical corporations.
#3: FOCUS CLIMATE FINANCING ON SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEMS
Direct climate finance to agroecology. The time is now for an appropriate and deliberate increase in financing for small-scale farmers, fishers, pastoralists, and indigenous communities to deliver sustainable food systems through agroecology.