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Climate Week: Place agro-ecology at centre of climate action in Africa -- CSOs demand

Climate Week: Place agro-ecology at centre of climate action in Africa -- CSOs demand
Source: Prince Appiah | Luv FM
Date: 22-03-2019 Time: 03:03:54:am

Civil Society Organisations across Africa have called on African governments to transform the current industrial agriculture by prioritising agro-ecology strongly at the centre of their climate change actions.

This will create the enabling environment through policy and public support programmes for the scale up and scale out of agro-ecology as an alternative, nature-based solution to the failed industrial and commercial model of agriculture and food production system.

Forty-five CSOs signed a petition at the Africa Climate Week to draw the attention of African governments’ on the matter.

The petition stressed the need to prioritise climate change adaptation in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) while unanimously demanding of the industrialised countries to do their fair share of climate action.

Climate change confab

Such actions according to them, suggest the provision of adequate climate finance for the implementation of the continent’s national adaptation and mitigation plans.

Philip Jakpor, Head of Media and Campaigns, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), said that industrial agriculture must be replaced with agro-ecology.

 "Since the beginning of the Africa Climate Week, we have been witnesses to how the fossil fuel industry trade associations and their allies tried to steer the discussions away from the real solutions. We stand with farmers and other groups advocating agro-ecology in place of industrial agriculture which contributes to climate change".

To advance the agro-ecology argument, existing environmental laws must be enforced whiles implementing policies and programmes to halt the rate of environmental degradation, restoration of degraded areas and conservation of the ecological systems.

The group remains deeply sceptical of what they describe as false solutions which are; climate-smart agriculture, carbon markets, geo-engineering and recognize that climate insurance has a limited role to play in building resilience.

“Challenge false solutions being put forth by actors with commercial interests which will further entrench inequality within our citizenry.”

Director for Vision for Alternative Development, Ghana, Labram Musah, emphasised that agro-ecology will protect livelihoods of indigenous people.

"The solution to climate change is within the realm of non-market mechanisms and pro-people initiatives. Agro-ecology will not only tackle climate change, but it will also ensure that local livelihoods are protected," said Labram Musah.

In the petition, the CSOs demand “support women farmers with less labour intensive innovations and technologies that reduce the burden of women and girls unpaid care work whiles also contributing to mitigation measures of climate change."

The also called for the provision of adequate budgetary support with specific targets for women and translate national policies into local actions for effective implementation.


Emissions and Carbon Markets

Global warming is always increasing at an exponential rate and scientists are warning that “we have less than a decade”.

Considerable efforts are required to keep global temperatures as close to 1.5° above preindustrial levels as possible, to avert a looming global climate catastrophe.

This, therefore, requires every country to honour its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as their contribution to climate change mitigation through the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

“Due to different levels of emissions and capacity to finance the negative effects of climate change, countries with high emission levels must be guided by the principle of equity in order not to accept or take upon themselves an undue or disproportionate burden for climate change mitigation”, the petition advised.

Meanwhile, Carbon markets are dangerous distractions from developing real people-centred solutions to the climate crisis.

According to the petition, non-market approaches to climate change must be supported.

It is well documented that carbon markets have failed in achieving their environmental objectives and that many carbon offset projects have a devastating social impact.

Carbon markets will never be able to meet their environmental and social objectives and should be abandoned for alternatives that fit the needs of peoples at the frontline of the crisis.

As governments of Africa, Private Sector Actors, Civil Society Organizations and Farmers have all been articulating climate actions towards building resilience communities.

There is strong and factual evidence that agro-ecology systems, as nature-based solutions, are superior to external input industrial and commercial agriculture.

They are also highly productive, highly sustainable, empower women, create jobs, engage youth, provide greater autonomy, build climate resilience, and multiple social, cultural and environmental benefits for women, youth and men in both rural and urban communities.

Signatory Organisations

1. ActionAid Ghana

2. ActionAid Nigeria

3. Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA)

4. African Biodiversity Network (ABN)

5. African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB)

6. Association Ouest Africaine pour le Développement de la Pêche Artisanale (ADEPA)

7. Biodiversity and Biosafety Coalition of Kenya (BIBA)

8. Centre for Indigenous knowledge and Organizational Development (CIKOD)

9. Coalition pour la Protection du Patrimoine Génétique Africaine (COPAGEN)

10. Comité Ouest Africain de Semences Paysannes (COASP)

11. Community Alliance for Global Justice (CAGJ) 8. Comparing and Supporting Endogenous

       Development (COMPAS Africa)

12. Corporate Accountability

13. Eastern and Southern Africa Pastoralist Network (ESAPN)

14. Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers Forum (ESAFF)

15. Environmental Rights Action

16. Fahamu Africa

17. Faith & Justice Network of the Mano River Basin (FJN)

18. Farm‐Saved Seeds Network (FASSNET)

19. Fédération Agroécologique du Bénin (FAEB)

20. Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in West Africa (FECCIWA)

21. Food Sovereignty Ghana

22. Friends of the Earth Africa (FoEA)

23. Global Justice Now!

24. Groundswell

25. Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF)

26. Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee (IPACC)

27. Institut Africain pour le Développement Economique et Social (INADES‐Formation)

28. Institut Panafricain pour la Citoyenneté, les Consommateurs et le Développement (CICODEV

       Africa)

29. International Tree Foundation

30. Jeunes Volontaires pour l’Environnement (JVE International)

31. John Wilson

32. La Via Campesina SEA

33. Network of Farmers’ and Agricultural Producers’ Organizations of West Africa (ROPPA)

34. Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM) Association

35. Peasants Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG)

36. Plate‐forme Régionale des Organisations Paysannes d’Afrique Centrale (PROPAC)

37. Réseau Africain pour le Droit à l'Alimentation (RAPDA –Togo)

38. Rural Women’s Assembly (RWA)

39. Tanzanian Alliance for Biodiversity (TABIO)

40. Thousand Currents (formerly IDEX)

41. Union Africaine des Consommateurs (UAC)

42. Vision for Alternative Development (VALD), Ghana

43. We are the Solution (WAS)

44. World Neighbors

45. Zambia Alliance for Agroecology and Biodiversity (ZAAB)