For a Safer Earth, Healthier Climate

COP 27: 32 African Countries Advocate Adoption of Agroecology for Africa.

Participants at the conference

By Ruth Tene Natsa, Nigeria

As the world grapples the occurring issues of Climate Change, 32 African Countries have converged in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to set a Roadmap for better understanding and inclusion of Agroecology to, during and beyond COP 27.

The three days conference, organised by the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa(AFSA) in partnership with Consortium on Climate Change Ethiopia and Environment Protection Authority began today, Monday, September 19, and will end on Wednesday, September 21, 2022.

Participants including Farmers, Women Groups, Faith Based Organisations, Fisher folks, and the media were drawn from the 32 African countries including Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, and Mozambique among others.

AFSA General Coordinator, Million Belay(Ph.D.) said the purpose of the high-level engagement was to bring consensus among African Actors on climate, such as governments, civil society organisations, Academia, religious leaders, and media among others.

He said it was essential to bring this issue to COP 27 because that is a place where agriculture and adaptation are going to be discussed as it is high on the agenda.

“In our engagement with African group of negotiators, we could see that they do not have a believe or trust on Agroecology, so we just want to create a consensus amongst the civil society organisations to be transmitted to our various governments”

Dr. Balley said the consensus was not only aimed at COP 27 but on the way and beyond that.  “What shall we do before COP 27, What shall we do at COP 27 and what shall we do post COP 27?,  so it is to refine our agenda at COP 27. To collaborate and unite our agenda for Africa. So by bringing all these actors together, we are creating a broad base for advocacy to issues related to the subject matter to discuss, deliberate, and advocate”.

He maintained that there was so much confusion about what kind of agriculture Africa should have, towards adapting to the climate crises that are coming, “Some of us advocate for agroecology, some say it is climate-smart agriculture while others say it is a nature-based solution, so there is a lot of confusion, lots of agendas which emanate from outsiders”.

He noted that as a continent the agenda was not clear, “Africa traditionally has diverse food but increasingly we are losing our diversity mainly because of the kinds of policies that we are promoting”

“So we are trying to propose a policy both at the country and continent level which will be coherent amongst us all as often we have lots of policies negating against each other while also bringing food access from all over the world.”

He was impressed by the response of various African governments to issues of food sovereignty and agroecology recalling that ECOWAS had begun studies on how to  explore how to implement Agroecology as well as other North African Countries among others

Also speaking, AFSA Programme Coordinator, Bridget Mugambe recalls that the AFSA membership in 2018 decided to start a campaign to make agroecology a major policy solution to the climate catastrophe that is adversely affecting Africans’ social, economic, and ecological well-being.

She said ” in Africa, the impact of the climate crisis is intense and is felt primarily on farming, food production, and food systems. Women food producers are often the first to suffer from these impacts.

She added that current African policy

solutions placed further pressure on small-scale food producers to participate in industrial agricultural

programs such as climate-smart agriculture, GMO seeds, and chemical inputs derived from fossil fuels.

Clearly, the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels is not going to be

achieved by more industrialization, she said. 

Participants agreed that agroecology uses local and nature-based production systems backed by science to promote agriculture.

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