Rome, Italy, October 5, 2021 – Today, the Climakers Asian Community, including farmers and other stakeholders of the agricultural sector, convened digitally to shine a light on the best practices on climate change mitigation and adaptation implemented by the farmers and their organizations in the Asian region.
Hosted by the Institute for the Development of Agricultural Cooperation in Asia (IDACA) under THE CLIMAKERS initiative, the one-day digital event “Farmers’ Solutions to Climate Crisis: Asian Stories from the Field″ offered an excellent venue to discuss the best practices farmers are implementing to cope with the devasting effects of climate change.
Opening statements were made by Dr Theo de Jager, President of the World Farmers’ Organisation and Mr Toru Nakaya, President of the Institute for the Development of Agricultural Cooperation in Asia (IDACA).
The event focused on the experience of farmers from the region in addressing climate change.
Best practices to overcome climate change effects directly from the Asian farmers’ voices
As stated by WFO President Theo de Jager: “None in the world is more vulnerable to climate change than farmers, and none can do more in a short window of time to mitigate and adapt to climate change than the world farmers. We know there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. But most importantly, we want to bring these solutions to the COP26 and tell governments that these are the solutions from the farmers.”
Participants in the panel were: U.G. Dayananda, President of the Independent Farmers Network of Sri Lanka (IFN); Nguyen Thi Thu Hao, Program officer of the Vietnam Cooperative Alliance (VCA); Unal Ornek, Coordinator of the Central Union of Turkish Forestry Cooperatives (Orkoop); Yosuke Ota, Assistant Manager of the Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives (JA Zenchu) in Japan; Abd. Sanih Nasri, Chairman of KOPEL – Eco-Tourism Cooperative in Malaysia; Dr Nandini Azad, President of the Indian Cooperative Network for Women (ICNW); Meena Pokhrel, Deputy General Manager of the Nepal Agriculture Cooperative Central Federation Ltd (NACCFL); Phanna Chhoem, Executive Secretary and Assistant of the Cambodian Farmer Federation Association of Agricultural Producers (CFAP); Leonard G. Basilius, Food Production and Employment coordinator at Palau Community Action Agency.
They shared with the audience what climate change means for Asian farmers and how they are coping with these unprecedented challenges.
U.G. Dayananda told how farmers in Sri Lanka have been coping with the climate emergency, focusing on the unbearable drought they experienced in 2012 and what they have put in place to tackle situations like this in the future.
Nguyen Thi Thu Hao shared the strategies and actions Farmers Cooperatives and the Vietnamese Government are implementing to adapt to the effects of climate change, preserve people’s lives and strengthen production and business activities.
Unal Ornek highlighted how farmers in Turkey are committed to improving climate adaptation methods such as better food storage and distribution or the adoption of new technologies.
Yosuke Ota told how JA Zenchu supports its farmers in environment-friendly rice farming practices that can protect biodiversity and tackle climate change.
Abd. Sanih Nasri discussed what KOPEL is doing to conserve and restore rainforest habitats and ecosystems in Malaysian Borneo while creating and sustaining local farmers’ employment and livelihoods.
Nandini Azad brought the voice of Indian women farmers into the discussion, remarking that Indian women farmers are struggling daily to fight climate crisis while improving their communities’ sustainability and livelihoods.
Meena Pokhrel shared with the audience how NACCFL supports Nepalese farmers when it comes to coping with climate change effects by supporting renewable energy, promoting the preservation of local seeds and driving the transition towards climate-smart agriculture.
Phanna Chhoem explained how CFAP is helping smallholder farmers in Cambodia by improving technical agricultural practices towards nature-friendly agriculture. CFAP also protects farmers and farming communities from many factors that directly threaten their lives and livelihoods.
Leonard G. Basilius focused on what the Palau Community Action Agency is doing to build food security capacity and grow climate change resilience in their community, including organizing an agriculture summer camp for children and improving farmers knowledge about recycling and reusing.
Closing remarks were given by Mr Sok Sotha, Managing Director of the Cambodian Farmer Federation Association of Agricultural Producers (CFAP) and WFO Board Member for Asia. He highlighted the need for high commitments and actions from world leaders to create responsible policies to support farmers in their daily activities towards more sustainable and climate-resilient food systems.