One year after the official launch of the Farmers Driven Climate Change Alliance, at COP24, in Katowice, Poland, the Climakers are back to share the first findings of their ambitious initiative.

Madrid, Spain, December 5th, 2019 – On December 4th, 2019, in Madrid, within the context of the UNFCCC COP25 Farmers Day, the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) together with the CGIAR Centre for Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) hosted the event on “Transforming Food Systems with a Farmers Driven Climate Agenda“.

Over 200 participants joined the event to learn more about how the “Climakers”,, farmers first, can light up the way forward to global sustainability, transforming food systems.

Farmers’ leaders and other stakeholders committed to supporting the initiative, including representatives of the research world, private sector and civil society, brought on the debate their perspective and experience.

Opening the event, the WFO President, Theo de Jager, reiterated the tremendous need to strengthen the perspective of farmers in all the processes related to climate change, stressing that farming owns an important part of the solution. Still, this solution needs to be science-based to be sustainable. 

The WFO Secretary-General, Arianna Giuliodori, highlighted the main findings of the first 12 months of the “Climakers” initiative, presenting the results of the data gathering campaign: an overwhelming 96% of the farmers declared that they feel the effects of climate change. Farmers are ready to adopt Climate-Smart agricultural practices, but they need help to face obstacles, like access to financial resources, to reliable information and innovation technology.

The event provided an excellent venue to officially launch “The Climakers – Stories from the Field – Volume 1“. This publication, the first of a series, is designed to present a collection of science-assessed best farming practices, showing the enormous potential of the agricultural sector when it comes to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

As representative of the research world, Bruce Campbell, CCAFS Program Director reiterated the importance of closing the gap between farmers and science, reminding that science is the key. Still, it is crucial that farmers and science work hand in hand to look for sustainable solutions in agriculture globally.

The perspective of the Caribbean and European Climakers were shared by Alex L. J. Shyy, Deputy Secretary-General of Taiwan ICDFJannes Maes, President of the European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA) and Niels Peter Nørring, Climate Director of Danish Agriculture and Food Council (DAFC). 

Bernhard Stormyr, Head of Sustainability Management in YARA, brought into the debate the fertiliser business perspective, speaking on behalf of the International Fertilizer Association (IFA). On the other side, Elizabeth Gulugulu from Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network (CSAYN) addressed the audience on the role of young farmers in adapting to climate change.

“Put farmers first”, stated Martin Van Nieuwkoop, Global Director of World Bank Agriculture, during his closing speech on the role of farmers in transforming the food systems under the changing climate.

The event was the occasion for a forward-looking and constructive exchange among all the actors of the entire value chain on how farmers can drive the change in the global political debate on agriculture and climate change, based on their practical experience on the field.

The Climakers have an ambitious agenda ahead, with outstanding results to achieve. Full speed ahead towards COP26 in Glasgow!