Three years after the official launch of the “Farmers Driven Climate Change Agenda” at COP24 in Katowice, Poland, THE CLIMAKERS are back to share the first key outcomes of this ambitious initiative.

Rome, Italy, November 12, 2021 – Last week, in Glasgow, within the framework of the COP 26 Farmers’ Day, on November 3, the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) and the International Fertilizers Association (IFA) hosted the official side event “THE CLIMAKERS: Presenting the Toolkit for a Farmer – Driven Implementation of NDCs”.

Moderated by Alzbeta Klein, Director General, International Fertilizer Association, IFA, the event featured farmers’ leaders and other stakeholders committed to supporting the initiative, including representatives of the research world, private sector, and civil society. They brought on the debate their perspective and experience on the progress made in amplifying farmers’ needs and solutions to climate change.

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 and agriculture: “Don’t invite us to dinner; call us to the kitchen!”- “Don’t take decisions about agriculture without the farmers being there,” he stated.

He retraced THE CLIMAKERS steps, from the launch in 2018 in Katowice, Poland, until COP26, highlighting the very spirit of the initiative that involves all the main actors of the agricultural sector that believe that farmers can have a real impact in the transition towards sustainable and climate-resilient food systems, based on their practical experience on the field.

We are not your problem. We are actually the only solution you have,” WFO President affirmed, stressing how farmers are a pivotal part of ensuring a successful action against the climate emergency. Still, this solution needs to be science-based to be sustainable.

Indeed, the event provided an excellent venue to officially launch the “Guidelines for Policy Makers“, designed by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security, CCAFS, based on the farmers’ best practices collected within THE CLIMAKERS initiative. These guidelines want to provide governments and policymakers with farmer-driven, science-based, and result-oriented solutions to implement the Paris Agreement at the national level successfully.

As a representative of the research world, Ana Maria Loboguerrero, Head of Global Policy Research at CCAFS, pointed out why and how agriculture is linked to global policies on the climate challenge. “This is about bridging the gap between policies and farmers implementing practices on the ground,” she said while presenting the guidelines.

Echoing Theo de Jager, Elizabeth Nsimadala, President, Eastern African Farmers Federation, EAFF, and Former President, Pan-African Farmers’ Organization, PAFO, affirmed: “We are proud to be part of THE CLIMAKERS and join forces to have the farmers’ voice heard. As farmers and farmers leaders, we will continue to tell everyone that we are not part of the problem but the solution everyone is looking for“.

Giulia Di Tommaso, President and CEO, CropLife International, “It’s really about working side by side and working together to find solutions to climate change with farmers at the centre“.

From the fertilizer industry perspective, Bernard Stormyr, VP Sustainability Governance in YARA International, showcased the potential of carbon farming for achieving NDCs: “We are now implementing pilot projects to support farmers in their transitions to carbon farming. Our next objective is to digitize these services so that farmers get their revenues the right way“.

The role of innovation in agriculture was at the heart of the intervention of Ming-Hong Yen, Director, Technical Cooperation Department, International Cooperation and Development Fund, TaiwanICDF: “Technology can provide the best information for climate change solutions as well as platforms of exchange amongst peers“.

Niels Peter Nørrig of the Danish and Agriculture Food Council, DAFC, shared the Danish experience about the role of farmers and cooperatives implementing NDCs and reflected on the work accomplished by THE CLIMAKERS since its inception. Still, he didn’t miss the opportunity to call for more partnerships to bring the farmers’ solutions to climate change forward.

Farmers are key for success; they have climate change solutions we need to learn from, solutions need to be locally tailored, and more finance needs to be directed towards these solutions“, stated Alzbeta Klein during her closing remarks.

The solution starts with farmers! Full speed ahead towards COP 27 in Egypt for more outstanding results to achieve!