On October 21, in the framework of its General Assembly, the Pan African Farmers’ Organisation (PAFO), a member of the “Farmers Driven Climate Change Alliance” since February 2020, hosted THE CLIMAKERS Africa Workshop. The event focused on the experience of farmers from the African region in addressing climate change.
“Solutions must be grounded in what the farmers are already doing to adapt to and mitigate Climate Change effects” – WFO Secretary General Arianna Giuliodori
Arianna Giuliodori, the Secretary General of the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO), was invited to deliver the opening remarks. During her welcoming speech, she highlighted how despite the incredibly tough times we have all experienced with the Coronavirus pandemic, farmers have emerged as the most resilient category in the world, proving to be able to be forward-looking, profoundly rooted in the tradition but also ready to innovate – as they are innovators by nature. “Every story, every single experience, every success and also every challenge that you have been experiencing is a vital component of the solutions to climate change, not only for Africa, not only for PAFO but for all the community of world farmers! Because farmers have really learned from each other and what you are experiencing can be precious for farmers from the other side of the planet!” she stated.
Furthermore, retracing the history of THE CLIMAKERS since the launch of the Farmers Driven Climate Change Agenda at COP24, in Katowice, Poland, until today, the WFO Secretary General took the opportunity to announce that they are about to join COP 26 in Glasgow to present an “NDCs Toolkit”, practical guidelines to governments for a successful implementation of the Paris Agreement that is a WIN for the People and the Planet but also a WIN for the farmers and the broader agricultural sector and value chain.
Farmers at the centre of the decision-making process on Climate Change
After a brilliant moment of exchange and debate during which participants shared with the audience what climate change means to them and how African farmers are coping with these unprecedented challenges implementing climate-smart and resilient agricultural practices, it was the turn of the WFO President Theo de Jager and the PAFO President Elizabeth Nsimadala who inspired the audience with powerful and wise words.
“I remember very well how much we fought to simply have agriculture included in the Kyoto Protocol at COP 17, 18, 19 and 20” – WFO President said – “To mainstream our interests in the discussion, we decided to launch The Climakers and the content was supposed to be exactly what came out today by asking what we can do better and what we can do to empower the next-gen of farmers to make sure agriculture prove itself to be part of the solution. We will be at COP to say to the world this is our value proposition as farmers, but you need to help us“.
Echoing Theo de Jager, PAFO President Elizabeth Nsimadala affirmed, “The role of the Climakers is to make sure you, farmers, have a voice, and you come out with some recommendations on how to mitigate and adapt to climate change. PAFO is collecting African farmers’ experiences to have the best elements for advocacy at the global level. Time was not enough to finalise the discussion, but we will ensure follow-up meetings. More regional meetings will take place in different African countries so you will be invited to them. From PAFO leadership and secretariat, we will make sure to support the process as best as we can.”
COP 26 is around the corner, and THE CLIMAKERS are already on their way to Glasgow to empower farmers’ engagement in the discussion on climate change.