On September 20 and 29, The Climakers community from Asia and the Pacific region, farmers, and other stakeholders from the agricultural sector met digitally to exchange best practices on climate change mitigation and adaptation implemented by the farmers and their organisations in the APAC Region.
Jointly organised by the World Farmers’ Organisation and the Institute for the Development of Agricultural Cooperation in Asia (IDACA), with technical support of the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF), the two-day workshop “Farmers’ Solutions to Climate Crisis: Asian and the Pacific Region Stories from the Field” offered a platform to farmers from the APAC Region to share their experience to cope with the devastating effects of climate change.
Moderated by Hirofumi Kobayashi, Executive Director of IDACA, the event featured the participation of over 100 attendees.
Session 1 – “We, as Farmers, are innovators by nature and necessity”
The WFO President Arnold Puech d’Alissac officially opened the first session.
During his welcoming remarks, the President pointed up the innovative approach that distinguishes when it comes to finding answers to the challenges they need to face, climate change on top: “We, as Farmers, are innovators by nature and necessity. We have always looked for better ways to manage our work, save time and resources and adapt to a changing environment, always finding solutions that have survived for centuries.”
The session continued with the intervention of Nguyen Thi Thu Hao, Program Officer of International Cooperation Department in Vietnam Cooperative Alliance (VCA); Morland Naiuo, Net Cage Manager of Ngchesar State Office in Palau; Melissa Slattery, Dairy Farmer in New Zealand; Josh Tulele, Fruit Farmer from Fiji; and Dr. Nandini Azad, President of The Indian Cooperative Network for Women (ICNW).
They shared with the audience what climate change means for farmers in the APAC region and which best practices they are implementing to cope with these unprecedented challenges.
In the end, Katie Milne, WFO Vice President, took the floor to remark that sustainable solutions and financing women farmers are key to flourishing rural farming communities. In her closing remarks, the Vice President also reminded the audience: “Farmers with the help of science are going to find the best practical ways to adapt to the local challenges climate change brings. This workshop proves that yet again”.
Session 2 – Peer-to-peer exchanges and partnerships to ensure sustainable development with resilience to climate change
The second session was opened by Toru Nakaya, President of the Institute for the Development of Agricultural Cooperation in Asia (IDACA), who welcomed the speakers and all the participants and paved the way for a fruitful exchange.
Then, Sok Sotha, Board Member of WFO for the Asian Constituency and Managing Director of the Cambodian Farmer Federation Association of Agricultural Producers (CFAP), emphasized the need to have peer-to-peer exchanges and to build partnerships between public and private sectors, producers’ organisations, and farmers to ensure sustainable development with resilience to climate change in the future.
The participants in the panel of the second session were Dr Jung-Yun Choi, Associated Research Fellow for the Agricultural Policy Research Team at NH Economic Institute, National Agricultural Cooperative Federation (NACF) ; Lesi Olsson, Poultry farmer in Nauru; Dr. Kakha Nadiradz, President of the Association for Farmers Rights Defense (AFRD); Takeshi Nakamura, Assistant Manager for the Agricultural Policy Department at JA Zenchu; Selotia Tausi, Director of Department of Agriculture in Tuvalu; and Imran Ismail, Manager of the Kampung Kilim Langkawi Community Cooperative Limited in Malaysia.
They contributed to the discussion by bringing to the table their best climate change mitigation and adaptation practices.
The closing remarks were given by Amb. Timothy T.Y. Hsiang, WFO Secretary General of Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF), and Arianna Giuliodori, WFO Secretary General.
Amb. Timothy T.Y. Hsiang closed the session by underling the importance of supporting farmers’ practices in mitigating and adapting to climate change.
Then, WFO Secretary General started her reflections by highlighting: “Only four years ago The Climakers was launched as an initiative out of frustration of the farming community which was feeling alone in front of the climate challenges.” – She continued by remarking that: “Four years later we can be all so proud of what The Climakers has achieved together: more than 1 hundred case studies collected thanks to the restless efforts of all the partners of The Climakers.”
The WFO Secretary General also took a chance to reiterate that with the assessment of science, farmers have been able to offer governments concrete guidelines to improve their NDCs in a way that can contribute meaningfully to the countries and to the agricultural sector to continue to thrive.
“And with this spirit, we are heading towards COP 27, with this huge set of farmer-driven solutions, with the spirit of offering, proactively to governments, the support of the farmers’ community that are the real solution to the climate change challenge.”