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CSOs At Africa Climate Week Task African Leaders On Agroecology, Climate Change Action.

Civil society organisations (CSOs) in Agroecology and Environment at the just concluded Africa Climate Week, have asked governments of nations to prioritise agroecology among other demands made for climate change action.

The CSOs made the call in a joint statement at the summit which ran from March 18 to 22, in Ghana.

Agroecology is the study of ecological processes applied to agricultural production systems. A member of one of the CSOs involved, Philip Jakpor, Head of Media and Campaigns, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), said, 'Since the beginning of the Africa Climate Week we have been witnesses to how the fossil fuel industry trade associations and their allies tried to steer the discussions away from the real solutions. We stand with farmers and other groups advocating agroecology in place of industrial agriculture which contributes to climate change.'

Labram Musah of the Vision for Alternative Development, Ghana, another CSO involved said, 'The solution to climate change is within the realm of non-market mechanisms and pro-people initiatives. Agro-ecology will not only tackle climate change, it will also ensure that local livelihoods are protected.'

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According to a joint statement by the CSOs, 'We, Civil Society Organizations promoting agroecology, young environmental movements, Activista (movement of young activist), women farmers movement, acknowledge that the theme for the event, 'Climate Action in Africa: A race we can win' is appropriate to the extent that African governments pay attention to the most appropriate and urgent climate actions. It is common knowledge that Africa is one of the most highly vulnerable regions to the effects of climate change, and we have seen in the last week in Zimbabwe and Mozambique people are getting hit hard and the pattern will continue and worsen. Yet it is evident that the continent has contributed little to this global problem.'

They observed that rural communities who depend on farming for food and income are especially vulnerable to climate change, explaining that farmers who depend on predictable rainfall patterns are harvesting lower yields due to poor soil quality, pest invasions, droughts, floods and waters are drying up in many communities.

'In most cases, these trends hit women and girls the hardest' noted the CSOs.

Among other demands the CSOs called on African governments to 'Transform the current industrial agriculture by prioritizing agroecology strongly at the centre of their climate change actions and create the enabling environment through policy and public support programmes for the scale up and scale out of agroecology as an alternative, nature-based solution to the failed industrial and commercial model of agriculture and food production system.'

They asked governments to place stronger emphasis for climate change adaptation in NDCs while unanimously demanding of the industrialized countries to do their fair share of climate action in providing adequate climate finance for the implementation of the continent's national adaptation and mitigation plan.

Support women farmers with less labour intensive innovations and technologies that reduces the burden of women and girls unpaid care work whiles also contributing to mitigation measures of climate change, was also on the list.

They also want governments to 'Challenge false solutions being put forth by actors with commercial interest which will further entrench inequality within our citizenry. We remain deeply sceptical of false solutions such as - climate smart agriculture, carbon markets, geo-engineering and recognize that climate insurance has a limited role to play in building resilience.'
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Publication:Nigerian Tribune (Oyo State, Nigeria)
Geographic Code:60AFR
Date:Mar 26, 2019
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