SPECIAL COP20 – A Farmers’ Day to discuss climate change and agriculture connections

On Wednesday (Dec. 3) an entire day of the COP20/CMP10 was dedicated to the main protagonists of agricultural activity: farmers. Press conferences and side events gave the possibility to farmers’ organizations to speak up and to call for negotiators’ attention.

The importance of the relationship between climate change and agriculture had already been stressed the day before by Mildred Crawford on behalf of the Farmers Constituency, during the high-level ADP Opening Plenary Session. The commitment of the Farmers Constituency to represent millions of farmers from all over the world and to bring a cohesive and multi-disciplinary approach to global agriculture policy processes was also underlined in her speech.

The same call was made by farmers, NGOs members and International Organizations exponents that attended the event on “Building Resilience to Climate Change and Managing Disaster Risk through Sustainable Agriculture”. Adriana Opramolla from Caritas International raised some questions regarding the potential role farmers can and should have inside the international frame of climate negotiations. “We are now in a new era, where climate change is understood not only as an environmental issue. In fact, human rights, development, and sustainability are now part of the discourse”. She urged for the inclusion of farmers inside this new vision. The need to assure a climate resilient agriculture for improving households’ conditions was also outlined by Charles Ogang from World Farmers’ Organization. In addition, the panelists advocated steps towards actions that consider gender issues and the involvement of youth in agriculture.

“This underlines the need for a comprehensive inclusion of the sector in a future agreement” concluded Mildred Crawford underlining the contribution that Farmers Constituency will give to assure the farmers’ voice inside the UNFCC processes.

(Image: side event on “Building Resilience to Climate Change and Managing Disaster Risk through Sustainable Agriculture” at COP20, 3 December 2014, Lima, Peru. Photo credit: Marina Sophia Flevotomas).

Written by Alice Tomaselli in Lima, Peru. In collaboration with Agenzia di Stampa Giovanile sulla Cooperazione allo Sviluppo, Sostenibilità Ambientale e Cambiamenti Climatici (Youth Press Agency on Climate Change, Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development).