We, the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) make this statement on behalf of 41 African Networks and organizations representing up to 200 million Africans, including Non-Government Organizations, small-scale farmers, pastoralists, fisher folks, indigenous peoples, women, and youth groups, agroecological entrepreneurs, environmentalists, and consumer groups.
In reference to paragraph7 of the Conference of Parties draft Decision -/CP.27 Joint work on implementation of climate action on agriculture and food security, inviting parties and observers to submit views on future topics for consideration by the subsidiary bodies at their fifty-eighth session, AFSA acknowledges and commends party and observer submissions to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change( UNFCCC) proposing agroecology as one of the future topics for agriculture and food security workshops within the UNFCCC negotiations on agriculture and food security.
We strongly call upon parties at the 58thSubsidiary Bodies (SBs) meeting to adopt agroecology as a climate adaptation and mitigation measure, which promotes sustainable food systems and enhances the resilience of agrarian communities, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, improves food security and nutrition.AFSA further calls on parties and agriculture negotiators to adopt agroecology as a standalone future topic related to agriculture and food security.
We anchor our call on the following reasons.
The recently released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report specifically notes with high confidence that “Human-caused climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe. This has led to widespread adverse impacts and related losses and damage to nature and people. Vulnerable communities that have historically contributed the least to climate change are disproportionately affected” (IPCC AR6 SYR).
We are aware that within the agriculture and food security sector, negative human actions have been exacerbated by the aggressive push for the adoption of an industrial model of agriculture and food production, which involves intensive use of chemical inputs, including fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides which are polluting farmlands, waterways, and compromising biodiversity and ecosystem health in general. The resource-intensive industrial agriculture model has also promoted monocrops in place of farming with diversity and deprived communities of a wide range of ecosystem services.
Conversely, agroecology is a sustainable and holistic approach to agriculture that can help address the challenges posed by climate change. Agroecology prioritizes the needs of small-scale farmers, indigenous peoples, pastoralists, youth, and women, often marginalized in conventional agriculture systems. Agroecology fosters social and economic equity, which is essential for resilience in vulnerable communities.
Agroecological practices promote using natural and organic inputs, reducing the reliance on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, which release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Farmers can therefore reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and synthetic inputs. Agroecological practices mimic natural ecosystems, thus allowing agricultural landscapes to capture and sequester more carbon than conventional monocultural landscapes.
Agroecology elements such as circular and solidarity economy, human and social values, responsible governance, and cultural and food traditions address complex challenges within the food systems, such as high post-harvest losses and high carbon footprint for food.
AFSA’s position is aligned with the African Union’s strategy for climate resilience
and development, which Emphasizes production toward an agroecological transition to reduce GHG intensity (including methane and other gases) and dependencies on external inputs. It is also aligned with the IPCC WG II report, which recognizes that Agroecological principles and practices, ecosystem-based management in fisheries and aquaculture, and other approaches that work with natural processes support food security, nutrition, health and well-being, livelihoods and biodiversity, sustainability, and ecosystem services” (high confidence).
In conclusion, we urge parties to listen to the voices of food producers and communities most affected by climate change's impacts by adopting agroecology as a climate adaptation and mitigation measure to promote sustainable and resilient food systems and foster social and economic equity.
By prioritizing agroecology, we contribute to building a more sustainable and equitable future for all while addressing the challenges of climate change.