According to Kinglsey Agyemang, National Correspondent for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Agroecology Programme in Ghana, agroecology is the surest and most sustainable way of building resilience to climate change.
His remarks come as African stakeholders call for the adoption of agroecology as a means of adaptation and mitigation to climate change as world leaders prepare to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC), also known as the Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC or COP 27, next month in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
Agyemang told News Ghana in an interview that agroecology holds the key to the prospects of sustainable development in Africa in the face of the current climate change variability and change.
He said, “Agroecology is the most sustainable and surest way of resilience building, achieving food and nutrition security, protecting and improving agricultural biodiversity, and enhancing below and above-ground carbon stocks, among others.”
The ECOWAS National Correspondent for Agroecology Programme outlined the prospects agroecology holds in the climate change campaign.
“Agroecology seeks to carry everyone—policy makers, practitioners, vulnerable groups, etc.—along in addressing climate change issues. It is worth indicating that agroecology is broader than many climate change adaptation concepts and principles, such as climate-smart agriculture, conservation agriculture, sustainable land management, etc., “he added.
He urged African governments to keep their focus on tabling agroecology as the most appropriate climate change mitigation measure before global leaders during next month’s COP27 conference.
Fortune Kyei, Project Lead for Guzakuza, expressed similar sentiments, saying agroecology is the way to go as far as climate change is concerned, and urged governments on the continent to implement farmer-friendly policies.
She said, “Where the world is getting to, I believe agroecology is the way to go — the natural way to go. I would like to urge African governments to make and implement farmer-friendly policies and ensure advocacy for agroecology to be intensified. ”
The Guzakuza Project Lead also emphasized the need for global leaders to involve farmers most especially women who are most times sidelined and other key players in agribusiness in decisions about climate change mitigation measures.
“It is important to involve farmers and other key players in agribusiness in policies that border on the sector, and cooperatives should be formed and strengthened to push for sector policies and support,” Kyei told News Ghana.
She urged African leaders to stay united and present a united front on climate change mitigation measures when world leaders gather in Egypt next month for COP27.
Togetherness is key in tackling climate change, which is a natural phenomenon. If we present a single view and get to COP 27, we will fail, “she warned.
A roadmap for Africa’s position, which would be defended during the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC), more commonly referred to as the Conference of Parties of the UNFCCC or COP27 negotiations, has been developed.
The roadmap was developed after a three-day intensive work by participants from about thirty African countries at the initiative of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) in Addis Ababa last month.
Participants agreed that agroecology is the appropriate means of adaptation and mitigation for climate change.
The roadmap includes some key points, such as:
- RECOGNIZE AGROECOLOGY FOR ADAPTATION
Prioritize agroecology to transform the agri-food system, build resilience, and enable small-scale farmers, pastoralists and fishers to adapt to climate change. Include agroecology in the UNFCCC climate negotiations.
- PUT SMALL-SCALE FARMERS AT THE CENTRE OF ADAPTATION
Meaningfully engage small-scale food producers and indigenous communities, including women and youth in the COP27 negotiations and beyond – they manage landscapes across Africa. Reject false solutions that threaten land and seeds and increase reliance on global agrochemical corporations.
- FOCUS CLIMATE FINANCING ON SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEMS
Direct climate finance to agroecology. The time is now for an appropriate and deliberate increase in financing for small-scale farmers, fishers, pastoralists, and indigenous communities to deliver sustainable food systems through agroecology
Agroecology refers to the application of ecological concepts and principals in farming. It promotes farming practices that mitigate climate change by reducing emissions, recycling resources, and prioritizing local supply chains.
It works with wildlife by managing the impact of farming on wildlife and harnessing nature to do the hard work for us, such as pollinating crops and controlling pests.
Agroecology also puts farmers and communities in the driving seat by giving power to approaches led by local people and adapting agricultural techniques to suit the local area in relation to the specific social, environmental, and economic conditions.
The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, UNFCCC or COP27, will be the 27th United Nations Climate Change conference, to be held from November 6 to 18, 2022, in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.