The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance has partnered with Morocco-driven Adaptation of Africa Agriculture Initiative (AAA) to enhance the voices of smallholder agricultural farmers and climate - resilient agriculture in international climate change discourses.
At a workshop hosted by AAA during the 2018 Crans Montana Forum, a South-South convergence at the Coastal City of Dakhla on 15 – 20 March 2018, PACJA Secretary General Mithika Mwenda decried the deliberate alienation of agriculture in the climate change response measures. “Agriculture is the backbone of the African economies yet it has taken long to anchor the sector in climate change responses”, he said, welcoming the historic decision adopted by countries in Bonn during the Fiji-hosted COP23, which outlined a plan of action for agriculture in negotiations among other key issues.
Agriculture and food security was one of the themes at the Forum, which brought together more than 1,000 participants from around 100 countries to exchange ideas and build partnerships on emerging global challenges affecting Africa and the global South.
“No one will solve our problems but ourselves”, said Mr. Mwenda, answering a question from participants who wanted to know why countries in Africa are dependent on the North even on the simplest of ideas and solutions. “African countries possess massive natural and human capital yet we are unable to solve myriad of problems ranging from climate change, malnutrition and food insecurity, migration, unemployment and terrorism”, he said, pointing a finger to the leaders whom he accused of failing to inspire their citizens in building confidence on themselves. More than a decade since many African countries attained independence, he noted, many Africa countries are still dependent on their former colonial powers.
Prof. Riad Balaghi, the AAA Chief, welcomed the partnership with PACJA, expressing optimism that the Alliance will use its vast constituency and convening power to further the objectives of agricultural adaptation and resilience in ensuing negotiations under United Nations. “We delighted to welcome PACJA and thank the Coalition for supporting this African Initiative”, said Prof. Riad. “Over the last months since the establishment of AAA, the Alliance has come out powerfully to back us, and we feel emboldened to serve our African brothers and sisters in the best way we can under this partnership.”
Climate change & Agriculture
Under what is referred to as Koronivia joint work on agriculture, the UNFCCC set up in November 2017, a series of consultations which will be conducted through workshops and expert meetings. Taking into consideration the vulnerabilities of agriculture to climate change and approaches to addressing food security. Issues around agriculture the consultations will consider modalities for implementation of the outcomes of the five in-session workshops on issues related to agriculture and other future topics that may arise from this work as well as methods and approaches for assessing adaptation, adaptation co-benefits and resilience. The discussions will also revolve around improved soil carbon, soil health and soil fertility under grassland and cropland as well as integrated systems, including water management.
Under consideration is improved nutrient use and manure management towards sustainable and resilient agricultural systems, improved livestock management systems and socioeconomic and food security dimensions of climate change in the agricultural sector.
“We should robustly participate in this process and ensure pertinent issues to African smallholder farmers are at the centre-stage of discussions, and this partnership will deliver this for the benefit of the African people” emphasized Mwenda.