Farmers’ to COP16: Decisions on agriculture are possible

The following is a transcription of the statement of the Farmer’s Constituency at the conclusion of the high-level segment of COP16. The statement was delivered earlier today by Dyborn Chibonga, Chief Executive Officer, National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM).

As a representative of the Farmer’s constituency, it is a pleasure for me to present the farmers’ viewpoint.

We have been witness this year to a variety of extreme weather events.  Floods, droughts and fires have devastated agriculture land and had a tremendous impact on the lives and livelihoods of rural people in all of our countries, the majority of whom are farmers.

The events have made it clear that local and global food security is an issue that needs to be addressed now.  

Agricultural adaptation to climate change will play an essential role if we are to address these food security challenges and empower farmers throughout the world, particularly women farmers.

Some countries and organizations have already started addressing this serious challenge.

They recognize the tremendous contribution agroecological, sustainable agriculture can have in their countries, providing stable food supplies, feed, fibre, energy and ecosystem services.

Now is the time to make these negotiations effective and relevant.   The agriculture sector gives you a genuine balanced package as adaptation, mitigation and food security can all be addressed through good decisions by you.

For immediate and essential impact focus fast track funding and other financing instruments on supporting the adaptation fund and other adaptation initiatives that focus on farmers.

An agricultural text has been negotiated.  If this process is to remain relevant to food security needs, this text should be adopted so the SBSTA work program can begin.  Farmers must be included at all levels during the development of this work program. 

Farmers encourage you to focus on what is achievable.  Decisions on agriculture are achievable.  There is no climate security without food security and there is no food security without climate security.

Thank you