To Negotiators of the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture: We Need You to See the Light!

19 June 2019

“Lights€¦ Camera€¦ Action!”–the second shoot of the agriculture discussions at the UNFCCC! Since 2009, Parties have struggled with what to do with agriculture. We are now in the midst of several workshops discussing adaptation, soils, nutrient use, manure management, and the critical issue of socio-economic and food security aspects of climate action in agriculture with a decision due in one and a half years, at COP26.

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) recently launched its Global Assessment that demonstrates rather dramatically that we’re on our way to extinction, along with millions of other species, unless you see the light.

In short, biodiversity and climate change are inextricably linked and our future is tied to the survival of other species.

But do not despair! There is good news. Agroecology is a transformative approach that can help save agriculture and hence the planet from destruction and provide a massive opportunity for a Just Transition. We are not dreaming: FAO and IPBES have both recently highlighted the high potential of agroecology to achieve the SDGs, the Paris Agreement goals, and the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity. As well as to maintain and restore biodiversity. Even better news: so much work is being done on agroecology with the help of many of your own governments and other intergovernmental organizations.  

Indeed, agroecology has been gaining ground in many UN processes. A recent decision by the FAO Committee on Agriculture supports agroecology as a key approach to promoting sustainable agriculture and food systems. FAO has also endorsed the 10 elements of agroecology that are based on seminal scientific literature and inputs over a three-year process of FAO regional and international multi-stakeholder symposiums (2015-2018). In addition, the UN Committee on World Food Security (the foremost inclusive intergovernmental and international mechanism on food security and nutrition) requested its High Level Panel of Experts in 2017 to elaborate on agroecological approaches and other innovations for building sustainable food systems that enhance food and nutrition security.

Don’t reinvent the wheel, rather ride the wave! Here is a three-step program to help you save yourselves and us:

  1. Draw on the work on agroecology that your own countries and governments support in other intergovernmental organizations and processes such as the FAO and the Committee on World Food Security.
  2. Support and integrate this progress on agroecology in all the issues that the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture is addressing.
  3. Ensure that agroecology becomes a central component in enhancing adaptation and resilience (with mitigation co-benefits) within your own NDC.

There is no time left for inaction! ECO is thus truly happy to share with you our big open secret about agroecology that will enable you to calmly and bravely face the climate emergency. Let this agroecological light guide your 1.5°C path. Your colleagues and several international institutions and processes are seeing it. And you? Do you see it the light?

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