One week after the draft conclusions for the the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture (KJWA) were submitted, and the subsidiary bodies concluded their independent negotiations, representatives from Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, and France addressed the media about the work done and conclusions made at the completion of KJWA’s work at COP24.
The panel had a lukewarm response to the outcome of the first “Road Map” workshop since the 4/CP.23 mandate. The representative from Rwanda was very disappointed about the lack of “welcome” for the IPCC 1.5 Report, which he said is a joke to African countries in particular, who are living the harsh realities of climate change now. Mr. Bassey of Nigeria emphasized the role of small scale farmers moving forward in response to our changing climate. Agriculture that works with local knowledge, without the extensive chemical inputs commonly associated with industrial agriculture – farming that “can be done on the streets” – is how we need to move forward with farming our fields and feeding our families.
Modalities and procedures for the implementation of the KJWA were the focus of these joint SBI/SBSTA meetings. But South Africa’s representative noted that developing Parties, particularly the Africa Group, felt that little support for implementation came to fruition, with finance remaining as the primary roadblock moving forward. Panelists believe guidelines need to reflect a just socioeconomic basis for food security: adaptation, absolute emissions reductions, ecological integrity, and gender responsiveness.
The session concluded with a question posed by an audience member who, like myself, was unable to attend much of last week’s negotiations – “how can other organizations such as Latin American groups participate in the SBI/SBSTA joint meetings next year?”
The French panelist who promoted France’s sustainable Agroecology initiatives responded by emphasizing engagement in the KJWA workshops via the Submissions Portal. Participation by all parts of the agricultural community, not just Parties, is key. We need to ask questions, offer solutions, and promote an inclusive, equitable, just future for those feeling the drastic effects of climate change already. As the Nigerian representative concluded, “we have the wisdom, we have the knowledge. We need to share it.” Lots of experience from the global South remains to be shared by the farmer-scientists who have the tools and must feed the way!