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Third World NetworkAgriculture in the Climate Change Negotiations
Joint Declaration by Farmers and Civil Society Organizations to the UNFCCC
Climate Change Conference
7 June 2011, Bonn, Germany

We, member organizations of the Eastern Africa Farmers Federation (EAFF), the umbrella platform of over 20 million farmers in Eastern Africa, and member organizations of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), a network of 300 civil society organizations across Africa:

Recognizing the need to promote climate change policies that meet the needs of Africa, in particular its rural poor communities, and to improve the livelihoods of farmers and other citizens through enhanced access to decision-making regarding agriculture, food security and climate change,

Recalling that food security has a central role in the ultimate objective of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is to avoid dangerous climate change within a "time frame sufficient . to ensure that food production is not threatened",

Recalling the UNFCCC confirms that the "largest share of historical and current global emissions of greenhouse gases has originated in developed countries, that per capita emissions in developing countries are still relatively low",

Recognizing that climate change is already causing major adverse effects in Africa, particularly in the agricultural sector, and that the scale of effects indicates that climate change is proceeding faster than predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment,

Recalling that the IPCC has confirmed that Africa is one of the most vulnerable continents, that warming in Africa is likely to be larger than the global mean warming throughout the continent and in all seasons, and that warming in Africa is projected to be roughly 1.5 times the global mean response,

Noting the "implementation gaps" in the efforts by Annex I (developed) countries under the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol to reduce emissions and to provide the financing and technology transfer required by developing countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change,

Noting that scientific studies project that global mean warming of around 1.5C could lead to reductions in crop yields continentally in Africa in excess of 30 percent of current levels, leading to potential for major levels of food insecurity, economic collapse and social conflict,

Expressing serious concerns that Annex I countries now seek to establish a global goal of limiting warming to below 2C, implying warming of upwards of 3C in Africa, which risks unprecedented and catastrophic levels of costs, damage and destruction in Africa,

Expressing concern further that Annex I countries seek to establish a global goal of reducing global emission levels by a mere 50% by 2050 from 1990 levels, which implies a risk of more than 50% of exceeding 2C globally,

Expressing concern further that pledged emission reductions by Annex I emission offer an inadequate and inequitable contribution to reach even these goals, and that through use of accounting "loopholes" in the agriculture sector and other sectors, as well as carbon markets, they intend to further increase their domestic emissions and shift the burden of mitigation and adaptation to developing countries,

Expressing concern that, rather than address these issues, some Annex I countries now seem intent on replacing the current science- and rules-based multilateral system embodied in the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol with a weaker pledge-based system under the Copenhagen Accord and Cancun decisions,

Noting the potential for these developments, if left unaddressed, to cause widespread and major adverse implications for agricultural production, food security, rural livelihoods, farmers and human rights and economic and social development across the continent of Africa, with implications not merely for Africa but for the world,

Reiterating the issues and concerns voiced in our joint declaration to the September 2010 African Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and
Climate Change, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and at the October 2010 Hague Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change, in The Hague,
the Netherlands,

Emphasizing the value and need for a more participatory, transparent and accountable process to address linkages between agriculture, food security, rural livelihoods, farmers and human rights and climate change, We, therefore, call for the following demands as the basis of a farmer-and civil society-led approach to UNFCCC negotiations addressing these issues in an integrated manner as follows:

On agriculture and climate change
1. We call for a response to linkages between agriculture, food security, rural livelihoods, farmers and human rights and climate change that is developed in full consultation with farmers and other members of African civil society. Such an approach must place the rights of rural poor communities, development and food security at the center of concern and help to integrate adaptation and mitigation as part of a broader effort to develop the sustainable agricultural practices required to build healthy soils, improve agricultural productivity, increase value for farmers and society, and enhance the climate resilience of agriculture.

2. We demand that farmers organizations and other civil society organizations play a central role in the design, implementation and review of all climate-related policies, including national adaptation plans of action (NAPAs) and nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs), and in the formulation of all sectoral, national, regional and international policies affecting our interests. We demand that actions to address climate change ensure the free, prior and informed consent of farmers, indigenous peoples and are gender responsive in all processes.

3. We oppose efforts by some developed countries to replace the current science- and rules-based climate architecture reflected in the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol with a weaker "pledge-based" system of mitigation and finance pledges reflected in the Copenhagen Accord. Efforts to address climate change must be based on science, principles, equity and the rule of law. Parties must implement the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol as agreed in the Bali Roadmap.

4. We thus call on Annex I countries to repay their climate debts and implement their commitments under the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol including through a second commitment period from 2013 to 2017 under the Kyoto Protocol, and through efforts to close "implementation gaps" in the Convention in areas of adaptation, mitigation, technology transfer and finance as part of a shared vision sufficient to implement the Convention, ensure the safety of Africa and secure our sustainable development.

On climate change adaptation
5. We call on developed countries to compensate Africa for: 1) the full costs of avoiding harms, 2) actual harm and damage, as well as 3) lost opportunities for development, particularly for small-holder agricultural communities. Compensation must be paid through a new fund established under the UNFCCC's finance mechanism. The central priority for Africa on agriculture and climate issues is adaptation.

6. We support the Africa Group's position in Copenhagen that initial financing equivalent to at least 2.5% of Annex I countries' GNP is required to fund the full costs of adapting to climate change. We call for a system of liability and compensation for adverse impacts, particularly on smallholder farmers who have contributed nothing to climate change yet bear its worst effects.

7. We call for agriculture issues to be addressed in the formal negotiations under the UNFCCC, and not merely in its subsidiary bodies, with a focus on agriculture in discussions regarding loss and damage as well as response measures, to ensure that small-holder rural communities are protected from and compensated for the adverse effects of climate change, and that adverse policies in developed countries that undermine the livelihood and well-being of agricultural communities in Africa are removed.

On climate change mitigation
8. We call on Annex 1 countries to adhere to their legally binding commitments to reduce emissions through a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, and call on them to reduce their domestic emissions by at least 50% from 1990 levels by 2017 and become carbon negative well before 2050. The United States, the only developed country to have repudiated the Kyoto Protocol, must take on comparable commitments under the Convention.

9. We express concern that Annex I countries' pledges currently amount to a mere 17-25% from 1990 levels by 2020 (and 12-18% if the United States is included) and are well below what science and equity demand. Without more ambitious efforts, developed countries will appropriate a further share of Africa's atmospheric space without compensation and risk dangerous warming, thereby threatening farmers and other communities in Africa.

10. Annex I countries must change their highly industrialized, subsidized and polluting agricultural practices, rather than shifting the focus and burden to farming communities in developing countries. We demand an immediate closure of all loopholes and creating accounting that would enable Annex I countries to make emission reduction on paper but not in practice. Annex I countries must not use creative accounting relating to land-use, land use change and forestry or other issues to increase their domestic emissions, while shifting the burden of mitigation further to developing countries through market-based mechanism.

11. We oppose the undue focus by developed countries on mitigation and agricultural carbon in developing countries, which threaten to skew the agriculture and climate agenda away from adaptation in developing countries, and provide a means by which developed countries avoid reforming their own agriculture systems, and we call instead for an integrated and development-oriented approach focusing on food security, rural livelihoods, farmers and human rights, adaptation and liability and compensation for adverse impacts.

12. We call for an ambitious package of finance, technology transfer and capacity building to cover the full incremental costs of all nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) by developing countries. We support the Africa Group's position in Copenhagen that initial  financing equivalent to at least 2.5% of Annex I countries' GNP is required to fund a major program of mitigation actions and technology transfer in developing countries. We confirm that farmer and other civil society organizations must play a central role in the design, implementation and review of NAMAs.

On technology transfer
13. We demand a deliberate effort to scale up existing and appropriate technologies and knowledge that would assist small-holder farmers to adapt to climate change, and for these efforts address farmers' indigenous knowledge, support agro-ecological practices and to preserve biodiversity.

14. Agricultural research leading to the development of climate change adaptation and mitigation technologies must be farmer-driven. Farmer organizations must be deliberately engaged in developing research agendas.

15. We call for full technology assessments to ensure that all technologies developed and transferred are environmentally sound, appropriate, affordable and adaptable to conditions in developing countries, in particular by farmers and rural communities. We oppose the use of technology transfer to push technologies that are unsuitable or dangerous.

16. We call for a programme under the UNFCCC to ensure that developed countries implement their commitment to provide technology in "all relevant sectors" (Article 4.1(c)), to fund this at "full incremental costs" (Article 4.3) and to enhance "endogenous capacities and technologies" in developing countries (Article 4.5). This agenda should not be narrowed to focus solely on agriculture.

17. We demand an end to efforts by foreign corporations to patent climate-resilient African plant and seed varieties, and call for a system of intellectual property rights tailored to the needs of small-holder farmers and that is favorable to technology transfer at all levels including through appropriate plant variety protection.

18. We support developing countries' demand for a Technology Mechanism that meets the needs of developing countries and ensures the full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention. On climate change finance

19. Those who caused climate change must compensate African farmers and citizens for the adverse effects of their pollution. African countries must receive full compensation for adapting to the adverse effects of climate change (UNFCCC Article 4.4) including for crop and livestock losses and other impacts on food security. Systems for liability and compensation must be established.

20. Climate change finance should be provided from public sources from Annex I countries, and not through market-based mechanisms. This finance must be new and additional to overseas development assistance, adequate and predictable, and made directly available through a fast-track procedure. The finance must be in the form of grants, and not loans. We express concerns that the short-term finance provided by developed countries during the period 2010-2012 is largely re-packaged official development assistance, and is not new or additional.

21. We oppose efforts by Annex I countries to appropriate more of Africa's fair share of atmospheric space through the creation of a global carbon market, which would allow them to increase their domestic emissions, while shifting the burden of mitigation further to developing countries, and risking further impacts on our food security and development. We are concerned that new markets will consolidate rights for large banks and financial institutions over the soil of poor farmers, while enabling an increase in pollution from the developed countries. Climate finance for enhancing agricultural practice and improving soil carbon must be provided through adequate, new and additional public sources.

22. We call for a Green Climate Fund operating under the authority of the UNFCCC to support adaptation, mitigation and technology transfer - in particular in the agriculture sector through a new fund to address agriculture. Governance of climate change finance must be democratic, with an effective and transparent compliance mechanism. Farmer organizations must play a role in the tracking, monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of these funds.

On capacity building
23. We call upon our own governments at the national and regional level to establish strong institutions to manage climate change in the areas of resource mobilization and other climate change related issues.

24. Farmer organizations need to effectively participate in the various climate change policy processes including the UNFCCC negotiations, the African Environmental Ministers Conference (AMCEN) and other relevant national, regional and global bodies.

On a shared vision
25. We demand a set of global goals on adaptation, mitigation, technology transfer and finance that together will safeguard the interests of all Africans and enable the international community to achieve the ultimate objective of the UNFCCC of avoiding "dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system" and to do so within a "time frame sufficient . to ensure that food production is not threatened".

26. We recognize that the Earth's atmosphere is a global commons that must be shared equally among all people. We reject attempts by the developed countries to "grab" this resource as a form of climate colonialism. We call on them to share the atmospheric space fairly with Africa and to compensate us for their excessive historical use and continuing excessive consumption.

27. We express solidarity for farmers organizations and other civil society groups and over 100 countries calling for global temperature increases to be limited to below 1 or 1.5°C, as an essential outcome to safeguards the interests of farmers and other vulnerable communities. Warming of as little as 1°C risks temperature increases of over 1.5°C in parts of Africa, which will warm more than the global average, and will require major levels of compensation for damage to African farmers and communities.

On further negotiations under the UNFCCC
28. We express our concern over the handling of agriculture issues in the UNFCCC negotiations. Inadequate consultation has taken place at both the national and international level with farmers and other members of civil society. We are concerned with attempts to create new agendas to address agriculture in UNFCCC subsidiary bodies as distracting attention from the urgent need for compensation and finance for adaptation, and for measures to address loss and damage and response measures that undermine rural poor communities in developing countries, including perverse agricultural subsidies. We believe that discussions in
the UNFCCC must be based on prior extensive consultation with rural communities if their rights and interests are to be protected.

On a development-oriented approach
29. We call for a development-oriented approach that embodies each of the above elements and centers on food security, rural livelihoods, farmers and human rights and rural development. This must be developed in full consultation with all stakeholders and it must address the needs of African farmers and civil society through an integrated effort at the national, regional and global levels and across a variety of institutions including the UNFCCC, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, UN Convention to Combat Desertification, UN Environment Programme and other organizations.

30. In addition to the actions above directly within the context of the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol, we call for efforts as part of a development-oriented approach to ensure:
a) Provision by developed countries for forced climate migrants and internally displaced people arising from the adverse effects of climate change on rural and other communities;
b) Emergency funds and contingency plans for major climate-related droughts and extreme weather events and provision of full costs for adaptation to those adverse effects;
c) Emergency funds and contingency plans for market volatility associated with the adverse effects of climate change on food production in Africa and other parts of the world, which may affect the availability or affordability of food to African communities;
d) Removal of adverse policies in developing countries, including the immediate removal of agricultural subsidies and tariff barriers that undermine the resilience and economic security of farmers and rural communities in Africa;
e) Reform of intellectual property rights systems that undermine the interests of farmers and rural communities in Africa, and establishment of appropriate intellectual property rights systems including appropriate protection for plants and seeds;
f) Agreement of a declaration of intellectual property rights, food security and climate change setting out elements of an intellectual property rights regime that is suited to the current challenges facing developing countries and rural communities; and
g) Full transparency and accountability to farmers and other members of civil society in the development of all climate-related policies, and in particular full democratic accountability of institutions including the African Union, CAHOSOCC and AMCEN on issues relating to agriculture, food security, rural livelihoods, farmer and human rights and climate change.

31. We believe that an ambitious global effort to combat climate change and to secure the lives and livelihoods farmers and citizens across the continent of Africa and around the world is possible and achievable, and can be advanced by engaging and empowering affected communities everywhere and ensuring their voices are heard and their values respected. We call on governments to heed this demand and to implement the approach outlined above through discussions at this the UNFCCC and other regional and international forums.

Penang
MALAYSIA

 


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