AFSA Calls on African Leaders to Remember Farmers in Climate Change Negotiations

Representatives from the development and management program with PELUM Kenya (photo credit: PELUM Kenya)

Representatives from the Management and Development program with PELUM, Kenya. (photo credit: PELUM Kenya)

On the eve of international climate negotiations in Copenhagen, the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) calls on African leaders to not forget the needs–and rights–of small farmers on the continent. The Alliance issued the Bole Declaration in late November, reminding negotiators about the importance small-scale, sustainable, agro-ecological systems have in both mitigating and adapting to climate change.


Challenges African leaders on Climate Change

Bole Declaration; 25th November, 2009; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

We, the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), representing small holder farmers, pastoralists, hunter/gatherers, indigenous peoples, citizens and environmentalists from Africa, salute the strong and unified approach that African leaders have taken in the run up to the UNFCC Climate Negotiations.

However, we believe that the current African government practices do not go far enough to protecting Africa’s Food Sovereignty, Biodiversity, and the Culture and Livelihoods of her people.

Developed countries have not met their obligations to cap and reduce emissions to mitigate climate change and have not provided adequate support for adaptation in Africa and other developing nations.

Many of the so-called solutions proposed by the developed countries to address the climate crises are False Solutions. These include: biochar, agrofuels, hybrid and GM drought tolerant crops, carbon trading and so forth.

The developed countries’ positions are calculated to distract Africa from pursuing genuine solutions towards empowering communities towards attaining Food Sovereignty, conserving and sustainably using biodiversity and increasing the resilience of Africans to cope with the challenges posed by Climate Change.

We demand that African Leaders:

  • Champion Small African Family Farming Systems based on agro ecological and Indigenous approaches that sustain food sovereignty and the livelihoods of communities while not neglecting other appropriate farming models;
  • Protect the rights of the African people to indigenous seeds, plant and animal genetic resources and combat bio-piracy;
  • Resist the Corporate Industrialization of African agriculture which will result in massive land grabs, displacement of indigenous peoples especially the pastoral communities and hunter gatherers and the destruction of their livelihoods and cultures;
  • Reject the corporate takeover of African land, food production systems, indigenous knowledge and resources; and
  • Bring to an end the continued exploitation of African resources for the consumerist demands of the North.

Africa will be watching her leaders at the upcoming Climate negotiations in Copenhagen in December and will hold them accountable for their engagements and decisions.

Remember that what we do now will have an impact on the current and future generations.

Signed by:

African Biodiversity Network (ABN)

African Centre for Biosafety (ACB)

Coalition for the Protection of African Genetic Heritage (COPAGEN)

Comparing and Supporting Endogenous Development (COMPAS)

Eastern and Southern African small scale Farmers’ Forum (ESAFF)


Indigenous Peoples of Africa Co-ordinating Committee (IPACC)

Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM) Association

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