Climakers Alliance: A farmer-driven approach to climate challenge

Farmer representatives were to the fore at a recent workshop held by the Climakers Alliance.

The alliance – a union of farmers’ organisations, private sector actors, researchers and civil society groups that are committed to providing solutions to climate change – gathered for a European regional workshop in Brussels.

The event also welcomed 140 participants including farmers, stakeholders, policymakers and researchers.

Opening statements were made by Kari Valonen, from the Permanent Representation of Finland to the EU.

After this there was a panel discussion about: the farmer-driven climate change agenda; the origins of the Climakers Alliance; and those involved in it.

Dedicated sessions on livestock, carbon farming, and adaptation and resilience followed showcasing best practices from farmers around Europe and what they are doing to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

These were presented alongside inputs on the current state of research and legislation from academics, policymakers and private sector organisations.

Commenting about the meeting, CEJA president Jannes Maes said: “CEJA and its young farmer members are well aware of the threat of climate change and want to build on the momentum from young people globally to ensure that farmers are leading the discussion and are part of the solution in Europe and further afield.

“In our daily activities, farmers all over the world and me included, can proudly say that we are Climakers,” he added.

World Farmers’ Organization (WFO) president Theo de Jager also spoke, stating: “We, the farmers, are the most vulnerable to climate change, but no other sector of the global economy can do more to win this battle than agriculture can.

That’s why WFO decided to partner up with every other farmers’ organisation we could find on this planet, industry bodies in the value chain, civil society and academia to come up with a farmer-driven approach to climate change, which we call the Climakers.

“The Climakers programme is basically the wisdom, the experience, the expertise and solutions to climate change of farmers across the globe.

“We know that these solutions would vastly differ from America to Europe, from Oceania to Asia and Africa. But for sure, there is a lot we can exchange and learn from each other,” the WFO president said.

The conference concluded with reflections on what had been discussed and the drafting of key messages from the Climakers Alliance to present at COP25 in December.