COP 17: Adaptation Mechanisms Must Work for Farmers
Climate change has wiped out nearly half of the 10 million coffee trees that Mzuzu Coffee Planters Cooperative Union has planted since 2003, according to the union’s operations director Bernard Kaunda. Mzuzu Coffee is a Fairtrade certified cooperative, representing 3500 smallholder coffee producers in Malawi. Their hopes rest on COP17 delivering policies that can help them in the face of climate change.
With 10 days left to COP17 in Durban, a critical element of the discussions must be around financing adaptation. Outcomes of the talks must provide sufficient support to tackle the adaptation needs of farmers in developing countries, who have done very little to cause climate change yet are vulnerable to its effects. Fairtrade farmers are no exception and despite the support Fairtrade provides, they remain inadequately resourced to deal with the present and predicted impacts of the climate change phenomenon.
Farmers are often overlooked in the current climate change policy frameworks. Fairtrade calls upon world leaders, at COP17 and beyond, to prioritize policies geared to facilitate the smooth adaptation of agriculture dependent communities, to the changes that have been precipitated by climate change. The urgency of such policy formulation is evident in the wake of the increasingly negative effects of climate change. Farmers have been unable to adequately adapt to the effects due to lack of financial muscle, or access to other resources that are needed for them to salvage their livelihoods.
Fairtrade farmers are representative of a critically important element of many developing country economies – export agriculture. If the impacts already being experienced by Fairtrade farmers are replicated at national and regional levels, then many countries will be pushed ever deeper into a situation of dependency.
Fairtrade welcomes the establishment of the Green Climate Fund but this fund needs to make agriculture a priority with a focus on climate change adaptation. At the same time it must ensure that disbursement mechanisms enable vulnerable communities to adequately benefit. This fund must become functional and help communities adapt to the effects of climate change.
To read more about climate change and its effects on Fairtrade farmers, visit Fairtrade Africa’s Blog on Climate Change
For more information please contact :
Nokutula Mhene, Fairtrade Africa
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +27(0)21 448 8911|