No climate resilience without agroecology and food sovereignty

ESAFF-Uganda Press Release

Kampala, Uganda: 6th November 2021

The  26th UN  Climate  Change  Conference  of  Parties  (COP26)  hosted  by  the  UK  in  partnership  with Italy,  is  taking  place  from  31  October  to  12  November  2021  in  the  Scottish  Event  Campus  (SEC)  in Glasgow, UK. The summit has brought parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.  Parties are reviewing the progress made in the fight against the climate crisis after the Paris Agreement signed in 2015, where nationally  determined  contribution  targets  were  presented  by  parties  for  reducing  emissions.  The summit  is  further  set  to  focus  on  rapid  reduction  of  global  emissions,  and  climate  finance  among others.   Countries will make new commitments in the fight against climate change amid rising calls for stronger action to limit the global temperature rise.  

As we commemorate 25 years of progress toward food sovereignty, the COP 26 agreements fall far short of ensuring a food system that feeds people in a way that is sensitive to different types of food, production conditions, and the relationship between this food and production processes with labour, the environment, and local and indigenous communities. We emphasis that agroecology is a critical component  of  the  transition  and  that  market-based  solutions  will  not  provide  climate  justice.  We strongly  believe  that  agroecology  achieves  climate  justice,  based  on  our  own small scale farmers’ experience.

According to our experience, the pests, vectors, diseases, floods, landslides, lightening, and prolonged droughts sparked by climate change across Uganda coupled with the pandemics bring to light  the  emergency  of  climate  crisis  facing  the  planet  at  the  time  of  the  26th  Conference  of  the Parties  to  the  United  Nations  Framework  Convention  on  Climate  Change  (UNFCCC),  COP26.  We strongly believe that small-scale farmers therefore must be at the heart of the Global Climate Crisis Negotiations given the impact that climate change makes on agriculture and the livelihood of small-scale farmers especially women in the rural areas of Uganda. 

On this day 6th November, 2021, which is the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice, ESAFF Uganda joins other indigenous communities, trade unions, feminist movements to  air a loud and clear voice to  the  world  leaders  discussing  our  future:  We  want  Climate  Justice  Now!  ESAFF  Uganda  strongly believes  that  agroecology  achieves  climate  justice  with  proven  serious  solutions  to  climate  crisis crucial  for  climate  mitigation  and  adaptation.  Agroecology  is  key  to  small-scale  farmers  because  it strengthens  livelihoods  and  fosters  collective  actions  to  addressing  the  climate  crisis  and  employs agricultural  methods,  such  as  diversification  of  crops,  conservation  tillage,  green  manures,  natural fertilisers,  biological  pest  control,  rainwater  harvesting,  and  production  of  crops  and  livestock  in ways  that  store  carbon  and  protects  natural  resources.  Agroecology  is  gaining  traction  as  one innovative  approach to meet our current needs without jeopardizing those of future  generations to sustain  themselves,  while  at  the  same  time  delivering  healthy  diets,  biodiversity  conservation, contributing to reducing the negative effects of climate change, and ensuring just and inclusive food systems  that leave no  one  behind (Caron et al., 2018). In short, agroecology is well positioned to help countries meet multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Therefore,  small-scale  farmers  emphasize  that  Agroecology  achieves  climate,  social  and  ecological justices, hence making the following calls to the Parties of the UNFCCC at COP26;

1. Address the current financial limitations which is affecting the implementation of policies and programs that are focused on addressing climate change in an ecological  friendly manner. We call on parties to desist from funding climate change policies and programs that don’t protect food sovereignty in Uganda. We stress that funding should be with shorter timeframes since commitments towards emission reduction and climate finance is urgent.

2. Parties should urgently prioritize climate information access, sustainable and adaptive food systems rooted in agroecological systems. 

3. Parties should focus on prioritization of adaptation in Uganda’s programs of action in Nationally Determined Contribution. 

4. Parties should support the domestication of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP) which set platforms for voices from rural communities to be heard. When implemented- UNDROP would be key in addressing  the  economic,  social,  cultural,  and  political  dimensions  of  climate  change  and human rights.

5. Align  awarding  criteria  and  procedures  of  financial  mechanisms  such  as  the  Green  Climate Fund to small-scale farmers and  their organizations so  that farmer organisations can access available  funding  given  their  capacity  to  mobilizing  small-scale  farmers  especially  women and youths and building workable grassroot climate adaptation and mitigation measures.

6. Parties  should  purposefully  invest  resources  both  technical  and  financial  in  research  on agroecological  approaches  like  resilient  agricultural  practices  that  are  being  nurtured  by small-scale  farmers.  These approaches respect  traditional  knowledge  and  promote  food sovereignty.

7. Parties  should  create  a  direct  platform  to  the  UNFCCC  that  actively  involve  small-scale farmers  especially  women  as  a  special  group that experience  the  daily  impact of the decisions and actions by policy makers and implementers on climate change. 

8. Parties should further strengthen youth capacity through empowering youth to access skills development to create business opportunities in areas that protect and restore ecosystems. This will play a big role in supporting climate and sustainable development ambitions.

Media Contact 

National Coordinator, 

Ms Nancy Walimbwa Mugimba 


Phone: +256 414 533 764 


Eastern  and Southern  Africa Small-scale Farmers’ Forum (ESAFF) Uganda is the largest  small-scale farmer-led policy influencing movement in  Uganda. ESAFF Uganda was established to nurture the participation of small-scale farmers  in sustainable development processes, for self-reliance through advocacy, capacity building  and institutional  development.  ESAFF  Uganda  is  a  membership  organisation  with  members  in  54  districts  in Uganda. ESAFF Uganda is also part of a bigger network of small-scale farmers’ organisations (ESAFF) in other 15 countries in eastern and southern Africa. ESAFF Uganda is also a member of La Via Campesina (LVC) which is the largest peasant movement in the world