Agroecology promoted at Cancun climate summit
Cancun, Mexico: this week Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP) launched two new resources during the global climate change negotiations — a handbook entitled Climate Change and Crop Protection (Anything Can Happen) and a monograph on solutions, Weathering the Climate Crisis (The Way of Ecological Agriculture). The publications were announced during the December 6 side event, “Just Transition Now! Towards a Peoples Protocol on Climate Change,” sponsored by the Peoples Movement on Climate Change.
The Climate Change and Crop Protection handbook details how corporate-promoted chemical- and energy-intensive agriculture and globalized agricultural trade has been a primary culprit in accelerating climate change. The companion Weathering the Climate Crisis makes the case that sustainable or ecological agriculture, based on biological diversity, safe inputs and building soil health helps reduce carbon emissions, improve farm productivity, stability and environmental quality and thus enhance the resilience and livelihood of farmers and the rural communities.
PAN AP has also released an updated (and downloadable) edition of Pesticides: Sowing Poisons, Growing Hunger, Reaping Sorrow by Dr. Meriel Watts. It calls attention to the high cost of the industrial agricultural system for communities and the planet, and points to a solution for some of our most pressing problems, including hunger and climate change: an agricultural system that works with nature, using local knowledge and inputs to encourage biodiversity and ensure community food sovereignty. “The messages in PAN AP’s publications are not just relevant to Asia," says PAN North America's executive director, Kathryn Gilje. "The reality of farming in the U.S. and other Northern nations is that the industrial agricultural system is increasing the inequity and health harms for communities and exacerbating peoples’ vulnerability to the effects of climate change. Ecological agriculture is the only way forward.”