Mukiibi is of the view that Food-focused strategies are currently missing from the climate plans of over 70% of countries.
Edward Mukiibi pushing for food sovereignty is suggesting the transformation of global food systems as part
of the fight against global warming. Mukiibi, the President of Slow Food President
will be among the global; civil society actors that will be participating at the UN Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP28
—taking place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from 30
November to 12 December.
As much attention
focuses on debates over decarbonization and funding for loss and damage, Mukiibi and a group of campaigners from other countries are determined to
ensure that countries align
food systems with climate and biodiversity goals by including boosting nature-friendly practices in farming.
is of the view that Food-focused strategies are currently missing from the
climate plans of over 70% of countries, and yet such plans are crucial to
shifting away from industrial methods of food production and towards more sustainable
ways of farming or agroecology.
would not only protect the planet but also help address the roots of hunger,
create jobs, improve health, and protect biodiversity,” argues Mukiibi. A
key agenda item at COP28 is the first ‘Global Stocktake’ of progress under the Paris Agreement
on climate change.
That, to Mukiibi, is an opportunity to further
showcase the role of agroecology in tackling climate change. “Even if
we appreciate the official recognition of the role food plays both as a driver and also as a solution to climate change, Slow Food will be closely monitoring
the COP28 debates and their conclusions,” he said
the second COP that Slow Food is dedicating a pavilion on food and food systems
after COP27 in Egypt. “The
organization will check which solutions are being proposed for an urgent food
system transformation and if governments will take the opportunity of the Paris
Agreement stocktaking moment to revise national climate plans to include food systems
with a holistic approach,” reveals Mukiibi.
have found that Food systems cause
up to a third of all greenhouse gas emissions as well as contributing to
practices pollute and degrade ecosystems, and directly harm biodiversity. This
time around, the COP28 official schedule
had dedicated 10 December to food and
The COP28 presidency is asking governments to sign the Emirates
Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate
The negotiators are expected to address the impacts of food
systems on nature by “conserving, protecting, and restoring land and natural
ecosystems, enhancing soil health, and biodiversity.”
Mukiibi points out that the
‘Emirates Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food
Systems, and Climate Action’ includes neither concrete measures nor targets to
effectively transform food systems nor clarifies what more sustainable food
systems should look like.
”According to Slow Food, a sustainable food system based on agroecology is not just a set of agricultural practices but a
vision that focuses on biodiversity, ecosystem conservation, and the skills and
needs of communities. “This
is the first COP following the IPCC's 6th Assessment Report, “which
unequivocally stated that we have to act now or it will be too late and which
stressed again how the food system, in general, could be producing as much as
35% of global greenhouse gas emissions.”
How industrial food systems are driving climate
modern industrialized agrifood model adopted over the last 50 years has had a
devastating impact on the global climate and the environment, leading to
pollution, soil erosion, scarred landscapes, reduced energy resources, and an
overall loss of both biological and cultural diversity. Under this model,
agricultural production has morphed into agro-industry or agribusiness.
hallmarks of the system, namely the increased use of oil-derived or oil-based
inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides, and fuel for farm machinery and the
production of monocultures, primarily to produce animal feed, have had severe
consequences on the environment and jeopardized the economic survival of
In this model, natural resources are considered nothing
more than raw materials to be consumed and exploited on a massive scale, putting
our health and the environment at risk.
Big meat and dairy companies are responsible for a
particularly high percentage of emissions.
During the COP28 debates, attention will have to be focused
on them as they will likely try to suggest high-tech solutions or greenwashing
techniques to hide their responsibilities. Indeed, many potential solutions will be presented
at COP28 and we can expect a battle over different visions of farming.