Report on IFOAM participation in COP19, Poland

At the COP19 in Warsaw, IFOAM informed international and national decision-makers of the multiple benefits of high-sequestration organic agriculture for climate change resilience, food security, and sustainable development.

COP19 was successful in keeping governments on track towards a universal climate agreement in 2015 including significant new decisions that will cut emissions from deforestation and on “Loss and Damage”. With a view to 2015, country representatives agreed to initiate or intensify domestic preparation for their intended national contributions towards this agreement, which is set to come into force from 2020.

Although outcomes on agriculture may not have been outstanding, we made some strides in the negotiations and most significantly initiated and established firm relationships with the G77+China and also won over many skeptics at our powerful and convincing side events.

One of these was side-event on transforming farming systems for food & climate security as well as sustainable rural development, co-hosted this with the Environmental Defense Fund, on Friday 15th November. Using scientifically supported arguments, IFOAM convinced attendees, of whom many were unaware of multiple benefits of Organic agriculture,  that the conversion from conventional to Organic agriculture is possible as long as we have the right political will.  Numerous participants expressed their excitement after the event and said they were on the edge of their seats. The energy created here was unique and for many, it was the best event they attended over the two weeks.

The IFOAM side event is listed on the UNFCCC website in chronological order – the listing includes links to PDF versions of the presentations made and can be found here.

A write up of the IFOAM event by ISSD reporting services in their Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) can be found here.

In addition, IFOAM was one of the organizers of the Global Landscapes Forum, which was held on the sidelines of the negotiations to develop the potential of the landscape approach to inform future UNFCCC agreements and the achievement of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals. IFOAM partnered with the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Biovision Foundation and the Millennium Institute to co-host an event that explored the international, national and local policies and initiatives required to enable equitable and resilient sustainable rural development and realize the right to food at the landscape and community levels – especially for vulnerable people. The IFOAM lead event featured a range of key stakeholders including IUCN, UNCCD, and FAO.

The IFOAM Discussion Forum page on the GLF website can be found here.

References to the IFOAM discussion forum and its recommendations can be found here in the Executive Summary: Key messages and recommendations from the Global Landscapes Forum for UNFCCC negotiations and Sustainable Development Goals (including IFOAM’s recommendation for organic agriculture to be an indicator for the SDGs).