Climate Change and Agroecology

 Changements climatiques et agroécologie


Climate change is not something new, but in recent decades it has become a global concern for the survival of humanity. The manifestations of climate change and the resulting effects vary according to climate zones and the extent of the impact of economic activities. In West Africa, the effects of climate change such as drought, aridity, flooding, soil salinization, physical and chemical degradation of agricultural land, are disastrous for the agro-sylvo-pastoral and fisheries sectors, and are amplified by production systems that weaken natural ecosystems. As a result, the majority of the predominantly agricultural West African populations is increasingly poor and vulnerable, facing water scarcity, food and nutritional insecurity.
These are the challenges that ECOWAS faces through its regional agricultural policy, ECOWAP, its environmental policy, ECOWEP, and its regional climate strategy, which aims to "sustainably contribute to meeting the food needs of the population, economic and social development, and poverty reduction while ensuring sustainable management of natural resources while respecting the environment in member States."
The theme of "Climate Change and Agroecology" is part of an appropriate and sustainable response to the challenges of the agro-sylvo-pastoral and fisheries sector. It is crucial to ensure modern and environmentally friendly agriculture, focusing on adaptive and climate change mitigation approaches. Therefore, during the High-Level Forum held in Bamako, Mali from June 15 to 18, 2015, the intervention framework for the development of climate-smart agriculture and the West African Alliance were adopted by all west african stakeholders to support the implementation of this intervention framework.
The objective of this theme is to strengthen the resilience of livelihoods and production systems to climate variability and other related shocks, increase investments in initiatives that enhance the resilience of sensitive ecosystems, and support smallholder farms in transitioning to agroecology, enabling them to balance economic performance, food security, environmental protection, and public health.
The implementation strategy involves deploying multiple projects and initiatives based on project proposals. It is also carried out through contracts for intellectual services, equipment, and infrastructure, with regional coordination provided by the RAAF and national coordination facilitated by focal points and/or national committees in the ministries of agriculture and environment.
This theme contributes to the implementation of all four strategic axes of ECOWAP.
The main implementing stakeholders include the ministries of agriculture and environment in member countries, CILSS, FAO, IFAD, CORAF, research centers, agricultural professional organizations, universities and institutes, local authorities, consulting firms, individual consultants, operator groups providing technical support to the RAAF, private economic operators, BOAD, etc.

The main projects currently being implemented under this theme are the Agroecology Program (PAE) in West Africa, the Global alliance initiative against climate change in West Africa Plus (GCCA+), the promotion of climate-smart agriculture (CSA), the integration of agroecological approaches to enhance resilience to climate change and improve sustainable food systems in West Africa and the Sahel, climate change adaptation (CCA), the West African initiative for climate-smart agriculture (WAICSA), the Sahel climate thematic portfolio (SCTP), Accelerating impact of CGIAR climate research for africa (AICCRA), the RICOWAS project implemented by CNS-Riz with funding from the Green Climate Fund/OSS, etc.
The technical and financial partners involved include the EU, AFD, Green Climate Fund, EBID, UEMOA, Swedish cooperation, Swiss cooperation, etc.