Promoting Agricultural Practices Based in Ecological and Environmental Justice Principles to Address the Climate Crisis and Food Security
The IACA is building an alliance of civil society leaders to create a food future that can better respond to the climate crisis while also ensuring food and water security, equity, and biodiverse landscapes, soil, water, and wildlife.
There are powerful solutions that we advocate, based on the BROAD approach (an acronym) which includes the promotion of agriculture and food production that is:
BIODIVERSE – Agriculture production and practices that protect seed, plant, and animal biodiversity and genomic integrity—all vital for food security in a climate crisis world. This includes agriculture production and practices that protect and promote both biodiversity and cultural diversity of the entire Earth community.
REGENERATIVE – Agriculture and food production practices that restore and regenerate soil, water, forests, and wildlife versus our current industrial system that extracts or exhausts natural resources at a rate greater than their capacity for regeneration.
ORGANIC – Agriculture production system that sustains the health of soils (a vital element in carbon sequestration), ecosystems, and people. Organic excludes the use of adverse inputs including, but not limited to, synthetic herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, synthetic fertilizers and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Organic also supports human and socially just food production practices.
APPROPRIATE SCALE – Local agricultural production that is small to medium in scope, diversified, and flexible at adapting to the local landscapes and changes in local conditions. This mainly involves smallholder production which requires considerably fewer external inputs and can contribute to enhancing the environment. It also creates more farm ownership and employment leading to more equitable distribution of land and food.
DEMOCRATIC – Agricultural systems based on cooperative and bioregional communities, in contrast to the dominant corporate-driven model. IACA promotes practices that include social and cultural diversity, economic and food equity, food sovereignty and security, and appropriate small-scale technology, among other equitable and ecological values. IACA rejects patenting of seeds, animals, or other life forms.
The IACA advocates converting to ecological agriculture systems and ending industrial
agriculture practices as an urgent necessity toward mitigating and reducing
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and providing other fundamental co-benefits such as
biological diversity, equity, jobs and livelihoods, and many other benefits. Activities include:
- Actively promoting agroecological solutions to addressing the climate crisis at forthcoming United Nations Climate Change conferences including the upcoming COP 28 in Dubai.
- Advancing ecological food systems as a climate solution within the media, other NGOs and civil society groups, opinion and political leaders, and national and regional policies.
- Expose false solutions to climate change such as the Agriculture Innovation Mission (AIM) promoted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Organizing to Oppose The Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate
The AIM for Climate is an initiative initially announced by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and the United Arab Emirates in 2021. Since then, it has gained support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and numerous corporations involved in industrial agriculture as well as 42 countries. It has also received the COP President’s Endorsement for past COPs 26 and 27, and this years COP28.
Currently AIM has raised more than $8 billion to fund its “innovation” approach to “climate-smart” agriculture. This involves massive funding for research and development of expensive and harmful agricultural technology solutions, many of which are already contributing to the climate crisis, while promoting industrial agriculture and suppressing the needed transformation to ecological and environmental justice-based models. Earlier this year, Tom Vilsack reaffirmed that the primary allocation of the many billions that AIM is raising will be to fund “cutting edge areas of ‘agritech’ such as nanotechnologies, biotechnologies, robotics and AI.”
IACA sees promotion of agritech to expand industrial agriculture as an existential threat to humanity and the planet as it accelerates the climate crisis and decimates farm communities and food security. The technologies that AIM will spend billions developing will result in what the IACA calls the DANGER (acronym) paradigm for the farmers and the planet:
Disempowerment of small and medium landholders who will become mere pass-through users for technologies and inputs.
Artificial intelligence substituting and replacing invaluable indigenous and vernacular agronomic and cultural knowledge developed over millennia.
Nanotechnology creating ever more toxic and invasive pesticides (biocides) and antibacterials that threaten the health of farmers, their communities and plant and animal species.
Genetic engineering that undermines the genomic integrity of plants and animals, decreasing biodiversity and food security and increasing both biological and chemical pollution.
Enclosure of land, especially in the Global South, away from small landholders who grow 80 percent of the world’s food and into the ownership of major multi-national corporations that use that land to grow and profit from non-food, commodity crops such as GMO maize and soy. This results in countless millions losing their food independence and their livelihoods and increases food insecurity and starvation.
Robotics ultimately replaces many of the world’s farmers and destroys farm communities.
AIM’s agritech solutions are not a strategy for 21st Century ecological change that benefits all of humanity and the web of life. Rather, AIM for Climate is more business as usual and yet another attempt of greenwashing by large industrial agriculture corporations attempting to appear part of the sustainable agriculture movement.
Despite the existential threat that AIM and agritech presents, there has been no major, organized international effort to oppose it either at international climate meetings (COPs) or more generally. IACA is organizing an international opposition to the AIM initiative and is exposing its agenda and devastating impact on farmers, food security, and the planet. Our activities will include outreach to civil society around the world so that there is an understanding about the irreparable damage AIM is doing; consult with nation-states within the UNFCCC, notably at the upcoming COP 28 but also at other national and international fora, about the harms of AIM and promote the benefits of agroecological solutions; provide education and outreach to media about AIM versus agroecological solutions; and form a visible movement to oppose practices of industrial agriculture as outlined in AIM and to advocate proven practices that are demonstrably environmentally and socially just.
The IACA is providing vision, strategy, and actions to transition away from the industrial agriculture model that greatly contributes to climate change and build toward a more sustainable, equitable, and just food system for all creatures on our planet.