What’s the issue?
The climate crisis impacts the lives and livelihoods of agroecological land workers across the globe. Agroecological land workers, peasants and indigenous peoples provide real solutions for how we can first and foremost reduce our carbon emissions and support biodiversity. Every year, international climate talks – known as COPs – bring states and other parties together to negotiate plans and policy to tackle the climate crisis. In November 2021, COP26 (the 26th meeting of state parties) was held in Glasgow, Scotland. This was an important opportunity for advocacy and movement building, to raise the voice of landworkers globally and to highlight the important role we play in building solutions to the climate crisis.
What did we do?
COP26 was the first year that the Landworkers’ Alliance have had any official or organised presence at a COP. LWA and our La Via Campesina allies put a huge amount of energy over the two weeks into a range of activities both on the ‘inside’ of the official conference, and outside where grassroots movements worked together on climate justice solutions. While the outcomes of the negotiations failed to take the action needed to address the climate crisis, the grassroots organising was strong and gives a reason to stay hopeful. You can read our full final statement on COP26 yma and read more about our activities during COP26 below.
1. LWA’s Agroecology Hub at Civic House
For ten days over COP26, we held an Agroecology and Food Sovereignty Hub at Civic House in Glasgow. This was a space to share meals, share ideas, and host events outside the official COP26 zones.
2. People’s Summit for Climate Justice sessions on food sovereignty
As part of the COP26 Coalition People’s Summit for Climate Justice the Landworkers’ Alliance hosted and participated in a series of sessions on the themes of agroecology and food sovereignty at Civic House.
The opening session – titled ‘Global Peasant-led Struggles: Agroecology as a Real Solution’ – was a huge inspiration and a massive success; the room was totally packed out (in accordance with Covid limitations), with numerous others tuning in to stream the event live online. Speakers included LWA’s Dee Woods, NFU Canada’s Jessie MacInnis, WAMIP’s Fernando Garcia Dory and Hijaba Ykhanbai, La Via Campesina and ABL’s Paula Gioia and COAG’s Javier Sanchez.
This session has been made into a 5 episode mini-series for the LWA’s COP26 podcast. Click here to stream all 5 episodes.
Other People’s Summit sessions that LWA and LVC were involved in included:
Soil and Carbon: the science and the politics This session was also recorded for a COP26 Podcast episode, you can listen to it yma.
Land, Food and Power This event was hosted online, you can watch the Zoom recording yma (Password: @1F#d6h@)
Food Sovereignty in Scotland
Solidarity and Organising with Migrant Workers in the Food System
Seed Sovereignty and Resisting GM!
3. Actions in the official conference
LWA and LVC received accreditation for 14 delegates to participate in Blue Zone activities. This allowed us to access and observe certain plenary sessions, side-events and official debates and discussions. You can read reflections from some of the LWA campaigns team who were in the Blue Zone on Farmers Day in this blog post. Our Cymru Policy Coordinator Holly Tomlinson’s has written an excellent blog post for the WRFFC about (in)accessibility and frustration in the Blue Zone. You can read it yma.
4. Actions on the outside
Global Day of Action
LWA coordinated the Farmers, Foresters and Landworkers’ Bloc at the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice march in Glasgow. Hundreds of people joined our bloc, and we had puppets, banners, a samba band, a milk float and a stunning moving meadow of cornflowers, wheat sheaves and poppies.
Friday for Future Youth March
LWA’s Youth branch FLAME took part in the youth march on Friday the 5th. LWA’s COP26 Podcast features an episode on Youth, which you can stream here. You can also read a Q&A blog post ‘Youth FLAME: on Climate Justice, Action and Hope for the Future’ by clicking here.
LWA Woody Branch action
“SLASH TIMBER IMPORTS, NOT TROPICAL FORESTS!”
On Friday Nov 5th, LWA Woody Branch members staged an action in Grangemouth (just outside Glasgow) to protest the unnecessary and unsustainable UK timber import industry. Instead, they called for increased support for domestic timber production, and for the UK Government to create clear steps to creating a thriving woodland nation.
You can read more about the action and watch the video in this blog post.
5. Press Coverage
We are extremely proud of the coverage that LWA and LVC got in mainstream press during COP26. On the Global Day of Action on Nov 6th LWA and LVC featured in TV interviews with STV (ScottishTV), BBC News, BBC World TV, Al Jazeera, Sky News, ITV. Radio, LBC as well as in print articles in the Glasgow Times, The Sunday Times (digital + print), The Washington Post, as well as two Spanish and one Italian newspaper.
Other press coverage included:
Farmers Weekly: ‘Agroecology Can Help Solve Climate Crisis COP26 Told’. Read here.
Farming UK: ‘Agroecology offers real solution to climate crisis farmers union say’. Read here.
Sky News interview with Jyoti Fernandes (LWA Head of Policy and Campaigns). Watch here (@ 28 mins).
Sky News interview with Dee Woods (LWA Food Justice Policy Coordinator). Watch here (@ 2 hrs 39 mins).
LBC: ‘Cop26 analysis: Energy day loses its spark’ featuring quote from Holly Tomlinson (LWA Cymru Policy Coordinator). Read here.
The Guardian: ‘The Cow in the Room’ featuring quote from Jyoti Fernandes (LWA Head of Policy and Campaigns). Read here.
Resilience: ‘COP26 – Caught in a Net: Agriculture, Climate Change, and the Decarbonisation Agenda’ featuring LWA mention. Read here.
Wicked Leeks: ‘Farmers and landworkers assemble at COP26’ featuring quote from Jyoti Fernandes (LWA Head of Policy and Campaigns). Read here.
Wicked Leeks: ‘COP26: Meat, industrial farming and the future of food’ featuring quote from Holly Tomlinson (LWA Cymru Policy Coordinator). Read here.
New Scientist: podcast featuring Marissa Reyes (LVC, Puerto’s Rica’s Organización Boricuá) Listen here (@ 17mins).
This podcast is available to listen via Frontline Foodcast on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music and most other podcast apps.