Declaration of the Africa People's Movement on Climate Change

Confronting the climate crisis: Preparing for Copenhagen and beyond

Nairobi, Kenya, August 30, 2009 -- We, the leaders of various people's movements, community-based groups, academia, NGOs and civil cociety organisations, met in Nairobi under the banner of the People's Movement on Climate Change (PMCC) to discuss strategies to confront the climate change crisis for Copenhagen and beyond from August 27 to 28 , 2009.

Do hereby affirm that:

  • Irresponsible and unaccountable consumption concentrated in the industrialised North, and some countries of the South has and continues to cost Africa by creating an ecological crisis;
  • The people of Africa, as well as other developing nations, are creditors of a massive ecological debt;
  • This ecological debt continues to accrue today through the continued plunder and exploitation of Africa’s resources, its people, labour and economies;
  • The groups most affected by climate change are Indigenous peoples, women -- especially poor women in the rural areas, noting that the phenomenon has a connection with resources such as land or water, and related farming and business activities that they are specifically engaged in;
  • The negative effects of climate change are sharply felt on agriculture and food sovereignty. This is manifested through soil degradation, deforestation, intensified food insecurity, super weeds, desertification, cultural shock, identity loss and forced consumption of unsafe, untraceable food;
  • Imposed false solutions (GMOs, Agro-fuels, synthetic fertilisers, agrochemicals) deepen these effects and perpetuate food aid dependency;
  • The current unbalanced global trade relations and policies between the industrialised North and the global South are a contributor to the negative ecological effects of climate change.

Our calls:

  • We reject the principle and application of carbon trading, which is a false solution based on inventing a perverse property right to pollute. A property right to air;
  • We demand that human rights and values be placed at the centre of all global, national and regional solutions to the problem of climate change;
  • We call on colleagues in the social and economic justice movement globally to rigorously campaign against the undemocratic corporate led agendas which will dominate the deliberations and processes at COP 15 [Copenhagen in December 2009];
  • We emphasise that ecological, small holder, agro-biodiversity-based food production can ensure food and seed sovereignty and address climate change in Africa.
  • We support the call by African leaders for reparations on climate change and support the initiative of the upcoming African Union ministers of environment meeting and call for African governments to embrace more people-centred alternatives for African peoples.
  • [We] urge African governments to engage civil society groups positively and collaborate with them to build common national and international responses on the problems of climate change.

Our strategies:

  • Immediately activate existing networks and resources within our ranks, to build each other's capacities to engage meaningfully on pro-people solutions to the crisis of climate change;
  • Launch a call to action for a coordinated global response to climate change, based on solidarity and practical collaboration between affected peoples of the industrialised North and the global South;
  • To create synergy of platforms, networks and initiatives amongst African communities most affected by climate change and henceforth use any appropriate political space to articulate their concerns;
  • That such political spaces should include the annual continental, regional and national social forum spaces, as well as the parallel People's Summit of the people of Southern Africa amongst others;
  • Facilitate dialogue of women directly affected by climate change to engage with policy makers at both local and national levels as well as regional and global level;
  • Organise and mobilise communities for action towards food sovereignty-based food self-sufficiency through research, articulation of issues and capacity building for informed engagement and alternatives;
  • To mobilise agricultural, pastoral, fisherfolk and other affected communities to have a common face and voice in Copenhagen;
  • Urgently reform the unbalanced global trade relations and policies, with specific focus on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) and their ecological effects on Africa;
  • To continue our engagement on ecological debt and call for reparations for the climate crisis and seek alternative modes of channeling such resources to the people of Africa;
  • To support African governments' call for reparations and increased space for negotiations for a progressive deal that does not impoverish Africa further;
  • Commit ourselves to a coordinated follow up on any outputs from Copenhagen.

We the undersigned:

Africa Peoples Movement on Climate Change (A-PMCC), Nairobi, August 30, 2009.

C/o IBON Africa, Kirichwa Road, Off Arwings Kodhek,

P.O.Box 5252-00100,

Nairobi, Kenya.

Tel: 254 20 3861590