What Happened at COP27?

 “Cop27 is part of a process, not an endpoint.” words of Co-chair Ban Ki-moon at the closure of the COP27 Climate Change Conference in Egypt.

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens team was on the ground at COP27 as observers hosting official side events conducting bilateral meetings and advocating for climate change adaptation in agriculture across the blue zone, green zone, and innovation zone (hosted by Climate Action.) Check out our photo collection here.



Over the course of two weeks, we were able to meet with many of our partners and conducted 35+ bilateral meetings. It was especially great to have the chance to brainstorm with 4 African ministries and a number of European governments, including the EC, Germany, and UK on the topics of climate adaptation, capacity building, and empowering farmers against climate change on the continent including:

  • Hon. Minister Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana, Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Rwanda
  • Hon. Minister Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister of Food and Agriculture, Ghana
  • Hon. Eng. Collins Nzovu, Minister of Green Economy and Environment, Zambia
  • Senator Lawal Hassan Anka, Chairman of the Committee on Ecology and Climate Change, and Salisu M. Dahiru, Director-General of the National Council on Climate Change, Nigeria

We also hosted 4 side events and contributed to 2 partner events. Below you can find the event details and stream links when available. 

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon shared opening remarks at the Sustainable Innovation Forum highlighting the urgent need to focus on climate adaptation finance and put smallholder farmers at the heart of our efforts. 



“Actions for a global, green and just transition” where BKMC Program Manager Angela Reithuber, moderated a panel at the Sustainable Innovation Forum hosted by Climate Action emphasizing the importance of climate justice. 



Implementation Lab on Resilient and Adaptive Food Systems where COO Katrin Harvey emphasized the importance of women in climate finance. She highlighted gender inclusivity in food systems such as having more women in decision-making, increasing the finance available, providing transparency in processes as well as focusing on gender-tailored capacity building for women.



Seeds for Equality: Young Women Shaping Regenerative Agriculture and Empowering Female Farmers in the Global South where Program Lead Viola Christian announced the Elevating the Voices of Women in Agriculture Champion Lilian Nakigozi and showcased the documentary of her initiative Women Smiles Uganda.



Accelerating Climate Adaptation in Agriculture – A Youth Perspective where the BKMC Youth Agri Champions demand paper on climate adaptation efforts for African youth was launched. Two champions were on stage with representatives from CGIAR, FAO, the Director for International Partnerships of the European Commission – Carla Montesi, and the director of the Zambian Ministry of Green Economy & Environment – Crusivia Chilobe Hichikumba, to discuss solutions that can directly support smallholder farmers secure the future of their livelihoods and of the world‘s food system.



“Elevating the Voices of Women in Agriculture: Challenges & Solutions Toward Women Farmers’ Empowerment in the Face of Climate Change” where, voices of female farmers such as Belinda Okungu, Kenya, Gender Lead and Pan-African Climate Justice Association, Josephine George Frances, Liberia, President, Farmers Union Network of Liberia, CEO of Arjay Farms and Arjay Coffee, former House Representative and Chair on the Committees of Agriculture, Elizabeth Akaba, Ghana, Produce Farmer and Tuba Women Farmers Association Leader shared concrete needs of women farmers to tackle the impacts of climate change and Program Lead Viola Christian showcased the documentary of women farmer Lilian Nakigozi’s initiative Women Smiles Uganda. No event stream is available but watch the documentary below. 


Concretising the Demands: what needs to change to help smallholder farmers adapt to climate change?

What do smallholder farmers need to adapt to climate change? That was the question posed to the Youth Agri Champions as they went about developing a set of demands on what can be done to improve support for climate adaptation in the agricultural sector. Taking place two weeks after the first workshop, the second workshop gave the Youth Agri Champions a chance to consolidate their ideas and demands. In between the first and the second workshop, the Youth Agri Champions continued to work virtually in their working groups, social risk management, funding/finance, and training/capacity building, where they built upon the ideas that came up in Workshop 1.


In Workshop 2, our expert guest, Denis Kabiito, the CEO and Founder of the Young Farmers’ Federation of Uganda, shared his knowledge and experience with the participants. He touched upon the challenges facing women farmers and encouraged smallholder farmers and the agripreneurs supporting them to overcome the obstacles posed by climate change and various other factors. Along these lines, Kabiito urged the Youth Agri Champions to, “start small, [and] start from somewhere from where we can convince those around us to support us.”  

After the participants posed their own questions to Kabiito, the Youth Agri Champions reconvened in their three working groups. Once again, they engaged in lively discussions and worked on further substantiating their demands. At the end of the workshop, representatives from each group presented their demands for the topic area they were working on.

The social risk management group focused on insurance schemes and providing more information and help to smallholder farmers to reduce uncertainty. The focus in the funding/finance group was on responsive funding and ensuring that funding schemes are contextualized to suit smallholder farmers. The Youth Agri Champions in the training/capacity building group developed a demand focusing on the ease of access to training, strengthening female access to training, and the adaptation of trainings and resources to reflect local social, economic, cultural, and environmental circumstances.  

Over the coming week, the demands will be consolidated. The Youth Agri Champions will then present these final demands at the next workshop where the best-practice projects from the participants will also be announced. At the final workshop on the 25th of August 2022, the Ban Ki-moon Centre Co-Chairs, Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer will join them to bring the webinar series to a close and accept the demand paper to help amplify the voice of smallholder farmers and agripreneurs in Ban Ki-moon’s and the BKMC’s advocacy work to call on global leaders to take action on adaptation in smallholder agriculture. 

Youth Agri Champions underway with the development of climate demands for agricultural adaptation

The Youth Agri Champions Webinar Series is underway. Launched with speeches from CEO Monika Froehler and Elizabeth Nsimadala, President of the Eastern Africa Farmers Federation, 16 youth agripreneurs and smallholder farmers have started working towards developing demands on climate adaptation in agriculture for COP27. 

The Youth Agri Champions Webinar Series kicked off on July 28th, with 16 smallholder farmers and agripreneurs from Kenya, Nigera, Rwanda, and Zambia. Over the course of three workshops spanning a month, the Youth Agri Champions will develop a set of demands on climate adaptation in the field of agriculture. The BKMC’s Co-Chair, former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and the BKMC team will then take on these demands for COP27 and in their global advocacy work to promote the climate adaptation needs of smallholder farmers.

Opening the webinar series was the BKMC’s CEO, Monika Froehler. While thanking the Youth Agri Champions for taking part, she underlined the important role that they play in leading their communities in adapting agriculture to climate change. In outlining the importance of the Youth Agri Champions voices, Froehler remarked that “Your valuable on-the-ground first-hand experience will provide great insights into the impact of climate change on agriculture.”

After a presentation from the Elevating Agricultural Adaption Program Manager, Angela Reithuber, on the BKMC’s work on supporting smallholder farmers in agricultural adaptation to climate change, the Youth Agri Champions were joined by, Elizabeth Nsimadala, the Director of Women Affairs at the Pan-African Farmers Organization and the President of the Eastern Africa Farmers Federation. As a particular highlight for the participants, Nsimadala gave an inspiring speech filled with plenty of tips and motivation. She addressed the need for cooperation and enthusiasm in the drive for agricultural adaptation to climate change and sustainable agriculture.

During the last stage of the first workshop, the Youth Agri Champions got down to work, sharing their own experiences and exciting projects with each other. Split into three working groups (funding/finance, social risk management, and training/capacity building) they began developing their own ideas on adaptation to climate change in agriculture.  In these areas, the Youth Agri Champions worked on identifying the status quo and current obstacles hindering greater adaptation efforts. Promising and stimulating discussions took place on topics including climate-smart technology, crop diversification, crop insurance, and awareness raising.

Over the next two weeks, the Youth Agri Champions will work together to build upon these discussions and develop their ideas from the first workshop further, with the aim of developing concrete demands in the second workshop. The second workshop will take place on the 11th of August.