Monicah Yator (Kenya) is an Indigenous Woman from Baringo (Kenya), Tugen Pastoralist Community. She is a human rights defender and an activist as well as the founder of the Indigenous Women and Girls Initiative (IWGI), a community-based organization which advocates for fundamental rights and freedom of indigenous women and girls in Baringo and beyond. Through IWGI Yator has empowered women on land rights issues and trained them on agroecological practices. Monicah represents indigenous peoples’ organizations in the Steering Committee of the Agroecology Coalition.
On 17th January 2024, the Steering Committee of the Agroecology Coalition met for an in-person workshop to progress on the future strategy of the Coalition and elected its two co-chairs: Monicah Yator and Madeleine Kaufmann. The two women have been involved in the Coalition since its creation and have played a crucial role in its development. The election of co-chairs had been deferred until this first face-to-face meeting of the Steering Committee.
I feel honoured and appreciated for the work we have been doing in support of agroecology for climate change action campaigns. I am also excited to be part of this noble cause supporting agroecology transition.
Madeleine Kaufmann (Switzerland) has been Senior Policy Advisor of the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) since 2018. Among others, she represents Switzerland in the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) and is the Swiss focal point of the Agroecology Coalition, representing the European regional group in the Coalition’s Steering Committee as well. Madeleine also works part-time on an organic dairy farm. Before joining FOAG, she was with several international cooperation and development organizations, including the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI), Bioversity International, and Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation.
Working in the Coalition gives me the feeling that one is stronger together than alone and shows me how important the aspect of co-creation of knowledge with other governments and stakeholder groups is. We stand together for transformative change.
Steering Committee co-chairmanship will rotate among its members. As co-chairs, Monicah’s and Madeleine’s mandate will last one year, and they will represent the Coalition and help lead the Steering Committee.
We are grateful for the continuous commitment both Monicah and Madeleine have demonstrated within the Coalition and, more generally, for agroecology. We are thrilled to work more closely with them and welcome them as co-chairs.