News

23.06.2009 |

Africa: Full Speed in the Wrong Direction

CSD-17 presents a unique opportunity for global governance to rise above the selfish interests of individual countries and regional blocks to work towards sustainable development worldwide, writes Nnimmo Bassey.

But, he warns, a complicated negotiation text lacking in ideas to galvanise nations into acting in solidarity, is likely to maintain the status quo. Bassey expresses dismay at G-77 references to 'national laws and cultural contexts' when the Commission for Sustainable Development 'should be raising the bar, not subjecting universal ideals to parochial local regimes'. Bassey suggests that restoring confidence in global governance and democracy is an important part of tackling the food, climate and economic crises on every delegates' mind. What is even more problematic to the negotiations, however, is the lack of unanimity in defining what 'sustainability' actually is.

23.06.2009 |

CSD Ministerial Roundtable with Robert Watson

UN Commission for Sustainable Development, 17th Session, New York 4-15 May
Roundtable on Realizing a Sustainable Green Revolution in Africa: CSD Chair Gerda Verburg, Vivian Pliner, Secretariat, and Robert Watson, Director, International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD)

Robert Watson, Director, International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), highlighted, inter alia: the multi-functionality of agriculture; agro-ecological practices and the critical role of natural resources and biodiversity; adapting to a changing climate; increasing water efficiency; acknowledging the role of women; reforming international trade; investing in science and technology and improving extension services; and investing in rural development. Tesfai Tecle, Special Advisor to the Chairman, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, introduced his organization’s strategy to reduce hunger and poverty in Africa through agricultural development.

23.06.2009 |

Call for agricultural research to serve people, not corporate interests

Farmers and food consumers worldwide need a stronger say in how agricultural research is funded, designed, implemented and controlled to ensure that the knowledge produced brings the most social and environmental benefits. So says a multimedia e-book published by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) today to coincide with the annual meeting of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, which focuses heavily on agriculture.

23.06.2009 |

Agroecological farming key to Africa’s future

As an African American farmer from Mississippi who has visited and traveled to Africa many times, I am stunned that the real solutions continue to be ignored. We face multiple crises -- financial, climate, energy, and water. Business as usual will not solve our global hunger crisis. More expensive genetically modified seeds, pesticides and chemical-intensive practices won’t help the hungry and will only allow more profits and control for seed companies like Monsanto and Syngenta.

23.06.2009 |

A new deal needed for food crisis

Although G8 agriculture ministers met recently to discuss the current food crisis, little was agreed beyond broad statements that the global food security outlook is grim. By failing to make new pledges and strike a bold new direction, an important opportunity for averting an intensification of the food crisis was lost. What is needed is nothing short of a global agricultural new deal. Four elements of this new deal are vital....

23.06.2009 |

Africa: Realising the Right to Food

A right to food means that 'victims must have a right to recourse mechanisms; that governments must be held accountable if they adopt policies which violate that right; and that courts are empowered to protect this right' writes De Schutter. He argues that 'the daily and massive denial of the right to food has its source, not in an insufficient quantity of food produced, but in a system of production whose limits have now become clear.' De Schutter calls for support for states, an assessment of different models of agricultural production, the redesign of trade, improvements in the situation of agricultural workers and incentives and regulations for agri-food companies, with a view to realising the right to food.

23.06.2009 |

One step forward, two steps back in addressing the food crisis

Commenting on the declaration published today following the first G8 meeting dedicated to agriculture, Greenpeace said that the G8 Agriculture Ministers appear to be taking one step forward in putting agriculture and food security at the heart of the international agenda, but two steps back because they have failed to present proposals that will effectively tackle the global food crisis.

23.06.2009 |

Strange fruit: Could genetically modified foods offer a solution to the world's food crisis?

It's a decade since GM products were hurriedly swept from UK shops after a panic about their safety. In the meantime, GM crops have been widely – and successfully – cultivated elsewhere. So is it time we embraced the new food?

23.06.2009 |

Chemically-driven agri will not solve poverty

An international study belied the claims of big corporations that chemically-driven and corporate agriculture will solve the problem of hunger and poverty in Mindanao.

A coalition of organic agriculture practitioners and advocates under the Go Organic Mindanao said that chemically-driven and corporate agriculture in Mindanao failed to address hunger and poverty as confirmed by a recent scientific assessment report prepared by the world's experts and supported by 58 governments across the globe.

23.06.2009 |

Agriculture at a crossroads

Greenpeace is calling on G8 agriculture ministers to stop business-as-usual and start supporting a transition to an ecological agriculture that feeds people while protecting the environment. The first G8 meeting dedicated to Agriculture is being held in Treviso, Italy, this weekend, when discussions will focus on how to address the continuing food crisis.

Donors

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