For Media

Hotels for Press
Accommodation levels in Rio de Janeiro are anticipated to be at full occupancy during the conference. While it is not the responsibility of the United Nations to procure accommodation for the media, it should be noted that the Brazilian national organizing committee for Rio+20 has committed to blocking a minimum of 500 hotel rooms in Rio de Janeiro for media covering the conference. Costs must be covered by the media. For more details, visit: For information regarding room availability please contact: Terramar Travel Agency

Emails: or or

Tel: (+55+21) 35120067 or (+55+11) 30142042 or (+55+19) 35145600

Media representatives must present their approval letter and copy when requesting their accommodations.


What are the options - when ?Business as usual? is not an option?
Policies to deal with the food crisis:
1. Restore public support for agriculture to address the food crisis. Corporate concentration in the food chain has, since at least the 1970s, severely reduced public-sector support for both research and rural development. Agricultural assistance declined from $8 billion in 1984 to $3.4 billion in 2004 (2004 US$). Governments should cooperate to place an annual $5 billion surtax on the food oligopolies over at least the next 25 years to recoup a portion of these losses. The recovered funds should go directly to peasants? organizations to support their initiatives.
2. Convert ?land-grabs? to peasants? fields. There is growing international recognition that public or private internal or cross-boundary land grabs are destructive of the environment and food security. The estimated 80 million hectares of land involved in these transactions should be made available to peasants and converted into 26.7 million farms of roughly 3 hectares each.
3. Convert biofuel land to food. In 2007, both the US and EU devoted $11 billion to state subsidies and tariffs in support of biofuel production. As of 2006, 14 million hectares (1%) of all arable land was being used for biofuel production (providing only one half of 1% of global primary energy use.) New policies should transfer biofuel land to landless or land-poor peasants (4.6 million families could get 3 hectares each) ? potentially doubling farm production (average farm size in Africa and Asia is currently 1.6 ha.) The $11 billion annual subsidy should support agro-ecological developments on the farms.
4. Secure sufficient, nutritious and appropriate food for at least 9 billion people by 2050. Today, the cereals used for animal feed could meet the annual caloric needs of more than 3.5 billion people. The current world population is just under 7 billion. There is no technological barrier to meeting our future food needs.
5. Adopt policies that reduce soil erosion to protect long-term food security. Today, the industrial food chain leads to an annual loss of topsoil amounting to 75 billion tonnes and costs the world $400 billion. An oligarchy of ten global fertilizer companies discourages good soil management. Peasant soil conservation systems utilizing naturally occurring soil microorganisms are responsible for fixing 140-170 million tonnes of nitrogen ? equivalent to $90 billion in chemical fertilizers. Policies must support these conservation strategies. Improved land management,
especially using peasant techniques, could increase agricultural GDP between 3% and 7%.
6. Reduce crop losses. Today, annual food losses equal more than half of the world?s cereals crop (2.3 billion tonnes), meaning unnecessary production of roughly 500 million tonnes of GHG. Food losses in industrialized countries range between 90 and 111 kg per person per year. New policies should immediately lower OECD crop losses by 90% ? at least to sub-Saharan African and South Asian levels of 9?11 kg per person per year.
Policies to transform the food chain into a food web:
7. Strengthen the food web and break up the food chain.
Oligopoly in agricultural inputs reduces efficiency and discourages the resiliency necessary to respond to new health and environmental challenges. Today, six corporations (Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, Dow, Bayer, and BASF) control 71% of crop chemicals, 58% of commercial seed sales; and (with their biotech partners) control 77% of the world?s so-called ?climate-ready? crop patent claims. The 6-company oligopoly stifles innovation, encourages energy waste and promotes their polluting chemicals. Competition policies must break up the food chain. New policies must encourage market diversity and research support for agro-ecological systems. Market diversification,
for seeds alone, could reduce prices by at least 30% saving the world?s peasants more than $9 billion per annum.
8. Advance the rights of women food producers: Women account for 60 to 80% of peasant growers and produce 90% of food in Africa and about half of all food worldwide. Yet in sub-Saharan Africa, only 15% of landholders are women and they receive less than 10% of credit and 7% of extension services. Policies that address gender inequalities could, conservatively, increase yields on women?s farms by 2.5% to 4%.
9. Diversify food processing and retailing. Today, the largest supermarket oligopolies control 40-50% of the food market in Latin America, 10% in China, 30% in South Africa and 50% in Indonesia. The leading 100 processors control 77% of global packaged foods and 10-11% of world retail food sales. Peasant systems feed 70% of the world ? including the most vulnerable. Competition policies should eliminate oligopolistic practices. New policies must diversify consumer options, reduce the need for processing and support local food storage and distribution.
10. Ban Terminator-type agricultural technologies. Today, while there is a global moratorium on Terminator technologies, there are moves by some governments to overturn this moratorium in 2012. Rio+20 must establish a global ban. In Ethiopia, approximately 90% of the total wheat area is planted in farm-saved seed. If Terminator seeds were commercialized and Ethiopian wheat growers were forced to buy new seed every time they planted, it would cost an estimated $66 million per year. Brazilian soybean growers who now save and re-use soybean seeds would be forced to spend an estimated $407 million per year if the Brazilian ban on Terminator seeds were lifted. In the Philippines, an estimated 59% of the rice crop is planted with peasant-saved seeds. If these rice growers were forced to buy new seed every time they planted - they would spend an estimated $172 million per annum. If Canadian wheat growers (who now grow wheat on 8.36 million hectares with peasant-saved seed) were forced to buy Terminator wheat seed, the total cost per annum would be $85 million.
11. Reduce freshwater waste in food and beverage processing industries. Five global food and beverage corporations ? Nestle, Danone, Unilever, AnheuserBusch, and Coca-Cola-consume enough water to meet the daily domestic needs of every person on the planet. Today, it takes, for example, 12,000 L of water to produce and process a half kilo of chocolate. The water required to produce 65 million kgs of ground beef ? the amount recalled and destroyed due to food safety violations in the US in 2008 ? was equivalent to the water required to irrigate 100,000 hectares of dry land for a year. Peasant production models that privilege local consumption waste little or no water. Policies must prioritize local consumption and heavily tax wasteful processing companies.
Policies to shrink agriculture?s environmental footprint and improve health:
12. Improve health and reduce environmental damage. Today, the average adult in an OECD country eats an unnecessary and unhealthy extra meal each day (roughly an extra 750 Cal). About 25% of the energy and water ? and the associated greenhouse gas produced used in OECD countries goes to ?waste food.? At least 50% of OECD adults are overweight or obese. Obesity costs the OECD states almost $300 billion per year ? an amount that is more than enough to meet all of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, with around $100 billion leftover.
13. Reduce OECD meat and dairy consumption. According to UN estimates, demand for meat and dairy products will double by 2050. Per capita OECD meat consumption is 10 times that of the global South. A 25% reduction in livestock product consumption worldwide would reduce our GHG emissions by 12.5%.
14. Eliminate waste and environmental devastation in the fisheries industry. Today, industrial fish farming takes 6 tonnes of wild fish to produce 1 tonne of fishmeal and between 1.5 and 3 tonnes of meal to harvest 1 tonne of farmed salmon. Peasant fishers and family fishponds recycle nutrients and have almost no waste. Policies must incorporate this waste into industrial fish farm taxes.
15. Strengthen urban and peri-urban food systems. Today, British consumers throw away 243 L of water per day in wasted food. This amounts to 6% of total UK water usage and one and a half times more than personal daily fresh water needs. Today, 25 to 30% of fresh water ? about 45 billion litres ? in urban areas is lost through leaky pipes costing municipalities $14 billion a year. The urban water wasted through leaky pipes could provide the water needs of 200 million people or 4.5 million urban micro-gardens. If the 243 L of water lost each day from food thrown away were available to urban gardeners it could produce 18,000 tomatoes per annum, 3,240 lettuces every
60 days, 900 cabbages every 90 days or 9,000 onions every 120 days. Policies should promote urban agriculture (including its access to safe water) that will improve water efficiency, recycle wastes, and support local nutrition.
Policies to encourage innovation and diversification in the food web:
16. Support in situ peasant conservation strategies. There is general agreement that the adaptation of agriculture to climate change will depend upon the conservation and introduction of crop wild relatives. Current efforts,however, are only collecting 700 species. Peasants conserve 50-60,000 species of wild relatives. Their in situconservation and community breeding must be supported.
17. Encourage breeding and production of underutilized crops. Today, the industrial food chain concentrates on 150 species with almost all research going into 12 species. The peasant food web breeds and nurtures 7,000 food crops, offering enormous potential to respond to climate change. Policies must strengthen their efforts to diversify the food web.
18. Restructure research priorities to support peasant breeding. Over the last half-century, industrial breeders have produced about 80,000 plant varieties (including 7,000 from international research centres). Almost 60% of private commercial breeding has been ornamental. Over the same time, peasants have contributed close to 2.1 million food and feed varieties. Policies must surrender breeding direction to peasant organizations, duplicate gene bank accessions for peasant breeding and inter-farm exchange, and eliminate monopolistic regulations that inhibit innovation. Public spending on research on agriculture must increase and the bulk of research should be refocused to agroecological solutions for the challenges ahead by promoting biodiverse and resilient farming systems.
19. Promote resilient livestock breeds and species diversity; and re-introduce traditional and local animals on farms. Today, 3-4 multinationals control breeding stock for each of the four key livestock animals (cattle, pigs, broiler chickens, laying hens and turkeys). In total, about 100 breeds account for almost all commercial meat and dairy production. Furthermore, three agribusinesses account for 43% of veterinary medicines and three others control 25% of industrial feeds world-wide. While the industrial food chain continues to narrow the range of species and breeds available to meet climate changes, peasants maintain 40 livestock species and 7,616 breeds that may otherwise become extinct. Policies must support peasant conservation and breeding of these animals and the rights of traditional livestock keepers. Grass-fed meat and dairy and animal feed production on farm or locally should be promoted. All not therapeutic use of antibiotics in animal production should be eliminated.
20. Conserve and promote marine and freshwater fishing. Today, industrial fisheries commercialize 363 species and the industrial system has wiped out 20% of all freshwater species while overfishing virtually all popular marine species. Peasant fishers protect and harvest more than 22,000 freshwater species alone. Policies must strengthen support for peasant fishers.
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