- Lead-organizer: Faith based organisations, by Franciscans International
- 15:30 - 17:00
- Date: 16 Jun 2012
- Room: T-2
Agro ecological farming can feed the world: in practice
Organizing partnersFranciscans International (FI),
Dominicans for Justice and Peace (DfJP),
Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA),
Edmund Rice International (ERI),
Good shepherd Sisters Association (GSSA)
IntroductionFranciscans International (FI), Dominicans for Justice and Peace (DfJP), Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA), Edmund Rice International (ERI), Good shepherd Sisters Association (GSSA) have extensive networks at the grassroots level and with farmers? organizations throughout the world. Their activities include promoting people-centered development and human rights, and advocating for peace and justice, for just and sustainable production and consumption of food, and for environmental protection.
The proposed side event on ?Agro ecological farming can feed the world: Ecologically and socially sustainable agriculture in practice? will demonstrate how agro ecological farming respects the limits of the planet?s ecosystem, integrates traditional knowledge from local communities, reduces waste, and can serve as a means to advance rural communities towards food and technological sovereignty.
Detailed programmeFI, DfJP and EAA are deeply concerned by the suffering experienced by thousands of rural farmers around the world. According to UN reports, more than one billion people are malnourished, 75% of which are food producers and their families. These farmers produce at least 70% of the food consumed on the planet, as opposed to the 30% of global food production from large-scale industrial agriculture.
The final study of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee on the advancement of the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas (February 20-24, 2012) stated that ?Hunger, like poverty, is still predominantly a rural problem, and in the rural population, it is those who produce food who suffer disproportionately. In a world in which more than enough is produced to feed the entire world population, more than 700 million people living in rural areas continue to suffer from hunger?.
In 2007-2009, the multiple crises (food, energy, and economic) increased the disparities of poverty. Simultaneously, the effects of climate change have further challenged the future of agriculture and the livelihoods of millions of people around the world. The phenomena of floods and drought, biodiversity loss, misuse of water, chemical pesticides and fertilizers has already had devastating effects on populations.
Despite many international conventions and treaties ratified by governments, human rights violations affecting food security and livelihoods continue to occur in many parts of the world. Poor and marginalized rural communities are deprived of their right to food, their right to a healthy environment, their right to adequate housing, their right to self determination, and their right to life.
Yet, the 1992 Rio Declaration stated: ?Human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development. They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature? (Principle 1) and ?Indigenous people and their communities and other local communities have a vital role in environmental management and development because of their knowledge and traditional practices. States should recognize and duly support their identity, culture and interests and enable their effective participation in the achievement of sustainable development? (Principle 22).
In 2009 Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, drew attention to contrasting models of agriculture. Many solutions are proposed to solve hunger but not all are sustainable. Some advocate for an extension of modern farming methods and biotechnologies, and the expansion of cultivatable land. Others are advocating an expansion of industrial agriculture methods. If this path were to be considered, what would the future then be for millions of poor farmers and their families? What about the loss of seed biodiversity, generally protected by traditional farming methods?
?Agro ecological farming can feed the world: Ecologically and socially sustainable agriculture in practice? will draw attention to the fact that: i) Agro ecological farming is a viable alternative to industrial farming and is proven to provide greater yields with less financial investment; ii) Agro ecological is multifunctional. It provides food, fiber, fuel and other goods. It protects ecosystems and provides employment. It is a lifestyle and has a social role in the transmission of cultural values and practices; and iii) Agro ecological promotes local participation, accountability, and community responsibility.
Our speakers will focus on cultural values, and case studies that demonstrate the importance of ecological agriculture. These case studies will be provided by local communities.
Mr Leonardo Boff, Brazilian theologian, philosopher, writer, Professor Emeritus of Ethics, Philosophy of Religion and Ecology at the Rio de Janeiro State University.
Ms Maria Elena Aradas, Executive Director, CEFEDER, Research, Franciscan Center for Studies and regional Development. (Argentina)
Sr Placida Lihinkasuwa, Project Manager of a local agricultural development (Sri-Lanka)
Rev. Malcolm Damon, Economic Justice Network of FOCCISA (TBC)