WANTED: BSc Thesis Student

Originally posted on Rural Sociology Wageningen University:

Feeding 9 billion by 2050?: A critical review of international policy proposals

Food security was thrust back onto the international agenda in 2008 when the FAO declared that for the first time, more than 1 billion people were going hungry. At this moment of enhanced crisis, others looked ahead and asked if we have trouble feeding the world’s 7 billion people now how will we feed the estimated 9 billion in 2050? This focus on feeding 9 billion by 2050 resonated with international policy actors who responded with multiple strategies to potentially address this problem.

This BSc thesis will undertake a systematic literature review of the problem framings and policy proposals that have been advanced to address this challenge.

The thesis student is expected to:

  • Develop a related research question
  • Undertake a systematic literature review
  • Map the framings of the policy problem
  • Map the proposed solutions
  • Select key policy…

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New Farmer Survey/Sondage sur les nouveaux fermiers et les nouvelles fermières

Originally posted on Ruminations on Germinations:

We want to hear from farmers in Canada! Tell us about the experience and needs of new farmers in Canada and you’ll be entered to win over $1500 in sweet prizes! SURVEY CLOSES MARCH 31, 2015.

La version française suit.

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The National New Farmer Coalition and the University of Manitoba have put together a survey to assess the needs of new farmers in Canada where it concerns policy and educational opportunities. If you are intending to farm, are currently farming, or have recently exited farming, we want to hear from you! The results from this survey will be used to develop a National New Farmer Policy Platform that we aim to share with all levels of government. It will also document the sources of new farmer learning and make suggestions on how to improve this training in Canada. In order to give weight to our recommendations, we need as many farmer…

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Family Farming Futures – PhD-thesis by Henk Oostindie

Originally posted on Rural Sociology Wageningen University:

Cover FFF

March 20, 2015 at 1.30 pm Henk Oostindie will publicly defend his PhD-thesis Familiy Farming Futures. Agrarian pathways to multifunctionality: flows of resistance, redesign and resilience‘ in the Auditorium of Wageningen University. The defence ceremony will be streamed live by WURTV but can be viewed later as well. A hard copy of the thesis can be ordered by sending an email to Henk.Oostindie@wur.nl or a pdf can be downloaded from Wageningen Library (embargo untill March 20).

The PhD-thesis compiles different national and European research projects on multifunctionality and multifunctional agriculture Henk Oostindie was involved since 1999. He has thus gained both a broad and profound knowledge of multifunctionality as a concept and as practice. He is a highly esteemed colleague at our Rural Sociology group.

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NEW BOOK: Food Security Governance: empowering communities, regulating corporations by Nora McKeon

A new and exciting book about food security governance is out and it is a MUST READ.  I have just received my copy and will follow up with a more detailed review but in the mean time, check out the summary and the reviews:

Today’s global food system generates hunger alongside of land grabs, food waste, health problems, massive greenhouse gas emissions. Nora McKeon’s just-released book explains why we find ourselves in this situation and explores what we can do to change it. It opens with a brief review of how the international community (mis)managed food issues from WWII up to the time of the food price crisis of 2007-2008. It moves on to contrast the ways in which actors link up in corporate global food chains as compared to the local food webs that we think of as “alternative” but in fact feed most of the world’s population. It unpacks relevant paradigms – from productivism to food security and food sovereignty – and points out the perils of “scientific evidence-based” decision-making when it intrudes on the terrain that properly belongs to political process and value-based debate. The author highlights the significance of adopting a rights-based approach to solving food problems whereby adequate food is not simply a desirable outcome but an inalienable right that governments are obliged to ensure for their citizens. She describes how people around the world are organizing to protect their access to resources and build better ways of food provision and governance from the bottom up, in what is increasingly referred to as a food sovereignty movement. She discusses how the Committee on World Food Security – a uniquely inclusive global policy forum since its reform in 2009 – could be supportive of these efforts. The book concludes with a call to blow the whistle on speculative capitalism by building effective public policy instruments for accountable governance and extending their authority to the realm of regulating markets and corporations.

To obtain a 20% discount visit the book’s page on the Routledge website  www.routledge.com/9780415529105 and enter the code FDC20 at check-out.

‘Nora McKeon does a superb job at describing how governments have allowed markets and corporations to take control of food systems, and which tools could be used to provide healthier diets, ensure greater resilience, and empower communities.’– Olivier De Schutter, former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food
 
‘At such an uncertain time in global food provisioning, Nora McKeon’s book offers an exceptional perspective… a lively account of food system crisis, competing paradigms and new questions of governance in an accessible and forward-looking analysis.’ –Philip McMichael, Cornell University, USA
 
‘This book is an overdue account of the fight over reform. It is a fine reminder that food democracy is the key to feeding everyone equitably, healthily, affordably and sustainably.’ – Tim Lang, City University, London, UK
 
‘..a wonderfully readable account of the world food crisis, distinguished by its grounded faith in the capacity of organizations – of people and governments – to prevent future hunger.’– Raj Patel, Research fellow at UCB and author of Stuffed and Starved, and The Value of Nothing
 
‘Nora McKeon understands the Byzantine world of global food politics better than anyone I know …. Everyone fighting for Food Sovereignty has to read this book.’ –Pat Mooney, ETC Group
 
‘Brilliant! An eye-opening tour of the march to democratize global food governance… A must-read for all who want to go beyond competing “issues” to governance itself — and real solutions.’ — Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet
 
‘A must-read for food activists seeking to go beyond slogans, techno-administrative fixes or business as usual into the realm of active, popular democracy.’ — Eric Holt-Giménez, Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy
 

Survey on the Effectiveness of the CFS

Tomorrow is the last day to complete a survey on perceptions of the effectiveness of the work of the CFS.

Completing the survey should take no longer than 10-15 minutes and your responses will be treated as confidential. The results of this survey will be presented to the 42nd Plenary Session of CFS in October 2015.

You can complete the survey here:

Englishhttps://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CFS-Effectiveness-Survey-Open-English

Frenchhttps://fr.surveymonkey.com/r/CFS-Effectiveness-Survey-Open-French

Spanishhttps://es.surveymonkey.com/r/CFS-Effectiveness-Survey-Open-Spanish

 

 

Ro Hill on Why biodiversity is declining even as protected areas increase?

I am copying a blog post from the Alliance of Leading Environmental Researchers and Thinkers that showcases the work of Ro Hill. I have had the great pleasure to work with Ro over the last few months. Great work!

Why biodiversity is declining even as protected areas increase

Why is biodiversity around the world in so much trouble, even though we keep adding new protected areas?  A new paper led by Australian researcher Ro Hill provides a compelling explanation.  Here, Ro summarizes her and her colleagues’ key findings:

We’ve expanded the protected area coverage around the globe, to around 15% of the land surface — with more than a quarter of all countries already exceeding the agreed global target of 17% by 2020.  But biodiversity loss continues apace.

Biodiversity in trouble…

Why?   Our new paper models how this paradox arises in tropical forests, from competition between governance regimes, and makes four important points:

  1. The forces that drive forest protection do not necessarily oppose those that drive forest clearance for development. 

The diagram above says it all: we can keep expanding the developed area of the planet AND expanding protected areas as long as there are still some remaining forested habitats.

The power of the “develop” and “protect” governance regimes determines the strength of the forces that move the boundaries between areas under protection, areas of remaining forest habitat, and areas under development.

The leaders of the G20 nations recently gave a huge boost to the power of development regimes by promising to invest 60-70 trillion U.S. dollars on new infrastructure projects by the year 2030.  There is no such investment for conservation — nothing even close!

  1. The power of the “protect” governance regime can actually be lowered as protected areas increase.People may believe that when new protected areas are created, there are more natural areas –- whereas the reality is that every day there are less.  This lowers public concerns about risks from biodiversity loss, decreasing pressure on politicians and weakening the power of the “protect” governance regime.

    3.  Prioritizing protected area placement by proximity to active agricultural frontiers would make them more effective.

Targets should include both the desired Area under protection AND the absolute limits on Area under development through habitat conversion.

  1. Strengthening the forces that maintain and restore habitat (and oppose its development) is vital to halt biodiversity loss.

This means we must generally favor land-sharing as a conservation strategy rather than land-sparing.  The governance forces that drive land sparing don’t necessarily oppose the governance forces that drive forest clearance for development, so you still get net loss.

Hence, strengthening the relative power of land-sharing governance regimes (i.e. those that maintain traditional, sustainable land use, alternative sustainable land use, or restore degraded habitat) is likely, we argue, to have a greater long-term benefit for biodiversity conservation.

Unraveling how governance and power affect biodiversity conservation is a new frontier in conservation science -– but this paper makes an important start and shows where we need to focus our attention.

The dynamics of the contemporary governance of the world’s food supply and the challenges of policy redirection

New paper out written by Dr. David Barling (Centre for Food Policy, City University) and me.

Unfortunately not open source but can be accessed here if your library has access: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12571-015-0429-x

The dynamics of the contemporary governance of the world’s food supply and the challenges of policy redirection

Abstract

This paper identifies the governance dynamics and the international policy architecture that frame contemporary policy actions in relation to the food supply and elaborates on key governance tensions that policy makers need to address to feed the world’s growing population by the mid-21st century. Two main dimensions of governance are examined: the international policy space, composed of nation states collaborating through international regimes with other international actors; and the private corporate led governance of the food supply. At the international levels, policy discontinuities and gaps are identified, for example between international environmental regimes and food security institutions. The so-called Washington Consensus has given way to a post Washington divergence of policy approaches amongst states, reflecting the “varieties of capitalism” thesis, and a more multi-polar international policy space over food and agriculture. In the past decade, policy makers have engaged industry in the international pursuit of sustainability, with a focus on policy actions around achieving sustainable consumption and production of food. The resulting contemporary governance trajectories are providing a disjointed but widespread set of policy guidelines with some evidence of convergence. These governance forms are helping to shape the terms of debate but the reliance on industry mediated food sustainability will need to be augmented by stronger political leadership from the individual nation states. Policy advances will need to build on the more collaborative and inclusive forms of governance that are being put in place, and continue to improve the balance of sustainable production and consumption of food.