Why “Warning to Humanity” gets the socio-ecological crisis (and its solutions) wrong

ENTITLE blog - a collaborative writing project on Political Ecology

by Salvatore De Rosa and Jevgeniy Bluwstein

The “Warning to Humanity” signed by more than 15.000 scientists calls for action to save the planet proposing elitist environmentalism and missing the real target. Instead, scientists should analyse the roots of the socio-ecological crisis and join the grassroots struggles pushing  for structural changes from local to global

sustainable selfdestruction (Source: Enrique Baeza for Art Discover)

A recent “Warning to Humanity” by Ripple et al, signed by more than 15.000 scientists, has received globalmediaattention. According to this call for action, the threat of global environmental collapse due to the crossing of several planetary boundaries is the future that awaits all of humanity, unless several “urgent steps” delineated in the article are put into practice as soon as possible. These steps can be synthesized in nature conservation, preservation and restoration (including rewilding), education of people to appreciation of nature, reduction of fertility rates…

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Planning for Equitable Urban and Regional Food Systems

A while ago I posted about a new special issue on “Planning for Equitable Urban and Regional Food Systems”  where I have a paper with Maria Vasile on Family Farmers and Local Food Governance in Porto Alegre, Brazil

Good new, the special issue has been made Open Access and is now available free of charge through the support of the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Link to issue on the Alexandrine Press website: http://bit.ly/BE_Food_Equity

CFS 44 on now

cfs_bannerMost of you who follow this blog will know that the 44th session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) is on this week.

I am taking a break from the CFS this year unfortunately, but if you want to stay updated, here are some good links:

If you are on twitter you can follow #CFS44

I am also happy to announce that my book, Global Food Security Governance:Civil society engagement in the reformed Committee on World Food Security has been released as a paperback!

If you are struggling to understand the CFS and want more information about the reform process, this is the book for you!

9781138574861

Planning for Equitable Urban and Regional Food Systems

New article out with Maria Vasile on the relationship between food systems localization and participation of farmers in local food governance.

Rural Sociology Wageningen University

There is a new Special Issue of the journal “Built Environment” on the topic of Planning for Equitable Urban and Regional Food Systems.

The Special Issues starts from the question: How does and can planning and design enhance the freedom and wellbeing of marginalized actors in the food system – low-income residents, people of colour, small-holder farmers, and refugees – the very people the alternative food movements purport to serve?

In the Special Issue authors from across the Global North and South explore the role of planning and design in communities’ food systems, while explicitly considering the imbalances in equity, justice, and power.

The collection includes a paper by former RSO MSc student Maria Vasile and Jessica Duncan.

We want to be part of the broader project’ Family Farmers and Local Food Governance in Porto Alegre, Brazil

Brazil has been praised for the development of its agricultural sector, its policies…

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The Transnational Legal Theory 2018 Symposium: Transnational Food Security

transnational food security.JPGCheck out this call for papers for this exciting Symposium. Deadline for abstracts 22 September.

Inaugural TLT Workshop

Saturday 20th January 2018 Transnational Law Institute (King’s College London)

TRANSNATIONAL LEGAL THEORY INVITES SUBMISSIONS FOR ITS INAUGURAL ANNUAL SYMPOSIUM 2018: TRANSNATIONAL FOOD SECURITY.

Food security is a significant policy concern for all. International institutions are struggling to keep up with the rapid changes in food safety governance. Access to food, whether through production or consumption, is increasingly a hotbed of friction and uncertainty. Additionally, global supply chains, influential multinational corporations, and the effects of climate change, result in greater pressure upon already fragile processes and marginalised peoples.

On January 20, 2018, we will bring together thought leaders and stakeholders for a one-day international conference at King’s College London to engage in a dialogue and shed light on some of those tensions in an effort to further constructive and lasting solutions to this pressing issue.

Practitioners, scholars, policymakers, adjudicators, and activists are invited to submit abstracts of no more than 150 words on any topic related to the conference theme by September 22, 2017 to tlttransnationalfood@gmail.com.

For more information, see: Call for Paper Transnational Food Security_

Sustainable Food Futures (NEW BOOK)

bok cover

Voltaire once said that “no problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking”.

In this book, we put that statement to the test. The problems plaguing food systems are well researched and well known. But how can we support transformation towards sustainable and just food systems?

One thing is clear,  the objective of future food systems can no longer be to simply maximise productivity

 

 

We are very pleased to announce that our new book, Sustainable Food Futures: Multidisciplinary Solutionshas just been published. The book includes proposals for solutions to move us toward more sustainable food futures.  The solutions, which are based on concrete cases, are organised around 4 themes:

  1. Recognizing place
  2. Enhancing participation
  3. Challenging markets
  4. Designing sustainable food futures

 

The solutions proposed in this book can be read as an atlas of possibilities.

There are multiple roads we can, and must, travel to bring us towards our destination: just and sustainable food futures. And yet, instead of moving towards a brighter future, we continue with a status quo that is not good enough.

To reach sustainable food futures, we require diligent and creative route planning. Not every route will work for everyone, or every context. Some routes will require us to go off road, while others take us along the toll roads. Others set about redefining what we know to be a road, and some may lead us directly to road blocks.

It is our hope that the majority will lead us to new social-technical or social-economic arrangements that promote just, sustainable, and fair food futures.

The book is available as a hardback, paperback and eBook.  We would really appreciate it if you could ask your local libraries to purchase a copy!  PS- it includes recipes!

Continue reading “Sustainable Food Futures (NEW BOOK)”

THE VITALITY OF EVERYDAY FOOD

Food ag and social change blog.png

This was originally posted on ILEIA‘s website. It was written by  Stephen SherwoodMyriam Paredes and Alberto Arce who have edited a new book ‘Agriculture, Food, and Social Change: The Everyday Vitality of Latin America’ (UK: Routledge/Earthscan Press). I have co-authored a chapter in this book that I will summarise in a later post.


A great deal of energy has been invested in attempts to influence the thinking in science and government on the problems of industrial food and the benefits of agroecology and food sovereignty. Meanwhile, people everywhere take responsibility for creating the changes they want to see through daily food practices in their families, neighbourhoods and social networks. In addition to organising for ‘resistance’, we call for greater attention to the latent potential in daily living and being, or existence.

A popular ‘trueque’ or barter trade event in northern Ecuador, where people exchange their goods without the use of money. Photo: Colectivo Agroecólogio

We all have a serious problem when people’s most basic activity – eating – undermines their ability to exist. Yet this is precisely what we have achieved with the advent of modern food. Through the pursuit of cheap food as a ‘good’, we have generated a series of unwanted ‘bads’, such as mass destruction of soils and water systems, erosion of agrobiodiversity, and widescale sickness and death by pesticides, not to mention the constitution of two, rampant pandemics: overweight/obesity and global warming/climate change. Fortunately, growing awareness of the contradictions of modern food is sparking lively counter movements.

We challenge the widespread preoccupation over how agriculture, food, and development should be. Instead, we focus on how everyday experience in agriculture and food is. The work of social movements in the Americas leads us to call attention to the forces of change in people’s everyday encounters with food – not as characterised in concept, but rather as embodied in practice. Continue reading “THE VITALITY OF EVERYDAY FOOD”