Solutions for a Food Secure World: Special Issue

I am very please to announce that a special issue of the journal Solutions showcasing a diversity of solutions for future food security has just been uploaded online. The diverse range of solutions have been proposed by young thinkers from around the world.

Megan Bailey and I would like to thank everyone who worked hard to get this issue out!

contributors solutions.png

Here is the link to the issue and below you can find a list of the contributions! Happy Reading.

Editorial


Solutions for a Food Secure World by Jessica Duncan and Megan Bailey

Shifting Power Relations and Poor Practices in Land Deals through Participatory Action in Marracune, Mozambique by Helena Shilomboleni

Food Sovereignty in Rebellion: Decolonization, Autonomy, Gender Equity, and the Zapatista Solution by Levi Gahman

Perspectives

Valuing What Really Matters: A Look at Soil Currency by Randall Coleman

Decreasing Distance and Re-Valuing Local: How Place-Based Food Systems Can Foster Socio-Ecological Sustainability by Susanna E. Klassen

Reversing the Burden of Proof for Sustainable Aquaculture by Simon R. Bush

Alternative Foods as a Solution to Global Food Supply Catastrophes by Seth D. Baum, David C. Denkenberger, and Joshua M. Pearce

Black Soldier Fly: A Bio Tool for Converting Food Waste into Livestock Feed by Marwa Shumo

Features

The Importance of Hunting for Future Inuit Food Security by C. Hoover, S. Ostertag, C. Hornby, C. Parker, K. Hansen-Craik, L.L. Loseto, and T. Pearce

Crediting Farmers for Nutrient Stewardship: Using Carbon Markets to Create Positive Environmental Change by Elizabeth Hardee
Circular Solutions for Linear Problems: Principles for Sustainable Food Futures by Stefano Pascucci and Jessica Duncan

Transparency for Just Seafood Systems by Megan Bailey and Niklas Egels Zandén

Interview

India’s Pastoralist Communities: Solutions for Survival Monika Agarwal Interviewed by Jessica Duncan

Book Review

Cities at the Forefront of Future Food Solutions by Aniek Hebinck

Statement of International Solidarity with Venezuela’s Seed Law

Statement of International Solidarity with Venezuela’s Seed Law

On December 23 2015, Venezuela’s national assembly passed a new seed law banning the import, production, and planting of GMO seeds and protecting the production and free exchange of seed varieties of Venezuela’s farming communities (Indigenous, peasant and Afro-descendant), among other provisions. The law is significant both for its content and for the process through which it was passed.

The banning of GMOs follows the precautionary principle in that the effects of transgenic technology are not yet fully understood and what has been documented thus far in terms of impacts on human health and the environment raises significant concerns. These are in addition to concerns over socio-economic and human rights impacts on the small-scale producers who make up the majority of the world’s hungry. Special protection for locally adapted seeds recognizes the importance of local conservation for maintaining maximum genetic diversity, increasingly important for building resiliency in the face of climate change. Additionally, the law is a product of bottom-up policy-making, resulting from a three-year process in which social movements opposed an industry-backed seed law. Instead they pushed for more transformative legislation, holding a series of participatory public consultations throughout the country to develop an alternative.

The passage of the law thus marks a historic win for agroecology and food sovereignty movements in Venezuela and beyond. It is perhaps one of the few national laws in the world which guarantees and protects the right of peasants to seeds. However, despite widespread domestic support and the international interest it has garnered, the law is under attack by industry representatives and their supporters as being “anti-scientific.” This places the seed law at risk of being overturned by the current national assembly, which has had an opposition majority since January of this year.

 

As scientists, practitioners and advocates involved in food and agriculture, we question the grounds for such attacks. The thrust of the law toward a prioritization of agroecological farming practices is in keeping with a mounting scientific consensus of the importance of a shift from conventional to ecologically-based agricultural systems that value the knowledge of local food producers and involve them in decision-making. This has been emphasized, for instance, in the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) developed by 400 of the world’s leading experts and endorsed by 59 countries.

We are therefore following the emerging struggle over the law and its implementation with great interest, not only for its implications for Venezuela, but for its broader implications in the face of increasing corporate consolidation of the genetic resources critical for present and future food security and food sovereignty. We stand with the food producers, scientists, and grassroots movements in Venezuela urging the National Assembly to maintain the integrity of this law and to support its full implementation. Continue reading “Statement of International Solidarity with Venezuela’s Seed Law”

NEW: Routledge Handbook of Food and Nutrition Security

9781138817197The Routledge Handbook of Food and Nutrition Security has just been published.

The Handbook was edited by Bill Pritchard, Rodomiro Ortiz and Meera Shekar and includes great contributions.

Overview:
The concept of food and nutrition security has evolved and risen to the top of the international policy agenda over the last decade. Yet it is a complex and multi-faceted issue, requiring a broad and inter-disciplinary perspective for full understanding. This Handbook represents the most comprehensive compilation of our current knowledge of food and nutrition security from a global perspective. It is organized to reflect the wide scope of the contents, its four sections corresponding to the accepted current definitional frameworks prevailing in the work of multilateral agencies and mainstream scholarship.

The first section addresses the struggles and progression of ideas and debates about the subject in recent years. The other sections focus on three key themes: how food has been, is and should be made available, including by improvements in agricultural productivity; the ways in which politico-economic and social arenas have shaped access to food; and the effects of food and nutrition systems in addressing human health, known as food utilisation. Overall, the volume synthesizes a vast field of information drawn from agriculture, soil science, climatology, economics, sociology, human and physical geography, the nutrition and health sciences, environmental science and development studies.

For more information, including a discount code! check out this PDF Routledge Handbook of Food and Nutrition Security (2)

Global governance for ecologically integrated food security policy

Next week (March 22) I will be speaking in Paris at INRA for a workshop on Food Security and Democracy. The title of my talk is Global governance for ecologically integrated food security policies: Reflections on reflexive governance  but if all goes well in the next week, I plan to use the talk to present some of my thinking on justice in global governance. More specifically, when I say I want to understand how we can design governance arrangement to support pathways to just and sustainable food futures, how can we start to qualify “just”.

Programme:

10h30 – 12h, Jessica Duncan (Rural Sociology, Wageningen University), Global governance for ecologically integrated food security policies: Reflections on reflexive governance

13h30 – 15h, Delphine Thivet (CMH, EHESS, Paris), Politiques agricoles et droits des paysannes : retour sur l’émergence de la notion de “souveraineté alimentaire”

15h30 – 17h, Nora McKeon (Rome 3), Food Security Governance: empowering communities, regulating corporations

Where: AgroParisTech, Salle 30, 16 rue Claude Bernard, Paris 5e, Métro : Censier-Daubenton

Free entry but limited spaces available.

More info here: https://www6.paris.inra.fr/ritme/Projets-en-cours/SAGE/Seminaire/Seance-1

 

Podcast – civil society participation global governance of food security

The Perfect Storm scholars

As part of the perfect storm seminar series (see poster), Dr Jessica Duncan, Assistant Professor in Rural Sociology at Wageningen University (The Netherlands), gave a seminar about civil society participation in the global governance of food security on the 26th of January at the University of Edinburgh.

She kindly made the time to talk to me (Sara) about her seminar and research when she was in Edinburgh. You can find the result of this conversation in a podcast. Click HERE to listen to it.


Podcast structure

We talk about her seminar and research until around 24:40 min. From that point onwards we discuss the practical dynamics of undertaking empirical research in general, and specifically on global governance. At 30:00 min she shares her views on interdisciplinary research.


Podcast notes:

You can find out more about Jessica’s research in her latest book: Global Food Security Governance: Civil society engagement in the reformed Committee on…

View original post 233 more words

The UN’s most inclusive body at a crossroads

By Matheus Alves Zanella and Jessica Duncan

Posted also at http://globalsoilweek.org/areas-of-work/sustainable-development-goals/the-uns-most-inclusive-body-at-a-crossroads 

The world food price crisis of 2007/08 shook global food governance. Pressured to find solutions for unexpected prices increase of several food products, many initiatives were launched at the global level.  One of those was the reform of the United Nation’s Committee on World Food Security (CFS), who transformed itself from “the most boring UN body of all” – in the words of an experienced diplomat based in Rome – to the foremost inclusive international and intergovernmental platform for food security, with substantive participation of different actors including member states, civil society and private sector.

That was 2009 and there was a general sense of urgency in addressing claims that over 1 billion people were going hungry worldwide. The reformed CFS was well positioned in this debate, by giving voice to all actors, notably those most affected by food insecurity, and transitioning from an inactive talk-shop to a leading intergovernmental body. Through the Committee, member States were able to endorse key policy documents on two major food security issues: land tenure (the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Tenure of Land Fisheries and Forest in the Context of National Food Security – VGGT) and investments (Principles for Responsible Investments in Agriculture and Food Systems – CFS-RAI).

Now, five years after the reform, the CFS just had its 42nd Plenary last week and we, as well as many other participants, sensed a change in the air. First, the initial ambition of the CFS seems to be fading away, and it appears as though the CFS is now entering a phase characterized by a lack of clarity on the future relevance of its decisions. Second, members continue to disagree about which direction the CFS should take – illustrated by relatively weak decision on Monitoring and Evaluation and the mild debates on the positioning of the CFS vis-à-vis the new development agenda launched by the approval of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The decision will not see the CFS featuring prominently in the SDG agenda for another two years, as some have expected. Third, the multi-stakeholder format of the reformed CFS is being put into question, as demonstrated by one very important intervention of the Civil Society Mechanism (CSM) in the closing session of the CFS plenary.

It is up to debate whether the CFS is losing influence or importance, or whether it had much to begin with. Considering that undermining one of the most inclusive UN bodies would consequently further open the door to less-inclusive governance mechanism to occupy its space, we prefer to see a strong and active CFS for years to come. In order to remain relevant, the CFS could avoid two major risks:

  1. Shifting back to the Committee’s pre-reform role of only monitoring international commitments, and
  2. Failing to address controversial topics, such as agroecology or bioenergy, as its strength is based on forging consensus such as those achieved on land tenure and on investment.

In what follows we provide some initial reflections on how the CFS currently finds itself at a crossroads.

Continue reading “The UN’s most inclusive body at a crossroads”