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A step forward towards sustainable food systems

Our current food and agriculture systems are driving the vast depletion of natural resources, fuel inequality and contribute to climate change. We urgently need to shift to more sustainable food systems that deliver environmental and social outcomes and are able to withstand shocks and climate change! Agroecology is a key element in this process – this is why the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Future Council (WFC) and IFOAM – Organics International kicked off together the Future Policy Award 2018, a global contest for the world’s best agroecology laws and policies.

Press Release: Scaling up Agroecology

How food security is possible: Future Policy Award to celebrate the world’s best policies for agroecology

Global contest announced by UN Food and Agriculture Organization, World Future Council and IFOAM – Organics International

Rome, 6th April 2018 – At the 2nd International Symposium on Agroecology, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Future Council (WFC) and IFOAM – Organics International kick off a global contest for the world’s best agroecology policies.

Every year, the most visionary policies tackling humankind’s most pressing challenges are commended with the Future Policy Award (FPA), the only global award that recognises policies rather than people. The World Future Council has awarded this annual prize since 2010 in partnership with UN agencies. Recognising that scaling up agroecology is a key element to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, the World Future Council, the FAO and IFOAM – Organics International will identify and honour policies that create enabling environments for agroecology in 2018. Now FAO and the World Future Council joined forces, signing a Memorandum of Understanding to work together in support of this year’s Future Policy Award.

Signing Ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding between FAO and the World Future Council Image copyright ©FAO/Alessandra Benedetti (via Flickr)

 

Agroecology: key to achieving food security and sustainable agriculture

In 2015, world leaders committed to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG 2, “Zero Hunger”, seeks to end hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. However, according to FAO, 815 million people go hungry even though there is more than enough food produced in the world to feed everyone. Agroecology can help transition to sustainable food and agriculture systems that ensure food security and nutrition for all, provide social and economic equity and conserve biodiversity and the ecosystem services on which agriculture depends.  The award highlights proven policies that effectively scale up agroecology at local, national and international levels

Our food system is at a crossroads

Maria Helena Semedo, FAO Deputy Director-General, explains: “Agroecology can help transform the way we currently produce and consume food to build healthier and more sustainable food systems. But this calls for the full engagement of governments and policy makers. Only with significant commitment at the policy level, will we see the scaling-up of agro-ecological approaches take root and realise its potential.

 

“This year’s Future Policy Award will reveal proven solutions that make sustainable agriculture possible. The World Future Council is determined to further cooperate with FAO in order to identify and share the best policies for advancing agroecology in the interest of future generations. It is critical that we learn from the policies that are already making an impact,’’ says Alexandra Wandel, Director of the World Future Council.

 

 “World Leaders and the UN General Assembly recognise the potential of agroecology to achieve healthy nutrition for all and to address social injustice, climate change and biodiversity loss”, notes Peggy Miars, World Board President of IFOAM – Organics International. “We see it happen in numerous countries where the policy framework gets it right. Let’s showcase and reward these innovative policies!”

The winners of the 2018 Future Policy Award will be recognised in a ceremony at FAO in Rome around World Food week.

The Future Policy Award 2018 is supported by the FAO, the World Future Council, IFOAM-Organics International with the assistance of Green Cross International, DO-IT – Dutch Organic International Trade and Sekem Group (Egypt).

 

Joined forces (from left to right): Peggy Miars, World Board President of IFOAM – Organics International, Maria Helena Semedo, FAO Deputy Director-General and Alexandra Wandel, Director of the World Future Council, at the 2nd International Symposium on Agroecology Image copyright ©FAO/Alessandra Benedetti (via Flickr)

  Follow the 2018 Future Policy Award on Twitter with #FPA2018 or #FuturePolicyAward

Media contact

For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact

Miriam Petersen
Media & Communications Manager, World Future Council
Tel: +49 40 307 09 14 19

miriam.petersen@worldfuturecouncil.org

The World Future Council

The World Future Council (WFC) works to pass on a healthy planet and fair societies to our children and grandchildren. To achieve this, we focus on identifying and spreading effective, future-just policy solutions and promote their implementation worldwide. The Council consists of 50 eminent global change-makers from governments, parliaments, civil societies, academia, the arts and the business world. Jakob von Uexkull, the Founder of the Alternative Nobel Prize, launched the World Future Council in 2007. We are an independent, non-profit organisation under German law and finance our activities from donations. For information on the Future Policy Award, visit: https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/future-policy-award

For press enquiries, please contact Miriam Petersen, miriam.petersen@worldfuturecouncil.org, +49 40 307 09 14 19.

The Food and Agriculture Organization

The goals of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations are to reduce hunger and malnutrition, eliminate poverty through economic and social progress and support sustainable management and utilization of natural resources. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy. FAO is also a source of knowledge and information. FAO helps developing countries and countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all. Since the founding in 1945, FAO has focused special attention on developing rural areas, home to 70 percent of the world’s poor and hungry people.

For press enquiries, please contact Tina Farmer, tina.farmer@fao.org, +39 06 5705 6846

IFOAM – Organics International

Since 1972, IFOAM – Organics International has occupied an unchallenged position as the only international umbrella organization in the organic world, uniting an enormous diversity of stakeholders contributing to the organic vision. As agent of change, their vision is the broad adoption of truly sustainable agriculture, value chains and consumption in line with the principles of organic agriculture. At the heart of IFOAM – Organics International are about a 1000 Affiliates in more than 100 countries.

For press enquiries, please contact Gábor Figeczky,  g.figeczky@ifoam.bio, +492289265019, +4915756925021.

 

Food is Fundamental: Farm Okukuna launched

Ground-breaking at a Pioneering Project in Goreangab

Windhoek, 22 February 2018. In the far north-west of Windhoek, on the boarder of the informal settlements of Goreangab, a visionary new project was born yesterday. Farm Okukuna wants to improve food and nutrition security in the capital’s northern settlements.

At the ground-breaking ceremony, City of Windhoek Councillor Ananias Niizimba pointed out that “Farm Okukuna will be the centre for a number of programmes, including growing food, marketing it, supporting small enterprises and entrepreneurship and – also very important – improving nutrition”. The City of Windhoek has provided the erf, is putting up fencing and will organise basic services such as security, electricity, semi-pure and fresh water.

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How to mobilise the masses: Watershed Management in Tigray

Travelling through Tigray, northern Ethiopia is a mind blowing experience for anyone with an eye for land management. Hill after hill after hill is terraced. Stones are piled up in long benches to stop water flowing off. All of this back breaking work has been done by local communities over the past 30 years.

Scaling Up Agroecology: The Outstanding Practices in Agroecology 2019

After months of intensive research, following an outreach to 2,000 agroecology experts from across the globe, the World Future Council is proud to officially give recognition 15 Outstanding Practices in Agroecology 2019. This is the climax of an intense multistep process including a nomination stage, evaluation stage and deliberation by a panel of global experts. But how does the process take shape? Here is a quick overview.

Keen followers will know that the World Future Council has already been directing much of its research efforts to agroecology. In 2018, the World Future Council organized its renowned Future Policy Award (FPA) on the topic of “Scaling up Agroecology”. After a lengthy and meticulous evaluation period, the winners of the award were announced at a ceremony at the FAO headquarters in Rome in October 2018 and the “100% organic state” Sikkim in India beat 51 nominated policies from 25 countries to take the Gold Award.

Following the same theme as the Future Policy Award, the recognition Outstanding Practices in Agroecology 2019 is a furthered effort to find and honour practices carried forward by diverse individuals and organisations, which enable and support transitions into agroecology. From a total of 77 nominated practices from 44 countries, received by a call to action to 2,000 agroecology experts, 23 made it through to the penultimate, most intensive stage of evaluation. Here, extensive research was carried out and interviews with practice representatives were led. As per the World Future Council’s methodology, the practices were compared with the 7 Future Justice Principles, plus the 10 Elements of Agroecology developed by the FAO.

MORE INFORMATION ON THE RECOGNITION

On the basis of the World Future Council’s evaluation report on the shortlisted practices, a global panel of experts decided which of the practices provide the best solutions in agroecology, in accordance with the evaluation framework. The Jury for the 2019 Outstanding Practices in Agroecology was made up of internationally renowned experts:

  1. Caterina BATELLO, former Team Leader – Agriculture Department, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO, in personal capacity)
  2. Million BELAY, Founder of the MELCA-Ethiopia NGO; Coordinator of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA); Member of the International Panel of Experts on the Sustainable of Food Systems (IPES-Food), Ethiopia
  3. Gábor FIGECZKY, Head of Global Policy, IFOAM – Organics International, Hungary
  4. Barbara GEMMILL-HERREN, Senior Associate to World Agroforestry Centre, Nairobi, Kenya; Team member of the Committee on World Food Security HLPE project ‘Agroecological approaches and other innovations for sustainable agrifood systems that enhance food security and nutrition’
  5. Dr. Franz Theo GOTTWALD, Chairman of the Schweisfurth Foundation; Chairman of the Supervisory Board, World Future Council Foundation
  6. Shantanu MATHUR, Lead Adviser, Global Engagement and Multilateral Relations Division, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD, in personal capacity)
  7. Shamika MONE, Research Director, Organic Farming Association in India; Convenor of International Network of Organic Farmers Organizations (INOFO).

In total, 15 practices were granted recognition and celebrated at the event. With the recognition, the World Future Council seeks to raise global awareness for these exemplary practices and speed up action towards just, sustainable and peaceful societies.

18th January 2019 also marks the release of the Position paper (in German) ‘Agrarökologie stärken: Für eine grundlegende Transformation der Agrar- und Ernährungssysteme’ of which the World Future Council and 56 other German and international organisations are official signatories. This paper marks real movement and co-operation in the field of agroecology and its potential to present a real, sustainable alternative to the current global system. The paper features background information, a call of solidarity to action, the necessary steps to move forward and most importantly issues clear demands to the German government.

The recognition is organised by the World Future Council (WFC), in collaboration with the start-up Technology for Agroecology in the Global South (TAGS).

Sufficient, healthy food for all – new handbook

The vision of the Namibian capital Windhoek is that all of its citizens enjoy food and nutrition security. This means that enough and healthy food is available in the city and that all of Windhoek’s citizens can afford it. By producing food in and around the city, we can connect the production with the market, with ideas and solutions, and engage people of all ages and all walks of life. With this handbook, we want to help build a more vibrant urban agriculture in cities like Windhoek to fight hunger and malnutrition in a sustainable way.

Growing Food in Windhoek

Abstract

Windhoek is a growing city, reflecting a global trend: by 2050, the world’s urban population is expected to nearly double, which poses massive challenges for all cities in regards to housing, infrastructure, health, education, jobs, natural resources and food. At the same time, Windhoek has a very testing climate and there is, of course, the water issue.

Windhoek’s vision is that all of its citizens enjoy food and nutrition security. This means that enough and healthy food is available in the city and that all of Windhoek’s citizens can afford to feed themselves adequately.

By producing food in and around the city, we can connect – the production with the market, experiments, ideas and solutions, and people of all ages and all walks of life. When we grow food in Windhoek, we need to do it right. With this handbook, we want to help make connections and develop ideas further.

The Right to Food

The right to food is realised when every man, woman and child, alone or in community with others, has the physical and economic access at all times to adequate food or means for its procurement. Such food security has four dimensions: food is available, accessible, sufficiently nutritious – and these dimensions are stable over time.

Namibian mayors vow to combat hunger and malnutrition through concrete policy action

Windhoek/Belo Horizonte/Hamburg, February 12, 2015: In an effort towards eradicating malnutrition, a delegation from Namibia has travelled to Brazil to study the successful food and nutrition security programme of the city of Belo Horizonte, strengthen their understanding of food security and sign cooperation agreements. With programmes on urban agriculture, food banks and school lunches, Belo Horizonte has reduced child mortality by 60 percent over the past 12 years, decreasing malnutrition among children to 3%. The study tour was organised by the World Future Council to bring about a knowledge exchange between experts.

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Study Trip to Belo Horizonte

Windhoek/Belo Horizonte/Hamburg, February 12, 2015: In an effort towards eradicating malnutrition, a delegation from Namibia has travelled to Brazil to study the successful food and nutrition security programme of the city of Belo Horizonte, strengthen their understanding of food security and sign cooperation agreements. With programmes on urban agriculture, food banks and school lunches, Belo Horizonte has reduced child mortality by 60 percent over the past 12 years, decreasing malnutrition among children to 3%. The study tour was organised by the World Future Council to bring about a knowledge exchange between experts. Read more