Solutions for Scaling up Agroecology

67 policies from 36 countries contest for Future Policy Award received

Event: Scaling-up Agroecology! For Forward-looking Decision-making

On the occasion of International Green Week and the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture 2019, the World Future Council is hosting a panel discussion on Friday, January 18, 2019 in Berlin. The aim is to promote the strengthening of agroecology in politics and practice in Germany and beyond – the theme of this year’s Future Policy Award.

Tigray celebrates Future Policy Award reception

Ethiopia’s Tigray region has received the Future Policy Gold Award this year for their pioneering approach in successfully combatting desertification. Thanks to their policy, the region has made significant progress in restoring its degraded lands and improving its food and water security. The impressive results derived from the major land restoration undertaken by local communities and the regional government, with a  unique combination of collective action, voluntary labour and the involvement of young people.

After the Award ceremony on 11th September during the UNCCD summit in Ordos, Inner Mongolia (China), the people of Tigray celebrated the Future Policy Gold Award in their own country. A colorful ceremony was held with 1500-2000 people at Hawelty Martyrs Hall with Tigray’s president, H.E. Abay Weldu, the Speaker of House of Representatives of Tigray region, H.E. Kidusan Nega, H.E. Dr Eyasu Abraha, Minister of Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources of Ethiopia and other high-level guests attending, followed by a parade through the Mek’ele, the capital of Tigray.


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In conjunction with the celebration, the University of Mek’ele (MU), in collaboration with Bureau of Agriculture and Natural Resources of the Regional State of Tigray, organised a panel discussion at Desta Hotel, Mek’ele. The event was opened by a welcoming speech by Prof. Kindeya Gebrehiwot, MU’s President. The event was celebrating Tigray’s achievement, and the panelists were discussing how soil conservation towards land fertility and combating desertification can be further improved and maintained for the future.

Land is Life – Advancing Sustainable Development Goal 15.3 on Land Degradation Neutrality

The World Future Council at the Land for Life Day in Ordos, China


The World Future Council was honoured to hold its Future Policy Award ceremony during the thirteenth session of the Conference of State Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP13) in Ordos, China, the international summit on desertification and land degradation.

On 12th September 2017, we joined the summit’s Land for Life Day and organized a session on: Policies and land: Can good policies facilitate the achievement of Land Degradation Neutrality Goals? The event was designed to present the winning policies of the Future Policy Award 2017 to stakeholders from around the world.

Ms Jenny Choo from the UNCCD Secretariat introduced the Land for Life Day in a nutshell to participants and handed then the moderation over to Ms Boping Chen, China Director of the World Future Council, who highlighted

Alexandra Wandel, director of the World Future Council, at the Land for Life Day in Ordos, China, during the UNCCD COP13.

the significance of adequate policies for achieving land degradation neutrality and presented the panelists.

At first, Ms Alexandra Wandel, Director and Vice-Chair of the Management Board of the World Future Council, emphasized that the Future Policy Award is worldwide unique in honoring laws and policies at the international level. She gave a brief introduction to the Awardees 2017 and expressed also the Council’s gratitude to UNCCD for being this year’s partner of the award.

The winning policies were presented by Dr Atinkut Mezgeb who portrayed the large-scale land restoration efforts of the Tigray policy in Ethiopia (Gold Award), Ms Fernanda Cruz, who revealed how Brazil’s Cistern Programme mitigates effectively the drought in the Semiarid region (Silver Award), Dr Paul Luu presented on the innovative 4 per 1000 Initiative (Vision Award), whilst H.E. Ali Bety uncovered the success factors of the 3N Initiative from Niger (Bronze Award). A video tribute was also paid to the winning policies from China, Australia and Jordan.

After a lively Q&A round, Jakob von Uexkull, Founder of the World Future Council, offered some closing remarks.

In the resources section below you can download the detailed programme of the session and the overall programme of the Land for Life Day.

Get Ready for the Rain – World Food Day 2016

Can we really grow food in Windhoek? An event at Van Rhyn Primary School on World Food Day shows how it can be done. On a tour through the school garden ‘in the making’, visitors can learn about smart water management and a changing agriculture in a changing climate.

“It will rain again”, Donovan Wagner from the Eloolo Permaculture Initiative points out. Times without water could be used to plan and structure gardens, for education and training. Eloolo teaches learners at Van Rhyn Primary School about methods to produce food holistically and with minimal input of water, such as Permaculture and aquaponics.

Further partners of the event are the City of Windhoek and the World Future Council, aiming to bring elements of the successful food security model of the Brazilian City of Belo Horizonte to Namibia.

Hon. Councillor Fransina Kahungu, Deputy Mayor of Windhoek and Dr. B.D. Mouton, Principal of Van Rhyn Primary School will welcome the guests. Members of Eloolo Permaculture Initative will explain layout and concept of the garden, especially in regards to water management. Guests can “Discover Moringa”, the new “superfood”, together with the learners of Van Rhyn Primary School and the Theresia Foundation which runs a Moringa Oleifera project with children in the Kavango region. Vegetarian food and refreshing drinks will be available.

World Food Day is an initiative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations. It is celebrated each year on 16 October to promote worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all. This year’s theme is “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too.”

Further information

The Food Challenge in Namibia

Namibia is an upper middle income country with a population of 2.3 million people. An estimated 42.3 percent of the population is undernourished due to high rates of poverty (26.9%), unemployment (28%), HIV and AIDS (16%) and household income disparities. Approximately 70 percent of the population depends on agriculture for all or part of their livelihood, while 40 percent are smallholder farmers growing grain crops mainly for their own consumption. Cropping conditions are generally poor and characterised by erratic rainfall and frequent floods and droughts. Namibia imports an average of 60 percent of its food requirements and is thus vulnerable to external price increases. The poor are often unable to meet their own food requirements and the Namibian Government, on average, provides food assistance to 300,000 people annually and nearly double or more in times of severe drought, as in 2013 and 2015.

Source: UN World Food Programme

The Double Burden of Malnutrition

Incidence of over consumption and overweight (i.e. “over nutrition”) is increasing in rapidly developing countries, especially in conjunction to urbanization. This trend has added a new dimension to the concept of food and nutrition security. Many countries (e.g. South Africa, India, and Mexico) are now facing a “double burden of malnutrition” where increased intake of fat, sugar and sodium, increased prevalence of overweight, and increased associated ill health effects are occurring in conjunction to continued undernutrition. The concept of food and nutrition security addresses this double burden by emphasizing the importance of dietary quality in addition to total energy intake, thus addressing both positive (over) and negative (under) deviations from the nutritional optimum.

Source: FAO Paper: Promoting the expression “food and nutrition security”

Urban Agriculture

Urbanisation often goes together with growing urban poverty and food insecurity related to unemployment, rising food prices, growing dependence on food imports, increasing dominance of supermarkets and fast food chains and challenges posed by climate change. Urban agriculture is increasingly recognized by city authorities and civil society organisations for its capacity to strengthen the resilience of the urban food system, enhance access of the urban poor to nutritious food, generate (self-) employment and income, and help the city to adapt to climate change and reduce its ecological foot print.

Source: RUAF Foundation

Eloolo Permaculture Initiative

The Eloolo Permaculture Initiative brings Namibians together to promote and create awareness for Permaculture. Their mission is to improve human ecosystems to become healthy and abundant, guided by their ethics of care for the people, care for the earth and share of surplus.

World Future Council

The World Future Council researches, identifies and spreads policy solutions that contribute to sustainable development. The Council consists of 50 eminent global change-makers from governments, parliaments, civil society, academia, the arts and business, including internationally renowned leaders such as Vandana Shiva,Frances Moore Lappe, Wanjira Mathai, Maude Barlow, Auma Obama.

In the area of food and nutrition security, the World Future Council spreads policy solutions that can end hunger and malnutrition, promote a sustainable use of resources and apply ecological principals. We work with policy-makers at all levels and encourage and facilitate south-south cooperation. The aim is to build capacity among government officials and institutions for the governance for food and nutrition security.

The Belo Horizonte Model on Food and Nutrition Security

Each year, the World Future Council identifies one topic on which policy progress is particularly urgent for its Future Policy Award. The aim of the award is to raise global awareness for exemplary policies and speed up policy action towards just, sustainable and peaceful societies.

In 2009, the first Future Policy Award honoured one of the most fundamen­tal human rights – the right to food. The inspiring winner was the com­prehensive policy framework for food and nutrition security developed and implemented by the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte.

A central result of the policy framework is the near elimination of hunger in Belo Horizonte. There have been significant decreases in child mortality, reduction in childhood and adult malnutrition, increase in local and organic food production and consumption, more stable income for farmers, and greater access and avail­ability of food for all.

Due to its effectiveness, this policy has strongly influenced Brazil’s national ‘Zero-Hunger’ strategy and has been recognised by UNESCO and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisa­tion as a model for cities in the Global South. The World Future Council works to spread this model, especially on the African continent.

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

World Future Council launches website on exemplary agriculture and food policies

Hamburg, October 14, 2010. Since 1981, World Food Day is celebrated on October 16th of every year to raise awareness of the issues behind poverty and hunger. The facts are still shocking: According to the 2010 Global Hunger Index 925 million of the world’s population do not have access to sufficient food and drinking water. Consequently, every day 24.000
people die of hunger. To showcase and explain existing policies that can help solve this tragic global failure, on World Food Day 2010 the Hamburg-based World Future Council Foundation will launch a new ”Agriculture and Food” section on their policy solutions website

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