World Food Day 2018: Celebrating the World Best Agroecology Policies

It’s World Food Day today! Being one of the most celebrated international days, the World Future Council is especially proud that we just distinguished eight truly exemplary policies scaling up agroecology with our Future Policy Award 2018. Among them are policies from Brazil, Denmark, Ecuador, India, the Philippines, Senegal, the United States of America, as well as TEEBAgrifood that accelerate the transformative change in the way we produce and consume our food.

Yesterday evening a high-level Award Ceremony was held in the prestigious Sheikh Zayed Centre of FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy, in presence of more than 150 Heads of State, Ministers, Permanent Representatives and other eminent guests, including FAO Deputy Director-General Ms Maria-Helena Semedo.

(c) FAO

(c) FAO

(c) FAO

Three World Future Councillors – Prof. Dr Vandana Shiva, Dr. Hans R. Herren and Helmy Abouleish – who are also Right Livelihood Award Laureates were on stage.

 

(c) FAO

Among the representatives of winning policies was H.E. Dr. Pawan Chamling, Honourable Chief Minister of the Indian State of Sikkim, who received the Gold Prize for having realised the first organic state in the world. H.E. Dr. Chamling was accompanied by an entire delegation, including Mr. Somnath Poudyal, Agriculture Minister of Sikkim, and Mr. Mani Kumar Pradhan, Director of Sikkim Organic Mission.

Ms. Vibeke Gram Mortensen representing the current Danish Minister for Environment and Food, Hon. Mette Gjerskov, former Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Mr. Paul Holmbeck from Organic Denmark all came to collect the Silver Award for Denmark’s Organic Action Plan of 2011-2020, which resulted in Denmark having today the highest market share of organic products in the world.

From Brazil, H.E. Alberto Beltrame, Minister of Social Development, joined, along with Ms. Lilian Rahal, National Secretary for Food and Nutrition Security, Mr. Henrique Villa da Costa Ferreira, Executive Secretary for Sustainable Development Goals, Mr. Rogério Augusto Neuwald, Executive Secretary of  National Commission of Agroecology and Organic Production (CNAPO), and Ms. Maria Verônica de Santana, Executive Secretary of the Northeastern Rural Worker’s Movement (MMTR-NE). Together, they were handed over the 2nd Silver Prize for the country’s Policy on Agroecology and Organic Production, which in its first cycle of activities led to impressive quantitative results in terms of advancing the agroecological agenda in the country (budget and initiative-wise), investing over EUR 364 million.

The third Silver Award that went to Quito’s Participatory Urban Agriculture Programme AGRUPAR, Ecuador, was personally accepted by Mr. Alfonso Abdo, Executive Director of CONQUITO. AGRUPAR fosters food security, increases incomes, and enhances ecosystem functions, and led to over 3,600 urban gardens growing on 32 hectares and more than 21,000 people trained in ecological production.

This year’s Future Policy Vision Award honoured TEEBAgriFood, a unique comprehensive evaluation framework which allows assessing of impacts and externalities of food systems. The trophy was proudly received by Dr. Steven Stone from UN Environment, Mr. Pavan Sukhdev, Goodwill Ambassador of UN Environment and former World Future Councillor, and Mr. Alexander Müller, TEEBAgriFood Study Leader.

Mr. Rommel C. Arnado, current Mayor of Kauswagan in the Philippines, Mr. Oumar Bâ, current Mayor of Ndiob and President of REVES, Senegal, and Ms. Paula Daniels, Chair of Board and Co-Founder of Center for Good Food Purchasing, and Ms. Alexa Delwiche, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Center for Good Food Purchasing from Los Angeles, USA came personally to receive the Honourable Mentions for Kauswagan’s From Arms to Farms Programme of 2011, Ndiob’s Vision to become a green, resilient municipality of 2014 and Agriculture Development Programme of 2017, and the Good Food Purchasing Policy that was first adopted by Los Angeles in 2012.

Alexandra Wandel, Director of the World Future Council, who acted also as Master of Ceremonies, says: “It was a truly exciting live webcasted event! We profoundly thank everyone. We thank all our partners – foremost FAO, IFOAM, DO-IT, GCI, SEKEM, and ECORNATURASI, all awardees and speakers, as well as jury members, but also the many experts and volunteers, who supported us in making this year’s Future Policy Award possible. It has been a great success!”

Alexandra Wandel, World Future Council (c) FAO

After the Award Ceremony all guests were invited to a 100% organic cocktail reception. Partners, awardees and speakers then came together for a Roman agroecological dinner, which rounded off this exceptional occurrence and celebrated the eve of World Food Day with local, healthy, organic and agroecological food.

NOTE: All images shown in this post are the property of UN FAO. Available via Flickr.

What is the Future Policy Award 2018 and why is it so important?

Would you like to know more about the Future Policy Award 2018? Here are some fundamentals:

Every year, the World Future Council honours the best policies that create better living conditions for current and future generations with the Future Policy Award, the “Oscar on best policies”. If that sounds complicated, let us explain to you what it actually means – it’s pretty simple and important: We look at the greatest challenges of humankind and search the world for the best solutions in order to spread them.

A quick Q&A session will help you understand. We also interviewed Poppe Braam, founder of DO-IT (Dutch Organic International Trade) why they support the Future Policy Award this year.

First of all, what’s the Future Policy Award?

The Future Policy Award is the first award that celebrates policies rather than people on an international level. It raises global awareness for exemplary policies and speeds up policy action. Each year, the Councillors of the World Future Council identifies one topic on which policy progress is particularly urgent.

What is the focus this year? 

This year’s Future Policy Award is focusing on policies scaling up agroecology. Policies that contribute to the protection of life and livelihoods of small-scale food producers, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement climate-resilient agricultural practices.

Who are the main organisations you partner with this year?

In 2018, the World Future Council partners with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and IFOAM – Organics International. We received support from Green Cross International, DO-IT – Dutch Organic International Trade and Sekem Group, Egypt.

Why does, for instance, DO-IT support Future Policy Award? And why does this Dutch company think scaling up agroecology is so important?

We asked Poppe Braam, who founded DO-IT, an organic food trading company from the Netherlands and he said: “In many countries DO-IT supports farmer transition to certified organic agriculture. Many of them are smallholder farmers, who urgently need more support. This makes local and national policy by governments as well as action by NGOs and agricultural institutes a vital part of this transition. Chemical farming (i.e. today’s conventional agriculture using chemical pesticides and fertilizers) and agroecology are natural opponents. Chemical farming does not only harm nature, but it also harms our health and climate. Moreover, the business of organic farmers is threatened due to levels of pesticide and GMO contamination by wind or water. It is therefore critical to scale up agroecology and policymakers should now step up their efforts.”

What can I do to support agroecology?

Buy organic and agroecological local or regional produce and support thereby family farmers in your region! Just like every raindrop counts towards a river, so does every choice you make in what you consume.

Does the World Future Council need support?

Yes! Now that the Future Policy Award identified and highlighted policy solutions from around world, we need to make them known to policy-makers around the world. We need funding for publishing in-depth policy reports, campaigning events, etc. Every donation will help!

Scaling up Agroecology: our Call for Nominations triggered unprecedented response

The world’s biggest contest on agroecology has been kicked off this year and the feedback in the first rounds stunned us: 20,000 experts from all over the world were contacted to nominate the most exemplary policies for our Future Policy Award. We received 51 policies from 25 countries from all continents that advance sustainable agriculture and food systems. Here is a quick overview of the process so far.

 

 

This year’s Future Policy Award is focusing on policies scaling up agroecology: Policies that contribute to the protection of life and livelihoods of small-scale food producers, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement climate-resilient agricultural practices.

The path to finding the most exemplary policies is quite elaborate and involves a number of steps: First of all, a Call for Nominations is spread to experts on the topic. Secondly, nominations are being researched and collected: Thirdly, an evaluation team screens, discusses and evaluates all nominated policies.

Our Call for Nominations was circulated by UN FAO, the World Future Council and IFOAM to a total of over 20,000 experts from intergovernmental organisations, non-profit organisations, academic and research institutions, government agencies, development banks and other notable organisations active in this field. This year, we were blown away by the incredible feedback we received from agroecology and agriculture policy experts worldwide: In total, the team received 51 policies from 25 countries and from all continents. These were six nominated policies from Africa, twelve from Asia, nine from Europe, twenty from Latin America, one from North America, and three are international ones.

From certain countries we received more than one nomination: Six from Brazil, four from Cuba, five from India, three from Italy and two from Argentina, Bolivia, Denmark, Ethiopia, Philippines, Spain and Venezuela. The policies we have received come from all governance levels, i.e. from city to state, national, continental and even international level. They reflect a wide range of law-making and policy approaches, addressing different aspects of the topic of agroecology, from supporting organic and agroecological production to comprehensive food policies tackling production, processing, distribution, consumption and waste management.

This year, our research team was composed of 13 people coming from 9 different countries, speaking more than 6 different languages fluently. We engaged with more than 100 experts to receive their views and discuss with them the impact of the policies nominated for the Award. Overall, the evaluation team screened and discussed 51 policies, evaluating 21 of them fully.

The next steps

At the end of July, our international jury of experts discusses which of the evaluated policies best receive the Awards. Our jury this year will be composed of 9 eminent experts including representatives from organising partners – FAO, World Future Council, IFOAM – as well as CISDL, Demeter International, the Global Alliance for the Future of Food, IPES-Food, Navdanya International, Millenium Institute/Biovision Foundation and the Daniel & Nina Carasso Foundation. Among them will be 4 women and 5 men coming from 5 different continents. They will be making important choices and decide upon 1 policy winning Gold and 2 for Silver, 3 receiving Honourable Mentions and last but not least 1 Vision Award.

Last but not least, the winners are being celebrated!

On the occasion of World Food Week in October 2018, the Award Ceremony will be held at FAO Headquarters celebrating the best policies on Earth that scale up agroecology. We are looking much forward to this festivity and to honour exemplary political will!

To learn more about the Future Policy Award click here.

 The Future Policy Award 2018 is organised by the World Future Council, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and IFOAM – Organics International, with the support of Green Cross International, DO-IT – Dutch Organic International Trade and Sekem Group, Egypt.

 

CONTACT

Ingrid Heindorf

Policy Officer of FPA 2018

ingrid.heindorf@worldfuturecouncil.org

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Experts to discuss solutions for Land, Soils and Food in Africa at Heliopolis University, Cairo

The Future Policy Award 2017 awarded exemplary policies that contribute to the protection of life and livelihoods in the drylands and help achieve Sustainable Development Goal 15 Life on Land. This international prize was awarded by the World Future Council in partnership with the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, the World Future Council. During a conference at Heliopolis University in Cairo, we took a closer look at these World Champions in combating desertification and discussed solutions for food, soils and livelihoods in Africa.

 

Right: Helmy Abouleish, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Heliopolis University and CEO of the SEKEM Initiative & WFC Councillor

WFC councillor Dr. Auma Obama talking to media after the event

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The conference at the Heliopolis University in Cairo which was convened by SEKEM Initiative, Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development together with the World Future Council. The aim of this event was not only to raise awareness on exemplary policies for land, soils and food in Africa, but also to create synergies between policymakers of international organisations (UN Convention to Combat Desertification, IFAD and World Future Council) and national stakeholders, i.e. ministries, Members of Parliament, civil society, academia and media.

During the conference, we were honoured to welcome experts on land and soil issues from across the globe. The event brought together high level participants and experts;  among them were Dr. Mohamed Abdel Aty, the Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation;  Dr. Auma Obama, World Future Councillor and Founder and Director of the Sauti Kuu Foundation;  Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD);  Hans Herren, President of Millennium Institute and Recipient of the Right Livelihood Award; Helmy Abouleish, Heliopolis University Chairman of the Board of Trustees and CEO of SEKEM Initiative and recently recognized as UN Champion for Facing Climate Change; and Alexandra Wandel, Director of the World Future Council Foundation which convened the Future Policy Award 2017 on Combating Desertification.

From left to right: Hans Herren, President, Millennium Institute and President, Biovision Foundation; Abdelkarim Sma, Egypt Country Director, International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD; Dr. Auma Obama, Councillor, World Future Council and Director of the Sauti Kuu Foundation; Monique Barbut, UN Under Secretary General, Executive Secretary, Convention to Combat Desertification; Alexandra Wandel, Director of the World Future Council; Lothar H. Fickert, Professor, Graz University of Technology; Prof. Hani Sewilam, Academic Director, Hydrology Department, RWTH Aachen University

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.

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.

Read more

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.

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.

The Right to Food

The amazing success story of Belo Horizonte started in 1993 when the city guaranteed its citizens the right to food by law. A rights-based approach to food security means that food is no longer a question of charity. It is something, citizens have the right to. They can hold their government accountable, so government needs to act. It needs to create conditions for people to feed themselves.

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.

The right to food can be enshrined in the constitution or be established in a framework law and basically on any government level.

Watch this film and find out more about the right to food and the amazing success story of Belo Horizonte.

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Belo Horizonte’s Food Security Policy on FuturePolicy.org

The city of Belo Horizonte in Brazil is a world pioneer in governance for food security. Its Municipal Law No. 6.352, 15/07/1993 set out a policy framework that is committed to the concept of food sovereignty: the right of peoples to define their own food and agricultural policies, to protect and regulate their production and trade in such a manner as to secure sustainable development, to determine the degree of their autonomy and to eliminate dumping on their markets.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.