Greetings from COP24’s 4 per 1000 Initiative Day!

On the occasion of the UNFCCC COP24 (December 2018) in Katowice, Poland, the international “4 per 1000 Initiative: Soils for Food Security and Climate” organised, in partnership with the University of Silesia, the second 4 per 1000 Initiative Day on 13 December 2018. An important event to which the World Future Council was invited to speak.

Numerous ministers and renowned personalities took the floor to underline the importance of soil protection and how improved soil health can absorb greenhouse gases and thereby fight climate change. World Future Council’s Climate Director Rob van Riet underlined the need to advance urgently the transition towards sustainable food systems and presented the winners of Future Policy Award 2018 – exemplary policies that work towards this transition and scale up agroecology.

After working in 2017 with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the World Future Council had organized this year’s Future Policy Award in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and IFOAM – Organic International. In 2017, the 4 per 1000 Initiative that was launched in 2015 during the Paris Climate Change Conference by H.E. Stéphane Le Foll, then French Minister of Agriculture, AgriFood and Forestry, won the Future Policy Vision Award as it created an unprecedented attention to the role soils play for food security and climate stability.

 

Ghana on its way to its enhanced child protection system for survivors of child violence

For majority of children in Ghana, violence is an unfortunate part of their everyday life. According to official statistical reports, 9 out of 10 children are exposed to mental or physical violence, and physical punishment is a common phenomenon. More shocking are the figures for sexual violence: one out of five girls is sexually abused. There is an urgent need for action to protect children from violence! For girls and boys who experience and survive violence or abuse, a central, child-friendly centre providing the most essential services under one roof would be established from the first quarter of 2019, where trained personnel from the  Social Welfare, Domestic Violence Unit of the Police Service (DOVVSU) and Ghana Health Service are available to offer prompt, secured and confidential service to victims. Our team conducted a technical workshop with representatives of Ministries and other key stakeholders responsible for child protection in Ho, South-East Ghana together with experts from Zanzibar to discuss and develop a roadmap to establish a pilot in Accra. These are the main results at a glance.

Samia Kassid – opening remarks

In November 2017, the World Future Council Foundation invited political decision-makers from 12 African and Asian countries to Zanzibar to acquaint themselves with the country’s comprehensive Children’s Act and its implementation. Zanzibar won the Gold Award of the “Political Oscar” Future Policy Award in 2015.

The Ghanaian delegation, consisting of representatives from the Department of Children of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare and the Law Faculty of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration were inspired by the one-stop-center model that Zanzibar has currently implemented in 6 out of 11 districts.

 

 What is a one stop center?

One-Stop-Center (OSC) are central contact points for children and their families affected by (sexualised) violence. Here survivors can find psycho-social support, a police office to initiate criminal investigation as well as medical treatment including collection of forensic evidence under one roof. Ideally, legal help is part of the centre. The graphic illustrates the model:

As an important element of a strong national child protection system, the one-stop-centres provide survivors (girls and boys, women and men) with various initial services under one roof. As a result, the affected person does not have to go through the trauma of narrating the incident several times and also receives quick help. It helps parents stay focused on treating their child and persecuting the perpetrator. In cases without the OSC, survivors mostly have to visit different institutions – that costs money and time and often parents lose the momentum to persue the case. The later a case is reported, the harder it is to gather evidence of abuse on a child’s body.

Ideally, a one-stop center provides four services and is usually docted at a hospital:

  1. Psycho-social support – this is where the first interview takes place and the social worker decides which further steps are required. If there is an abuse / violence, the child will be escorted to the next room, where a police officer in civilian clothes and trained in child-friendly behaviour will fill in the form to follow up the case.
  2. Medical examination: in a third room, a medical doctor takes care of the child. Here the first medical and forensic examinations take place. If the child needs further special treatment, it will be treated immediately in the hospital.
  3. The employees of the one-stop-center are provided by the relevant ministries (Health, Interior, Family Affairs) and the Centre is (at best) coordinated by the Ministry of Health. All employees receive same training so they can better collaborate and follow same procedures and guidelines in writing the reports. This makes it easier for the police and the courts to track and prosecute cases.
  4. Support for counseling and legal aid is ideally offered in the fourth room.

 

Ghana on the way to pilot a one stop centre

A member of the Zanzibar team sharing her experience at the workshop

The Director of the Department of Children, speaking at Workshop

After intensive discussions with the Department of Children from April 2018, the World Future Council Foundation organised a technical workshop to fully introduce the state agencies in the establishment and management of a one-stop-center model in Ghana from the 25-27 November 2018. We invited experts from Zanzibar to Ghana: Deputy Chairwoman Halima Abdallah, who spearheaded the establishment of the One-Stop-Center in the Ministry of Family and Health, Dr. Marijani, who has been responsible for medical and forensic investigations since its implementation in 2011, and Farshuu Khalfa, head of a one-stop center in Stone Town. Their insights, expertise and practical experience were most welcome and helpful in drawing up the roadmap for Ghana.

Under the auspices of the Children’s Department, 30 key representatives and decision-makers took part in the workshop to discuss the need for the OSC and to develop the roadmap for a pilot program. The participants represented the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, the Social Welfare Department and the specialised Domestic Violence Unit of the Police service – DOVVSU.  Medical representative and international child rights organisations including ActionAid, World Vision, International Needs, UNFPA and UNICEF were also present.

The most important results of the workshop at a glance:

  • Development of a roadmap for the establishment of a pilot in Accra
  • National coordination agency of the One-Stop-Center pilot program will be the Ministry of Health with support of other ministries
  • An inter-ministerial conference is scheduled for the first quarter of 2019 to decide on the roadmap and timetable
  • A core group will identify a possible location for the pilot program in Accra

 

Working groups during the workshops.

Why is soil so important?

Happy World Soil Day!

In order to stress the importance of environmental and soil protection, the United Nations celebrate this indispensable natural resource every year with World Soil Day, on 5th December. Celebrations are taking place around the world and so they do, for instance, in the Republic of San Marino, to which the World Future Council was invited to speak.

Why is soil so important?

Soil health is fundamental for a healthy food production. It provides essential nutrients, water, oxygen and support to the roots, all elements that favour the growth and development of plants for food production. The soil hosts a big community of diverse organisms that improve the structure of the soil, recycle essential nutrients, helps to control weeds, plant pests and diseases. Another important aspect is that when soil is healthy, it contributes to mitigate climate change by keeping or increasing soil organic carbon. Soil is the basis of food systems as well as the place where all plants for food production grow. For that reason it is extremely important to preserve soils and to start a global cultural movement which returns to soils the primary importance that they deserve.

What does the World Future Council to promote soil protection?

The World Future Council identifies and promotes successful solutions to protect our soils. Our Future Policy Award, which is the world’s only prize for exemplary laws and policies, was awarded in 2009 on the topic of Food Security. The Gold Award went to the outstanding legislative programme from the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte, which promotes urban and community-based agriculture and protects thereby precious soils.

Our Future Policy Award 2017 was awarded in the area of ​​desertification and land degradation, in close cooperation with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. The Tigray region in Ethiopia which has rehabilitated degraded land by mass mobilization and on a massive scale, won Gold Award. Since 1991, soil and water conservation measures have been carried out on 960,000 hectares, and despite a growing population, the region has thus achieved reduced soil erosion, better water infiltration and improved soil productivity.

Recently, we celebrated with our Future Policy Award 2018 the world’s best policies for scaling up agroecology in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and all winning policies from Brazil to India, from Denmark to the USA, from Senegal to the Philippines show how to successfully protect soils and biodiversity, increase productivity, making farming more climate resilient and profitable for those who do the job.

The World Future Council engages to show what is possible, how much more you can achieve if you invest sustainably and not just short-term ideas. It is extremely important that these forward-looking solutions are increasingly taken up and disseminated. Because still we have the possibility to limit the globally rapidly spreading problems. Please help us and support our work for healthy soils!

What happens today in San Marino?

 

Today, on 5th December 2018, at 10:30 am Augusto Michelotti, San Marino’s State Secretary of Territory, Environment and Tourism, and

Ingrid Heindorf, World Future Council’s Geneva Representative, will both address San Marino’s Presidency (Capitani Reggenti), stressing the urgency to protect our soils from land degradation. Thereafter, from 11 am onwards, they will participate in a Roundtable in Palazzo Graziani to present solutions on how to best advance soil protection in San Marino and to discuss with renowned experts, relevant associations of San Marino as well as the general public.

 

 

You are interested in finding out more?

Have a look here or read our recent news posts on the Future Policy Award.

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Berlin welcomes the World Future Council into the Bundestag

100% Organic Sikkim, World Future Councillor Vandana Shiva and Director Alexandra Wandel in the German Parliament with Former Minister for Food and Agriculture Renate Künast

 

On Thursday 29th November, Berlin provided a solace of winter sun after a week of heavy-hanging weather to welcome World Future Councillor and world-renowned environmental activist, Prof. Dr. Vandana Shiva, and the Director of the World Future Council, Alexandra Wandel in the capital’s Parliament Complex. They were invited by Member of Parliament, Renate Künast, former Minister for Food and Agriculture to discuss the agro-political situation in India, the world’s first 100%-organic state and Gold-winner of the Future Policy Award 2018, Sikkim, as well as the road-map to sustainable global agriculture.

 “Sikkim shows that we can turn this around and walk the agro-ecological path.”

Vandana Shiva

In a simple yet elegant conference room, the Honourable Künast welcomed her guests and 30 audience members from the German Parliament, European environmental institutes and the general public, and opened the discussion. The conversation quickly turned to agriculture in India. As a country whose agricultural face was profoundly transformed under the Green Revolution of the mid-20th Century, India is a notable example of the extreme conflicts and contrasts in the current global food system. Councillor Shiva described the horrors incurred by input-intensive agriculture in the country, which she has repeatedly encountered across four decades of environmental activism. An ongoing suicide-epidemic of hundreds of thousands of debt-ridden farmers, a ‘cancer train’, from the Punjab the Rajasthan, and a youth driven from agriculture and into drug abuse were some of the images she invoked. But the old techniques based on an old reductionist “lego-logic” have been recognised and, by some, reversed in the most radical and inspiring ways.

 

“A new knowledge of an old knowledge will be the future of humankind.”

Renate Künast

Over the past 45 years, Sikkim state in the Himalaya Region of India has made the transition to 100%-organic agriculture. Model farms, farmer field schools and a total ban on non-organic food-products have been instrumental in training over 65,000 farmers across 75,000 hectares into sustainable, fully-organic methods. World Future Council Director Wandel described how this unprecedented and entirely-successful transformation has earned the region countless benefits for its farmers and the health and well-being of the local people, as well as a 50% boom in tourism and recognition on the global stage. It is for this tireless work in organic agriculture that Sikkim was awarded the Gold Future Policy Award 2018 at the ceremony in front of 170 heads of state in Rome. Whilst 51 other nominations to the post were extensively researched and other policies from Denmark, Ecuador and Brazil received a Silver recognition, Sikkim’s efforts proved by far by the most exemplary.

 

“A truly visionary and holistic approach to agriculture.”

Alexandra Wandel

As part of her work with the Parliamentary Group on India, Hon. Künast recently had the opportunity to visit Sikkim experience their ground-breaking (and ground-making) work first-hand. She said she was wholly impressed by how the state uses public money to provide possibilities and livelihood dignity for its citizens in organic agriculture. Their valuing of traditional knowledge fuses with the goodness of the people in an atmosphere of respect for one another and the Earth.                                                                                                

 

“Sikkim is the light. The struggle must continue.”

Vandana Shiva

After all speakers had passionately shared their experiences and knowledge, the floor was opened up for questions from the audience. The opportunities and risks of digitalisation of agriculture came first, and Councillor Shiva was quick to insist on the stark difference between the right to technology and free internet, versus the forced digitalisation of agriculture. We must remain wary of the dangers of commodification of agricultural data for use by big companies. “Defining the commons in this new context,” said Prof. Dr. Shiva, “is extremely important.”

A second audience member asked how Sikkim was perceived at national level – is this the dawn of an organic India? There certainly exist other positive examples, for example, efforts in the Northern state of Ladakh to become organic. However, at national level, major obstacles remain. Vital here is the ongoing commitment to a sustainable vision by all spheres of society.

“We need a real debate across all of our societies or the future is a dead-end. Only food democracy will feed us in 2050.”

Vandana Shiva

The Director of the World Future Council Alexandra Wandel mentioned that unfortunately not a single German law was nominated for the Future Policy Award on Scaling Up Agroecology and that parliamentarians were invited to have a look at the awarded policies, including the organic policy of Sikkim and also the silver award from neighbouring country Denmark which received the Future Policy Silver Award and has the highest share of organic products in the world.

The event in the German Parliament came a day after the World Future Council and Councillor Shiva were invited to celebrate Bread for the World’s (Brot für die Welt) 60th anniversary in the German Theatre, and proceeded two exciting events at the historic Babylon Cinema in Berlin’s Mitte district. The first – “Vision for Agriculture 2050” [1] [2] –  was a debate between Councillor Shiva, Norbert Lemken, Director Agricultural Policy at Bayer and Prof. Dr. Sonoko Dorothea Bellingrath-Kimura of the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF). As the audience outed their respective support and outrage, the debate raged over the science behind chemical inputs, the capacity to feed the world and the morality behind this monumental task. After a short break where audience members could inform themselves with Councillor Shiva’s literature and speak with Liam Innis about the World Future Council and the Future Policy Award, the night continued with the screening of “SEED: The Untold Story[3]. The film, wherein Councillor Shiva is a protagonist follows the rich and treasured history of Earth’s 12,000 year-old food legacy, which continues to be threatened to extinction by – and fight back against – an all-encompassing agro-industry.

 

“I think it’s time to bring care, sharing, love, the commons and our brains back into the picture of agriculture.”

Vandana Shiva

 

[1] https://www.2000m2.eu/de/vandana-shiva-visions-for-agriculture-2050/

[2] https://theworldnews.net/de-news/aktivistin-streitet-mit-konzern-vandana-shiva-vs-bayer-lobbyist

[3] https://www.seedthemovie.com

World Top Experts On Agroecology Form Jury of Future Policy Award 2018

Hamburg/Bonn/Rome, 25th July 2018: Today the World Future Council, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO) and IFOAM – Organics International have announced the names of experts forming the jury of the Future Policy Award 2018. The Award will be celebrating the world’s best policies scaling up agroecology.

Jury members come from all continents – Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America. Three members are also recipients of the Alternative Nobel Prize.

Alexandra Wandel, Director of the World Future Council, says: “The World Future Council is very honoured and grateful that these world top experts on agroecology have agreed to serve on the jury of our Future Policy Award. We look forward to their selection of the world’s best policies for agroecology.”

The jury will be deciding upon the winning policies of the Future Policy Awards 2018 – the best on Earth scaling up agroecology. A shortlist of the winning policies will be published in early September, whilst the winners will be announced and celebrated in October 2018 at the UN FAO Headquarters in Rome.

Renowned representatives of international organisations, academia, civil society and farmers organisations, foundations, and the private sector have agreed to serve on the jury. Among them are the following experts (in alphabetic order):

Helmy Abouleish

CEO, Sekem Group; President, Demeter International; UNFCCC NAP Champion; Ambassador, IFOAM – Organics International; Right Livelihood Award Recipient; and Councillor, World Future Council, Egypt.

Prof. Dr Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger

Senior Director, Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL); Affiliated Fellow, Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge; and Founding Councillor, World Future Council, UK/Canada.

 

Prof. Dr Olivier De Schutter

Co-Chair, International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food); Member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; former UN Rapporteur on the Right to Food; Université de Louvain, Belgium.

images source

Dr Hans Martin Dreyer

Director, Plant Production and Protection Division, Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

images source

Prof. Dr Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias

Chairperson of the 2nd International Symposium on Agroecology of the FAO; Professor Adjunto, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade de Brasília; and former Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

images source

Dr Hans Rudolf Herren

World Board Member, IFOAM – Organics International; Right Livelihood Award Recipient; President, Millennium Institute; and President and Founder, Biovision Foundation, Switzerland.

images source

Ruth Richardson

Executive Director, Global Alliance for the Future of Food (GA), Canada.

Prof. Dr Vandana Shiva

Director, Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology; Founder, Navdanya International; Right Livelihood Award Recipient; and Founding Councillor, World Future Council, India.

Eva Torremocha

Responsible for the Sustainable Food Programme Spain, Daniel & Nina Carasso Foundation; and Researcher, University Pablo de Olavide, Spain.

images source

To learn more about this year’s Future Policy Award, click here or follow #FuturePolicyAward on social media.

Picture Credits

Prof. Dr Olivier De Schutter: image by Heinrich Böll Stiftung from Berlin, Deutschland, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Dr Hans Martin Dreyer: ©FAO/Alessandra Benedetti via Flickr

Dr Hans Rudolf Herren: © Peter Luethi

Eva Torremocha: image via IFOAM Website

 

 

HLPF side-event: Achieving Agenda 2030 through 100% Renewable Energy – Examples from Tanzania and Bangladesh

The World Future Council and Bread for the World are hereby cordially inviting you to their side-event on the margins of the High-level Political Forum 2018 in New York, on 17 July, at 3.30 pm in the Church Center of the UN.

3.30 – 5.00 pm; 17 July 2018
Church Center of the United Nations
777 United Nations Plaza, NY 10017, USA

The event describes the vital relationship between renewable energy (RE) and sustainable development. In particular, it demonstrates how supporting the transition to 100% RE is a driver for sustainable development that  leaves no one behind. Hereby, it unveils how transitioning to 100% RE contributes to the achievement of the Agenda 2030 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The event convenes civil society organizations, policy makers, development agencies and community leaders involved in sustainable development especially in countries in the Global South. Learnings from Tanzania and Bangladesh will be presented to catalyze replication in other countries.

Achieving a transformation of the energy sector to stipulate pathways and scenarios for SDG7 is a necessary pre-condition for the achievement of the Agenda 2030 in full and the highly urgent implementation of other international commitments such as the Paris Agreement. Therefore, this event seeks to highlight the interlinkages between SDG 7 and the other 16 SDGs and how a strategic transformation towards 100%RE contributes to achieving all of them. How do these interlinkages manifest itself in different national contexts and how can we replicate learnings and findings? What is the role of the national government and how can 100%RE benefit domestic socio-economic development? What lessons can be learned from the German “Energiewende”?

Draft Agenda

Facilitator: Rob van Riet, World Future Council

TimeItemSpeaker
3.30 – 3.40IntroductionJohannes Grün, Bread for the World
3.40 – 4.00100%RE and the national dimension of Agenda 2030Sixbert Mwanga, Director, CAN Tanzania; Jahangir Masum, Executive Director, Coastal Development Partnership
4.00 – 4.35Roundtable DiscussionJoyce Msangi, Energy Officer, Government of Tanzania; Dr. Bettina Hoffmann, Member of German Parliament, MdB; Jahangir Masum, Executive Director, CDP; Sixbert Mwanga, Director CAN Tanzania
4.35 – 4.55Q&A
4.55 – 5.00Concluding RemarksRob van Riet, World Future Council

 

Join the conversation!

Are you attending the event? Join the conversation, and tweet using the Hashtags #HLPF2018 #go100RE #SDG7

Follow us on Twitter @Good_Policies 

Need pictures to make your tweets more catchy? You can use the memes below.

 

Contact

Anna Skowron

Project Manager Climate & Energy

anna.skowron@worldfuturecouncil.org

 

 

 

New Council Members elected

Every five years, the Councillors and Honorary Councillors of the World Future Council are being elected. This year it was election time again and there are some changes to our council. We are delighted to welcome four new Councillors, one new WFC Ambassador and a new member of the WFC Supervisory Board. At the same time, we would like to thank those who are now leaving the World Future Council for their successful and inspiring work and for their commitment to the mission of the World Future Council.

The new Councillor Victoria Tauli-Corpuz is UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous People. The activist and human rights advocate has been campaigning for the rights of indigenous peoples and women’s rights since the 1970s. Pauline Tangiora has been the expert for the topic so far. She now will serve as Honorary Councillor.

Charlotte Aubin was also elected Councilor of the WFC. Charlotte is an entrepreneur and founder of GreenWish Partners and the GreenWish Foundation. The Foundation’s main objective is to foster and support social initiatives and solar electrification programmes such as schools and hospitals in rural areas, mainly in Africa.

Moreover, Helmy Abouleish will from now on serve as Councilor. Helmy Abouleish is managing director of the SEKEM Initiative in Egypt, founded by his father Ibrahim Abouleish founded in 1977. SEKEM and Ibrahim Abouleish received the Alternative Nobel Prize (Right Livelihood Award) in 2003. For years, Helmy Abouleish has been involved in national and international policies on responsible competition, social entrepreneurship and worked towards combating climate change and hunger.

With Neshan Gunasekera, a lawyer and educationist complements the Council. Neshan was the former Director (2007-2012) of the Centre set up by late Judge C.G. Weeramantry. Neshan advises many international organizations. He is committed to bring communities together for environmental protection, healing and conservation through the use of intergenerational, holistic and experiential learning.

The World Future Council was able to win over Gerhard Stübe as a new ambassador. Stübe is head of the Festspielhaus Bregenz, where the annual meeting of the WFC Council members took place in 2017. Sustainability of events is at the centre of his work.

Tina Stridde will be joining the Supervisory Board of the World Future Council with immediate effect. She is also managing director of the Aid by Trade Foundation, an umbrella organization of the Cotton Made in Africa Initiative. We are confident that with her commitment and focus on sustainable consumption and global value chains, she fits perfectly with the WFC.

We would like to welcome everybody to the World Future Council. We look forward to a good cooperation and to the input of these interesting people.

Media Contact

World Future Council
Miriam Petersen
Media & Communications Manager
miriam.petersen@worldfuturecouncil.org
Phone: +49 40 30 70 914-19

WFC Ratsmitglieder und Mitarbeiter bei der 7. Jahresversammlung in Bonn

10th World Future Forum: in 2017 the World Future Council convenes in Bregenz

From March 30th – April 2nd, more than 50 Councillors, Ambassadors and members of the Supervisory Board will convene at the World Future Forum 2017 “10 Years World Future Council: Best Policies for Future Generations”, which will take place in Bregenz, Austria, with the generous support of the Festival House Bregenz and their partners. 

Read more

World Future Council mourns death of founding member and Honorary Councillor Sir James R. Mancham

The World Future Council is deeply saddened by the loss of founding member and Honorary Councillor, Sir James R. Mancham, who passed away on January 8, 2017, aged 77. Read more