Outreach Magazine: April/May UN meetings day 3


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Outreach Magazine: April/May UN meetings day 3

  1. 1. inside: How to create resilient agriculture The female face of farming a multi-stakeholder magazine on climate change and sustainable development out reach. 25 April 2012www.stakeholderforum.org/sf/outreach/ pic: GlennDettwiler
  2. 2. contents. 1 How to create resilient agriculture Livelihoods, Water and higher-welfare farming: 2 an alternative pathway Chain reaction: Collaboration needed to increase uptake of 3 sustainable palm oil across the supply chain 2 4 Water wars on the driest continent on Earth 5 Food security: The food system concept 6 Vue du terrain 7 Views from the Field 8 Hope in new scientific insights to avoid global agricultural tragedy 5 9 The Female Face of Farming 10 Disappearing bees, bumblebees and biodiversity: A cautionary tale Business Leaders support a bold outcome on corporate 11 sustainability reporting at Rio+20 12 Cities and Regions together towards Rio+20 13 Rio+20 Side Event Calendar 8 14 Reflections on the negotiations pic: Roel Groeneveld OUTREACH IS PUBLISHED BY: Outreach is a multi-stakeholder publication on OUTREACH EDITORIAL TEAM climate change and sustainable development. It is the longest continually produced Editorial Advisors Felix Dodds Stakeholder Forum stakeholder magazine in the sustainable development arena, published at various Farooq Ullah Stakeholder Forum international meetings on the environment; Editor Georgie Macdonald Stakeholder Forum including the UNCSD meetings (since 1997), UNEP Governing Council, UNFCCC Conference Co-editor Amy Cutter Stakeholder Forum of the Parties (COP) and World Water Week. Editorial Assistant Jack Cornforth Stakeholder Forum Published as a daily edition, in both print and web form, Outreach provides a vehicle Print Designer Jessica Wolf Jessica Wolf Design for critical analysis on key thematic topics in Web Designer Thomas Harrisson Stakeholder Forum the sustainability arena, as well as a voice of regional and local governments, women, Web Designer Matthew Reading-Smith Stakeholder ForumAbout Stakeholder Forum indigenous peoples, trade unions, industry, youth and NGOs. To fully ensure a multi- CONTRIBUTING WRITERSStakeholder Forum is an international stakeholder perspective, we aim to engageorganisation working to advance sustainable a wide range of stakeholders for article Vicki Hird WSPA Shoya Hirose Climate Youth Japandevelopment and promote democracy at a contributions and project funding. Gordon Conway Imperial College London Tim Benton University of Leedsglobal level. Our work aims to enhance open, If you are interested in contributingaccountable and participatory international Sophia Gnych Zoological Society of Robynne Anderson World Farmers Organisationdecision-making on sustainable development to Outreach, please contact the team London (gmacdonald@stakeholderforum.org or Emma Puka-Beals Mount Holyoke Collegethrough enhancing the involvement Natalène Poisson UCLGof stakeholders in intergovernmental acutter@stakeholderforum.org) Lolo Houbein Sharifin Gardinerprocesses. For more information, visit: You can also follow us on Twitter: John Ingram University of Oxford Césarie Kantaramawww.stakeholderforum.org @OutreachLive Allan Savory Savory Institute
  3. 3. How to create resilient agricultureGordon ConwayProfessor of International Development, The Agriculture for Impact Programme, Imperial College LondonThis article was first published by Science and Development Another solution is to increase the use of modern plantNetwork (www.scidev.net/en/) and animal breeding methods, including biotechnology. These have been successful in providing resistance toFood security is critical to the mission of Rio+20. The various pests of maize, sorghum, cowpeas, groundnutsthreats are numerous: repeated food price spikes; shortages and cotton; to diseases of maize, bananas and livestock.of good-quality land and water; rising energy and fertiliser These methods can help build resilience rapidly. Weprices; and the consequences of climate change. Already, need to combine them with biotechnology-basedsomewhere between 900 million and a billion people are improvements in yield through improved photosynthesis,chronically hungry, and by 2050 agriculture will have to nitrogen uptake, resistance to drought and other impactscope with these threats while feeding a growing population of climate change.with changing dietary demands. This will require doublingfood production, especially if we are to build up reserves Agro-ecology and modern breeding methods are notfor climatic extremes. mutually exclusive. Building appropriate, improved crop varieties into ecological agricultural systems can boostTo do this requires sustainable intensification — getting both productivity and resilience.more from less — on a durable basis. Enabling environmentsCombining traditional and technological The Montpellier Panel report recommends that governments,Farmers around the world will need to produce more food the private sector, and non-governmental organisationsand other agricultural products on less land, with fewer work together to help develop resilient and sustainablepesticides and fertilisers, less water and lower outputs intensification; combat land and water degradation; andof greenhouse gases. This must be done on a large scale, build climate-smart agriculture, such as conservationand more cheaply than current farming methods allow. It farming. These partnerships can also build the resiliencewill also have to be sustainable — that is, it must last. For of people by increasing the reach of successful nutritionthis to happen, the intensification will have to be resilient. interventions and building diverse livelihoods, especially by focusing on rural women and young people. The reportThe latest report of the expert Montpellier Panel, lays particularly recommends taking part in the Scaling Upout a vision of agricultural growth for Sub-Saharan Nutrition (SUN) framework that aims to greatly reduceAfrica that is resilient — able to withstand or recover the number children with stunted growth, which stands atfrom stresses and shocks. The report makes specific roughly 50 million in Sub-Saharan Africa alone.recommendations around resilient agriculture, resilientpeople and resilient markets. The report also describes how to achieve resilient markets that enable farmers to increase production, take risksDeveloping resilient agriculture will require technologies and generate income through innovation while ensuringand practices that build on agro-ecological knowledge food is available at an affordable price. Creating grainand enable smallholder farmers to counter environmental stores and opening up trade across Africa can reducedegradation and climate change in ways that maintain food price volatility. The continent also needs more privatesustainable agricultural growth. Examples include investments and public–private partnerships that willvarious forms of mixed cropping that enable more encourage increased production.efficient use and cycling of soil nutrients, conservationfarming, microdosing of fertilisers and herbicides, and Developing agriculture with resilience depends on science,integrated pest management. technology and innovation; but there are no silver bullets. We need strong political leadership. An example is Ghana,These are proven technologies that draw on ecological where agricultural GDP has risen by 5% each year for theprinciples. Some build on traditional practices, with past decade and the Millennium Development Goal ofnumerous examples working on a small scale. In Zambia, halving hunger by 2015 has already been achieved.conservation farming, a system of minimum or no-till agriculture with crop rotations, has reduced water This is a crucial year. The sequence of G8, G20 andrequirements by up to 30% and used new drought-tolerant Rio+20 meetings provides a ready platform for thehybrids to produce up to five tons of maize per hectare — international community to coordinate policies andfive times the average yield for Sub-Saharan Africa. intensify investments. I am optimistic that agricultural development and food security will be priorities, and anThe imperative now is scaling up such systems to reachmore farmers. . agenda based on agricultural growth with resilience will be a key outcome. 1 RIO+20
  4. 4. Livelihoods, Water and higher-welfare farming: Vicki Hird Consultant on Humane Sustainable Agriculture, WSPA an alternative pathway Industrial farming is not an inevitability. WSPA and WSPA’s growing body of evidence from around the world Compassion in World Farming recently released a joint shows that where industrial farming swiftly uses up our report on the use of freshwater in agriculture - Freshwater precious natural resources, the humane and sustainable Use and Farm Animal Welfare. The report included treatment of farms animals can actually increase food staggering evidence that: security and economic growth, and have environmental benefits. • One quarter of all global freshwater use is for animal production, mostly to grow animal Public support is growing for this – a petition of over feeds; and 108,000 signatures will be handed over to the Rio+20 • Producing grain-based animal feeds uses 43 Secretariat in April, showing growing global support for times more irrigation water per kilogram of measures which enhance welfare for people, animals and feed than is needed for grass-based animal the planet. feeds. WSPA proposes that, at Rio+20, the United Nations and But evidence suggests that more extensive, grazing-based stakeholders specifically refer to the vital role of livestock systems can reduce pressure on scarce water resources, and set a pathway for livestock production that is based whilst often providing better animal welfare. In addition, on high welfare, strong livelihoods and environmental grazing systems can make use of marginal lands which protection. Governments must support and develop are not suited for crop production; an efficient use of the humane and sustainable agriculture systems; manage world’s food production resources. The drive for increased demand for animal products; and phase out support for meat production relies on increasing the amount of grain unsustainable and inhumane farming systems. feed to livestock. As a result, industrial farming, notably In conclusion, increasingly, the wellbeing of animals is . for pork and beef, can have high irrigation water use, generate more pollution and fail to achieve the efficiencies acknowledged as crucial to the future of people and our expected. To protect freshwater, better global governance planet. We hope the final Rio+20 outcomes reflect this. of food supplies and investment in sustainable humane systems, rather than further industrialisation, will be the way to feeding the world. Livelihoods too can be enhanced in higher welfare systems. A new briefing WSPA has published - Animal and human welfare hand-in-hand: How animal welfare can boost jobs and livelihoods - reveals the extent to which livestock are a contributor to food security and livelihoods. Livestock provide food, income and assets; contribute to crop production; and provide a social safety net for their owners. Increasing animal productivity to meet the growing demand for food has resulted in unintended consequences for jobs, livelihoods and food security, without always benefitting the rural poor or urban consumer. This briefing explores how improvements in animal welfare can boost the livelihoods of livestock owners – small and large – and others employed at various steps of the food chain, and create jobs. Contrary to perceived wisdom, improvements in animal welfare do not necessarily lead to an increase in production costs. They can be introduced in the framework of other measures to advance the sustainability of the livestock system.2 RIO+20
  5. 5. Chain reaction: Collaboration needed to increaseuptake of sustainable palm oil across the supply chainSophia GnychBiodiversity and Palm Oil Project Developer, Zoological Society of London members to move from process to output based P&Cs, a decision that would increase transparency and reliability of member management practices and improve enforcement But the ongoing changes within the RSPO need the support of the market to underpin the business proposition of sustainable palm oil. To encourage sustainable agriculturalThe issues surrounding palm oil are numerous and are practices, companies must communicate. Knowledgeoften difficult to navigate. Oil palm produces the greatest sharing between the different stages of the supply chain isyields per hectare of any vegetable oil crop, but the high vital. Larger companies leading the way in sustainability,levels of rainfall and sunlight it requires to grow puts it such as Unilever, should actively participate and sharein direct competition with tropical rainforest. Increasing lessons learned. PT SMART, one of the worlds largestdemand for palm oil therefore results in the deforestation suppliers of palm oil, recently committed to improvingof thousands of hectares of tropical rainforest every practices as a result of down stream manufacturers andyear. The Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) NGOs working together to promote a change.was established in 2004 to try to mitigate the effects ofthis growth. The RSPO certification scheme creates a Boycotting palm oil is not the answer either as its derivativessustainable standard for palm growers to follow. However, are found in a huge variety of products internationally.poor communication along the length of the supply chain, Instead, retailers and manufacturers must harness thecombined with low levels of awareness and understanding consumer driven power for change and promote brandof sustainability issues amongst consumers and retailers awareness, such as the new RSPO trademark label. Inhas resulted in the supply of Certified Sustainable Palm 2011 growers produced 4,798,512 mt of CSPO, yet onlyOil (CSPO) exceeding demand. 2,490,526 mt was sold.The RSPO has often come under heavy criticism from both Agricultural supply chains are inherently complex andthe media and civil society groups, both of whom argue can seem unmanageable when attempting to improvethat membership is too easy to obtain and is dominated by environmental and social practices. It is the responsibilitygrowers who flout their commitments and responsibilities. of organisations such as the RSPO, not only to developA number of damaging stories have emerged which and enforce certification criteria, but also to support anddemonstrate blatant non-compliance by growers – such facilitate member cooperation to promote sustainableas the conversion of primary tropical forest – leading to business. The ‘Green Agenda’ can no longer just beaccusations of insufficient enforcement.However, the 8th General Assembly of the RSPO hosted championed by NGOs; companies within the supply chain itself must work together and prove their commitment. .in March of this year indicated a change in direction.Manufacturing and retailing membership within the RSPO MORE INFOincreased by 60% and 50% respectively in 2011, giving This year the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) willrise to greater representation of downstream standards be developing an online Palm Oil Resource Centre withand consumer concerns. The significance of this shift support from the RSPO, BACP and the SAFE project. Thein membership was illustrated by commitment to time- resource centre will provide a one-stop-shop for palm oilbound action plans for all members, and the rejection and will clarify the issues for all stakeholders along theof a proposed shift from a majority vote to proportional length of the palm oil supply chain by providing accessrepresentation in the RSPO voting system; a decision that to accurate, up-to-date information, delivering practicalwould have left the RSPO process at the mercy of certain tools for improving sustainability in an organisation’smember groups, potentially stalling future progress. supply chain and engaging with manufacturers, retailers and consumers to encourage the uptake of CSPO.The attention afforded to the RSPO has resulted in itbeing one of the most active and dynamic certification For more information about the website and how you canbodies. This year it is carrying out an essential review of actively participate please contact Sophia Gnych, Biodiversityits principles and criteria (P&Cs) and a full consultative and Palm Oil Project Developer (sophia.gncyh@zsl.org).process is underway. There is pressure from some 3 RIO+20
  6. 6. Water wars on the driest continent on Earth Lolo Houbein Australia, the driest continent on earth, has but one major river system. The Murray-Darling feeds four states before reaching the Great Southern Ocean. Most agriculture takes place pic: Oxfam International in its basin. Frequent droughts and land farming on rainfall. This region has experienced irrigation over-use almost killed the devastating droughts in the past and without the town’s Murray River when it no longer reached sewage water, agriculture would never have developed the the ocean and the Lower Lakes dried way it did. The farmers are taking the council to court, even though they had no contract, as this was a deal done up, ruining agriculture and killing for mutual benefit on a firm promise. thousands of animals and some people. The Australian mining industry has rights to explore In 2010-2011, good rains brought for anything that can be mined, on any piece of land, respite, although rains of 100-300mm a including farmland. The relatively recent industry of coal seam gas mining got off to a great start in Queensland day caused disastrous floods in eastern with government approval for the cracking of 40,000 wells. states, destroying major food crops. The industry also works in New South Wales, with the entire rest of Australia in its gaze for future exploration. In 2012, the weather turned from rain- The cracking of wells to capture coal seam gas involves producing La Ninya to the drought- chemicals and brings up salt. Farmers relying on water from the interconnected aquifer system that underlies prone El Ninyo system prevailing in the the continent are up in arms, as agriculture will become Pacific and Indian Oceans. unviable when their water supplies become polluted. The Lock the Gates Alliance has erected signs on farm gates Australia has no water policy, although consultations to warn mining personnel not to trespass. Sooner or later have been taking place for years. With a hung federal they will go to court to save their farms and livelihoods. parliament, politicians tried to please everyone, the result Many affected farms lie in Australia’s most fertile valleys, being that neither irrigators nor scientists agree with providing food for big cities and export. They have put up proposed regulations. The two lower states are building with coal mining for years, but coal seam gas cracking desalination plants. may well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Being a camel country, farmers may have no other choice but to The Queensland city of Toowoomba, with approximately become nomadic herders. 133,000 residents, saved tonnes of rate payers money through a deal made with local farmers. Instead of treating Australia, with its small population, used to be self-reliant the city sewage water they released it into a designated when it came to feeding itself, but now imports half its creek leading to farmlands for irrigation, producing on food. The country could be self-sufficient again, as well as average $150 million worth of crops per year. The city keep up exports, if only decision makers would bravely take council promised the release would never be less than 20 measures to return the only major river system to sound mega litres per day. Without farmers setting up irrigation health, ban mining companies from sensitive farmlands infrastructure this water would have polluted the Murray- and groundwater networks, and instructed councils to get Darling River system. Someone in Toowoomba deserved a green and give farmers first call on recyclable water from medal for Green Economy. towns and cities. Without courageous decisions, the water wars of Australia will kill off agriculture. The population But five years ago a mining company came to town, will be dependent on food imports from countries that proposing to open a coalmine nearby called New Hope need the money but can barely feed their own people. and they needed water to run it. They offered the council big money. The council took the money and cut off the Intergovernmental discussions at Rio should consider water supply to the farmers. Some gave up farming and one went into silo storage. Others hope to adjust to dry . how global food security would be affected if sustainable Australian farming collapses.4 RIO+20
  7. 7. Food security: The food system concept Dr John Ingram NERC Food Security Leader and UK Global Food Security Programme Coordination Group University of Oxford, UK Professor Tim Benton Food Security Champion, UK Global Food Security Programme, University of Leeds, UK Food security occurs when “all people, at all times, have to combinations of stresses induced from changes in physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and these drivers. The ability to overcome these stresses, nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food and thereby enhance food security, would be increased preferences for an active and healthy life” (FAO World if policy and technical options were considered more Food Summit, 1996). Globally, food production has kept specifically at regional level, in addition to at local and ahead of demand for many years, yet about one billion global levels. This is however challenging, due to the people currently do not have access to sufficient calories; diversity of stakeholder groups operating at this level (e.g. a further billion do not have access to adequate nutrition. government and NGOs; researchers and research funders; This is due to a combination of biophysical, socioeconomic and business and civil society) all of whom have their own and political factors. New concepts, tools and methods objectives. Further, there are numerous interactions with are needed to understand, improve governance of, higher and lower levels on these scales, and insufficient and thereby better manage the complex interactions knowledge and awareness of actions taken at these other between these factors if such food insecurity is to be levels often leads to ‘scale challenges’. In particular, the overcome. This is especially the case at the regional (i.e. overall food system is linked, across scales, by many sub-continental) level, where many stakeholder groups different mechanisms. Thus agricultural management and actors are involved in setting policies and taking in one site can impact both locally and regionally (e.g. decisions that affect food security outcomes. However, the via downstream pollution, water extraction), contribute food security challenge is accentuated by the fact that, to overall GHGs emissions, with a longer-term global in many parts of the world, food production is brought consequence, or create perturbations acting through the about by environmentally unsustainable methodologies market that incentivise changes in management (with (including those that degrade soils, poorly manage water, other knock on consequences) elsewhere. pollute water courses and create new agricultural land by deforestation, leading to biodiversity loss and greenhouse Improved understanding of how food systems operate gas (GHG) emissions). Increasing global food production will help food security planning by identifying where, sustainably, while also increasing equitable access to when and how vulnerability arises; and hence what sorts food, is perhaps the biggest challenge of our times. of adaptation interventions are needed, and where and when they would be most effective. Understanding can be enhanced by integrating concepts from production ecology, agroecology and human ecology with concepts of food systems and scales, to develop the notion of ‘food system ecology’. For example, the increasing recognition that the environment provides services that are societally valuable (ecosystem services) needs to inform management decisions much more than it has before hand. Loss of a forest fragment in the tropics can impact on local livelihoods by impacting on availability ofpic: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center not only fuel and forage, but also pollination and natural pest control, local soil erosion and soil quality, local Food security is underpinned by food systems. The food rainfall and the emission of GHGs and loss of biodiversity, system concept – which integrates an understanding with the broad consequences these bring globally. of the activities of producing, distributing, trading and consuming food with the food security outcomes relating Thinking within the food system concept not only helps to access, availability and utilisation of food – provides a identify the many biophysical and socioeconomic robust framework for food policy research and planning. interactions across the range of activities, drivers and Effective food security policy agendas therefore need to scales that determine food security, but also provides a not only encompass all these activities and outcomes, but framework for addressing three key issues: increasing also note the range of biophysical, socioeconomic and the efficiency with which inputs to the food system are political food system drivers across and along spatial, temporal and jurisdictional scales. This is because food insecurity arises from the vulnerability of the food system food system governance. . used, enhancing sustainability in general, and enhancing 5 RIO+20
  8. 8. Vue du terrain Kantarama Césarie AN ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THIS ARTICLE IS GIVEN ON THE FACING PAGE. Femme rurale veuve et qualité de mon implication dans la communauté et la conduite de mon exploitation agricole. Le fait d’assurer agricultrice du RWANDA. la présidence de différentes associations m’a poussé à Mère et productrice, la femme faire de mon mieux pour servir de modèle. rurale est la clé de l’entretien C’est ainsi que je suis partie de l’agriculture de la famille, de la sécurité d’autosubsistance à celle qui me permet de bien nourrir mes enfants et génère un excédent grâce auquel je les alimentaire ainsi qu’au envoie à l’école, investis dans le développement de mon développement durable. exploitation, contribue à la vie de la communauté et arrive même à faire quelques économies. Elle joue un rôle sur toute la chaine de production agricole. Dans le même cadre , j’ai reçu un certificat de reconnaissance Malgré le rôle crucial qu’elle joue dans la société, c’est de mérite exceptionnel accordé par LA FONDATION DE LA elle qui est la plus pauvre, la plus vulnérable, la moins FAMMILLE TERRIENNE du Québec au Canada , en vertu dotée de capacités et de ressources qui lui permet de de mon engagement en agriculture, de mon rayonnement prévaloir ses droits et ses intérêts. familial, de ma compétence professionnelle , de mon souci du patrimoine et de mon sens social. Pour faire face à cette problématique, la femme rurale appuyée par la volonté politique des pays concernés et Référence à mon expérience: leurs acteurs de développement, a avancer à travers ses associations et coopératives et autres ….. à changer Pour la communauté internationale, appuyer la femme sa mentalité et sa façon de faire même si les progrès rurale est l’une des meilleures stratégies d’atteindre réalisés ne sont pas à la même échelle. rapidement le développement en général. Mon expérience m’a démontré que la réussite ne Pour mes sœurs, les femmes rurales, considérant les tient pas du hasard : ce n’est qu’à partir de 1995, retards que nous avons connu dans différents domaines, année marquant le début de mon adhésion à diverses il convient de nous regrouper en associations et organisations agricoles, que ma production s’est coopératives pour joindre nos efforts afin de pouvoir véritablement mise à augmenter. Mon secret étant établir des liens de collaboration avec d’autres acteurs l’amour de la terre et du travail, le courage et la de développement, ce qui nous permettra d’améliorer persévérance qui sont mes valeurs fondamentales ; d’avantage notre positionnement dans la chaine de valeur j’accorde beaucoup d’importance à la formation et je et d’accéder aux différents services sociaux et autres. m’intéresse à tout ce qui me permet d’améliorer la . LE MONDE EST AVEC CELUI QUI EST DEBOUT (proverbe Africain) pic: Adam Cohn pic: IRRI6 RIO+20
  9. 9. Views from the FieldCésarie Kantarama Ms Kantarama is a widowed woman That is how I made the transition from subsistence agriculture to a new way of farming, which allows me to and a smallholder farmer from feed my children properly, as well as generating a surplus Rwanda where she raises eight making it possible for my children to go to school, to invest in the development of my farm, and to contribute children, including 3 adopted. to the life of the community. Her thoughts are translated In this context, I have been given a certificate of recognition below from French. of exceptional merit from the Canadian FOUNDATION FOR THE EARTH FAMILY of Quebec in virtue of myBoth as mother and producer, a rural woman is the key commitment in farming, of my influence in my familyfor a good family life, food security and sustainable circle, of my professional skills, my care for our commondevelopment. She is active at all different stages in the heritage and my sense of duty.agricultural value/production chain. Despite the crucialrole she plays in society, rural women belong to thepoorest and most vulnerable section of society, with Referring to my own experience:the lowest level of capabilities and resources to defendtheir rights and interests. Supporting rural women should be properly recognised by the international community as one of the best strategiesTo address these challenges, rural women have been to rapidly reach broad development goals.supported by the political will of concerned countries andby actors of development organisations. They have made For my sisters and rural women counterparts, looking ata step forward, thanks to associations, cooperatives and the backwardness we have been experiencing in variousother initiatives, changing their thinking and their habits. domains, it is necessary to gather in associations andStill there is a long way to go to make progress for all. cooperatives to unite our efforts in order to consistently improve our position in the value-chain and to accessIn my case, progress started in 1995, when I became community care.member of my farmer organisation, and that is when myproduction really started to evolve. My secret is lovingthe land and working hard. Courage and perseveranceare my fundamental values. I care for education, training, (African proverb) . THE WORLD IS WITH THE ONE WHO STANDSanything that improves my contribution to the localcommunity and for my own farm. Serving as a Presidentfor several associations has led me to do my best and tobe seen as a role model. pic: John Kotsopoulos pic: David Bygott 7 RIO+20
  10. 10. Hope in new scientific insights to avoid global Allan Savory agricultural tragedy Savory Institute Approximately 18% of the world’s land is used for agriculture, agricultural methods which mimic nature, in the 1960s however 80% of this figure is accounted for by non-cropland military battlefield planning was adapted to help solve this agriculture. In many of Earth’s most troubled regions, countries complex biological equation. What emerged from these typically have only 1% to 5% cropland, with the rest being efforts was a system known as holistic planned grazing. home to once thriving pastoral people. Today holistic planned grazing is being practiced on over 20 Today global agriculture produces more eroding soil million hectares worldwide and represents perhaps the most than food. Agriculture has been the primary driver of powerful tool for reversing desertification at our disposal. all major man-made desertification and results in the burning of more than a billion hectares of grasslands The picture below is of a ranch in the Karroo Desert of each year in Africa alone. It also contributes to ever Africa. This desert was once a vast grassland supporting increasing droughts, floods, poverty, emigration, millions of antelope of many species. As these were violence, suffering and cultural genocide, which are exterminated and replaced with a far smaller number often wrongly attributed to climate change. of cattle and eventually sheep, desertification took hold. Yet in the 1970s a programme of planned grazing with When we weigh up the carbon emissions from expanding double the number of cattle was introduced, directly desertification, the destruction of soil and biological attempting to mimic previous natural conditions. After communities, the burning of biomass , as well as only a relatively short space of time, the grasslands at the destruction of tropical forests, it is clear that the this ranch - like thousands of others that have followed contribution of agriculture to climate change is equal to, the holistic planned grazing model - have been restored. or maybe more than, that of fossil fuels. Consequently, climate change is likely to continue in a post-fossil fuel world, unless we address desertification and unsustainable agriculture. Whether through using new technologies, burning, or land resting methods, conventional attempts to combat desertification -currently occurring on about two thirds of the Earth’s land – remain insufficient. No other ‘tool’ is considered and livestock are vilified almost as much as fossil fuels, for causing both land degradation and climate change. Seasonally humid grasslands and savannahs both develop over millennia, with vast herding herbivores, soils, plants and pack hunting predators collectively constituting Yet despite countless examples such as this, there complex yet stable natural ecosystems. However devoid remains an urgent need for public education if we are to of adequate disturbance from the hooves of herding end the vilification of the only method which can feasibly herbivores and the return of nutrients to the soil from address desertification’s role in poverty, migration and dying vegetation, land in these regions desertifies. The climate change. Soil scientists estimate that the world’s persistence of severe desertification on land managed grasslands alone can sequester the entire carbon legacy by the US National Parks service despite over 70 years load. Perhaps more importantly, however, this can be done of research with no livestock and vast sums spent on without the unintended consequences that almost always technological interventions are testament to this reality. follow technological solutions to nature’s complexity. Desertification cannot be reversed by technological Yet today most large wild herbivores have been innovation or other orthodox more methods, yet the Rio+20 exterminated, leaving livestock as the only viable process has so far failed to both adequately consider the mechanism to perform this function. Thousands of years full implications of continued land degradation, as well the of conventional herding has led to creation of the great most effective solution to this problem. Without injecting man made deserts we possess today. This has been new scientific insights such as the holistic planned grazing greatly accelerated by one hundred years of modern crop model into the international consciousness, business as rotation and the widespread use of agricultural fencing. To change such deeply embedded practices to create . usual will prevail and we will journey ever closer to a global tragedy beyond imagination.8 RIO+20
  11. 11. The Female Face of FarmingRobynne AndersonMain Representative to UN, World Farmers OrganisationAs the Rio+20 negotiations progress, the contributions Improving access to secure land tenure should be a veryand challenges faced by one half of the world’s population first step. Without secure access, women face ongoingremain largely ignored and underrepresented. Most of instability, are vulnerable to changes in their familythe world’s poor live in rural areas and are particularly situations, and lack the kind of guarantee needed to accessvulnerable to food insecurity. Half of that population – financial services. The Committee on Food Security justwomen – faces additional vulnerabilities and constraints, finalised its Voluntary Guidelines on Governance of Tenurebut also constitutes the backbone of communities’ of Land and these should form the basis of a proactivelivelihoods, well-being and food security. commitment from governments in Rio to address the glaring inequalities that exist in this area.Given the critical role women play in the life of ruralcommunities and economies, and the persistent Access to resources, such as land, needs to be supportedchallenges and inequalities they face in performing those by knowledge and access to information. Extensionroles, it is critical that the outcomes of the Rio+20 reaffirm services worldwide have suffered from declining publicthe importance of their functions and contribution and financial support – this trend needs to be reversedundertake concrete actions to increase the empowerment and specific attention needs to be paid to shaping andand capacity of rural women. creating extension services and other knowledge sharing and information systems that meet the needs of womenWomen account for 60% to 80% of smallholder farmers and to which they can easily have access. Decisionand produce 90% of food in Africa and about half of all makers in Rio should commit to increasing support forfood worldwide. Yet in sub-Saharan Africa, only 15% of extensions services and, building on new communicationlandholders are women and they receive less than 10% of technologies, support the creation of information-sharingcredit and 7% of extension services. systems that empower women and give them access to markets, price information and agronomic knowledge.Inequalities go beyond access to resources and the sharingof household tasks and caring activities. Women tend to Women also need access to the support services that can helpbe employed for labour-intensive tasks, generally earn them be leaders for their communities and mitigate risks.lower wages than men and are more likely to be paid at Improving access to financial services, in particular credit andpiece rate. For example, in the casual agricultural labour insurance, as well as creating supportive structures such asmarket in Africa, womens casual wages (whether in cash cooperatives and leadership training, should be key elementsor in kind) are usually half of mens wages. of governments’ commitments to closing the gender gap in rural areas and truly empowering women.Yet, women are key to food and nutrition securityand sustainable development. Estimates suggest Rio+20 is an opportunity that should not be missed.that policies that address gender inequalities could, Empowering and investing in rural women makes sense,conservatively, increase yields on women’s farms by 2.5% not only for women, but for everyone.to 4%. This additional yield could reduce the number ofundernourished people in the world by 100-150 million. Areas where we need to empower women smallholder farmers: • GrowingRio+20 aims at closing implementation gaps and providingnew impetus towards sustainable development. To do • Marketingso, closing the gender gaps and addressing inequalities • Adaptingshould be the very first priority for governments. We need • Caringto empower rural women through policies that help them • Connectingin growing food, marketing their produce, adapting to achanging climate, but also that support their caring activities • Leadingand enable them to connect and lead their communities.Among the priorities for Rio+20 for rural women, there MORE INFO www.worldfarmersorganisation.com .are a number where concrete commitments can be madein June and where there exists strong evidence of the www.worldfarmersorganisation.com/img/user/file/Rural Womenpositive impacts these actions could have. Submission by World Farmers.pdf 9 RIO+20
  12. 12. Disappearing bees, bumblebees and biodiversity: Sharifin Gardiner A cautionary tale Although the number of cultivated honeybees is growing USA and Canada found 121 pesticides in 887 samples. A worldwide, there has been an alarming decline in North cocktail of pesticides increases the toxic effect by a factor America and Europe, labelled as Colony Collapse Disorder of 10 to 100 or more. Bees are harvesting pollen, laced (CCD), prompting much publicity and research. In the USA with lethal poison and feeding it to their young, making alone, bumblebee numbers have declined by 96% and their the honey we eat also contaminated, unless it comes from range has shunk by up to 87%. This mirrors the collapse a pesticide free source. of insect and wild plant populations in these countries, and impacts on the native plants which they used to pollinate, Crop monocultures and GM crops lead to malnutrition which is an example of ‘the 6th Great Extinction’, as the enormous loss of natural ecosystems continues worldwide. Large areas of country in the Americas and in parts of Europe are planted almost exclusively a very small range While staple, starchy foods are not pollinated by bees, about of crops or with monocultures, which exclude biodiversity one third of our food, particularly high value foods, come and deprive bees of a range of plants from which they from dicotyledons: vegetables, fruit and nuts which are can collect pollen. This leads to malnutrition or starvation. pollinated by honeybees and bumblebees. Their unit value Some beekeepers even give bees supplementary food in is about five times that of staple crops. Bees’ contribution the winter. The use of high fructose corn syrup derived to the production of crops globally has been estimated at from GM corn, contaminated by pesticides or modified between €22 and €57 billion per year, over $20 billion in with Bt toxin for pest resistance may weaken bees’ the USA alone. Soybeans, squashes and other food crops resistance to pests and diseases. and can be self-pollinated, but pollination by bees and bumblebees increases production substantially. Control of pests and pathogens. Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and its effects Verroa destructor or ‘Vampire’ mites are a major pest which suck the blood and weaken bees’ immune systems. The decline of cultivated and wild honeybees in the They also spread viruses. The use of chemicals to control USA became critical in 2006. Each spring, commercial mites quickly leads to the development of resistance, and beekeepers from all over the USA bring bees to pollinate commercial beekeepers are put onto a treadmill of using the almond orchards in California. By February 2007, more and more different chemicals. migratory beekeepers were reporting losses of 30% to 90% of their colonies. In 2008-09, average losses were When fungi and virus are present together toxicity is 23% and in 2009-10 losses rose to 42%. Production in multiplied and rapid collapse is likely. A study of US the US has fallen from a peak of nearly 200 million lbs in apiaries identified a virus’ presence together with the micro 2003, to an estimated 150-160 million lbs in 2011. This fungi Nosema in many collapsed colonies. This co-infection is attributed to CCD, the conversion of forage crops to is a probable cause of bee losses in US and elsewhere. cash crops, and urbanisation. In recent years, wet weather in the West and droughts in the South has also hampered production. Competition from imports from countries Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) with lower labour costs has also been a factor. This has caused great concern in the USA, where bee pollination It has been suspected that mobile phones and has been estimated to be worth $20 billion. communications masts may have negative effects on bees. A number of studies show that EMR could also be a Some possible causes of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) contributing factor to CDD, but further research is needed. are given below: Pollution Pesticides Pollutants that affect the chemicals used by flowers to The wide use of pesticides contaminates the environment, attract insects destroy the scent trails that bees use. In some places, scents that could travel over 800m in the . and bees have their immune systems damaged by pesticide residues in pollen and nectar. In 2005, a study 1800s now reach less than 200m, reducing bees’ ability found 66 pesticides in one hive. Recent research in the to locate their food.10 RIO+20
  13. 13. Business Leaders support a bold outcome oncorporate sustainability reporting at Rio+20Yesterday, at the annual meeting of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) in Montreux, Switzerland, theWBCSD and the Global Reporting Initiative launched a letter inviting business leaders to call upon governments to agree to set up aglobal policy framework on corporate sustainability reporting, as an outcome of Rio+20. The letter (below) sends a clear message thatan important and forward looking group from the business community supports clear policy frameworks that would enable companiesto better deliver sustainable development outcomes. Business Leaders Call upon Governments to include explicit sustainability reporting requirements in the outcome document of Rio+20We, business leaders from around the world, urge governments to commit to concrete action at Rio+20 to create enabling conditionsfor business to accelerate sustainability, in particular by requiring all companies to start measuring and reporting sustainabilityperformance and impacts.Recalling the key importance attached to the role of business in the change towards a Green Economy, and that sustainability actionsare necessary for the long-term viability of national economies, society, and the environment; a global framework for sustainabilityreporting has been developed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) with business, civil society and organizations such as the WorldBusiness Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), UNGC, UNEP and OECD; and that WBCSD, UNGC, the International IntegratedReporting Council (IIRC) and others have developed numerous tools to help business move toward a sustainable economy, usingsuccessful and profitable business models;Recognizing that there is evidence that sustainability reporting drives the improved focus of companies; and that sustainabilityreporting can help governments, civil society and responsible investors assess and monitor the contribution by business to sustainabledevelopment and the green economy; and that sustainability reporting is an essential contributor to adequate risk analyses, impactassessments and investment decisions by the financial sector. In spite of these important benefits, thousands of companies have notyet embarked upon this practice which leads to the conclusion that the current voluntary transition to sustainability reporting is tooslow to meet future challenges;Recognizing that governments play a key role in ensuring that all businesses play their part; and that paragraph 24 of the Zero DraftDocument could be strengthened by requiring companies to report their sustainability following internationally recognized standardsor explain why if they do not. Making sustainability reporting the expected practice would increase the number of reporting companies,enhance the volume and quality of data available, raise awareness about sustainability issues among investors and the public; andbuilding on other calls such as the March 2012 Letter of the WBCSD and IUCN to heads of delegation and the investor led CorporateSustainability Reporting Coalition, convened by Aviva Investors;We call upon and urge heads of delegations, ministers and heads of state to: • Recognize the need to strengthen paragraph 24 of the Zero Draft Document by including the explicit requirement for all listed and large (public and private) companies to report their sustainability performance through sustainability reporting on a report or explain basis. If sustainable development is to be reached, the time has now come for sustainability reporting to become standard practice. • Give a mandate to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to develop a process and a timeframe to establish this global policy framework, and report back at the next session of the Assembly General. • Encourage small and medium sized companies (SMEs) to further engage in sustainability reporting, because it is good for business, society and the environment.Please send your name, the name of your company and country to reportorexplain@globalreporting.org or reporting@wbcsd.org Spring 2012 Geneva – Amsterdam 11 RIO+20
  14. 14. Cities and Regions together towards Rio+20 Natalène Poisson UCLG On 23rd April, a High-level Local and Regional Authorities’ delegation presented eight recommendations to the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, to achieve sustainable cities and regions. United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) and UN- Mr. Kadir Topbas, Mayor of Istanbul and UCLG President, Habitat, with the support of Cities Alliance, gathered affirmed that local and regional governance should be local and subnational government leaders, and their main clearly included in the international institutional framework worldwide networks, together at a meeting in New York, of Rio+20. The UCLG President also stated that Rio+20 where they presented their key messages towards Rio+20 should set the ground for the Habitat III Conference and to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, United that a clear role should be devoted to local and regional Nations officials and representatives of national delegations. authorities in the Post 2015 development agenda. Local and regional authorities engaged in a dialogue with the The Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Group of Friends of Sustainable Cities on how to ensure that and Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Dr. Joan Clos, the views of local and sub-national governments are included. emphasised the importance of urbanisation as a key to sustainable cities. “Nowadays, more than half of the Local and regional leaders presented the joint Messages population is living in urban areas and we are living a of Local and Sub-national Governments, signed by UCLG, unique phenomenon of urban population increase. We call ICLEI, C40 Cities, nrg4SD, FOGAR: Eight recommendations to prioritise sustainable urban development through good put forward with the support of UN-Habitat to reach urban design, urban legislation, economy and governance a sustainable urbanisiation, metropolisation and to face the challenges of the 21st Century”. regionalisation. The agreement emphasises urbanisation as a driver for economic world growth and development. Local and regional leaders from all continents attended Local and Regional governments highlight that it is in the the High-Level segment, including the President of UCLG cities around the world that the pressures of globalisation, and Mayor of Istanbul (Turkey), Mayor of Lisbon (Portugal) migration, social inequality, environmental pollution, climate and UCLG Co-President, Mayor of Kazan (Russia) and change and youth unemployment are most directly felt. UCLG Co-President, Mayor of Montreal (Canada) and UCLG Vice-President, the President of the Azuay Province But on the other hand, urban areas have for centuries been (Ecuador) and Vice President of FOGAR, the Ministry cradles of innovation and currently produce over 75% of the of Territory and Sustainability of the Catalonia Region world’s GDP In this regard, cities and regions stress the need . (Spain) and Co-Chair of nrg4SD, as well as Councillor of of achieving cities that are environmentally sustainable, Vancouver (Canada) and President of ICLEI. socially responsible and economically productive. Participants acknowledged the need to go beyond the clusters In the opening address of the meeting, the Secretary- and sectoral approaches on sustainability, and called for General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon said to humanising the debate and for an integrated framework to local and regional authorities, “your support has never assess sustainable development, as regards basic services, been more crucial to delivering practical results that territorial cohesion, social inclusion and equity, culture will defeat poverty, protect the natural environment and and resilience. They have emphasised the need for a more improve disaster risk reduction”. inclusive, multi-level and multi-actor governance and strong need to rethink the governance of sustainable development that is not limited to the inter-governmental level but include the local and subnational levels. The session provided the opportunity to start examining the road from Rio+20 to the Third United Nations Conference . on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, the Habitat III Conference, to be held in 2016.12 RIO+20
  15. 15. Rio+20 Side Event CalendarDate Time Room Title Organisers Building a good foundation: Developing the post-2015 development framework – 1:15-2:45 A WWF-UK what role for Sustainable Development Goals? Rio+20: Towards sustainable agriculture and a world free of hunger - An interactive 25 April 2012 1:15-2:45 7 dialogue with the Rome-based Agencies and the Committee on World Food Security Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) (CFS) Sustainable Mobility on the Road to Rio+20: Priorities and Actions across Major 1:15-2:45 4 Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) Groups United Nations Environment Programme- Division of Technology, Industry 6:15-7:45 7 Resource Efficient Cities as drivers of change and Economics (UNEP-DTIE) 1:15-2:45 4 The Future We Want for Rio+20 on Oceans and Seas UN DPI 26 April 2012 Governments of Slovenia, Costa Rica, Cape Verde, Iceland, Singapore, UAE 1:15-2:45 A Global outlook and local action: water and energy for sustainable development (the Green Group) Blue Carbon as a Tool to Mitigate Climate Change and Preserve Key Marine and 6:15-7:45 7 UNESCO, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) Coastal Ecosystems The State of the World Environment told by UNEP’s GEO-5 report and Global 1:15-2:45 7 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) 27 April 2012 Solutions for Sustainability 1:15-2:45 A Rights at Risk: Decoding the Green Economy France Libertes Foundation Danielle Mitterrand 1:15-2:45 4 Planet Under pressure ICSU-UNESCO-IGBP 1:15-2:45 B The Power of One Child – Global Action Classroom Earth Child Institute 30 April 2012 Advancing the Sustainability Science Agenda: To Support Sustainable Development 1:15-2:45 7 Chief Scientists Office, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Green Economy 1:15-2:45 3 From Harmful Subsidies to Safe Subsidies Greenpeace International 6:15-7:45 B New York + 20: Youth led action for sustainable development Columbia University Coalition for Sustainable Development 1:15-2:45 7 Moving Towards Meaningful Private Sector Contribution to Sustainable Development Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future 01 May 2012 Taking Natural Capital into account: how can SDG’s, Green Economy Roadmaps 1:15-2:45 B and National Sustainability Plans properly maintain and value the Earth’s Natural BioRegional Development Group Capital as part of a post-Rio+20 framework 1:15-2:45 3 People and the Planet: The priorities for Rio+20 The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) The role of renewable and clean energy in promoting green economy in the context 1:15-2:45 7 UN-OHRLLS of poverty eradication and sustainable development in LDCs, LLDCs, and SIDS 02 May 2012 The Business Case for Sustainable Development - Realizing Inclusive and Green 1:15-2:45 3 Growth: Recommendations from the UN-Rio+20 Business and Industry Consultation Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN and Government and Civil Society 1:15-2:45 B Ocean Acidification and Sustainable Development: A Growing Challenge Permanent Mission of Monaco to the United Nations Towards an Inclusive Green Economy - A think exchange at the second round of 1:15-2:45 7 Federal Ministry for the Environment, Germany03 May informal-informal negotiations on the zero draft 2012 1:15-2:45 3 Natural Wealth Accounting World Bank 1:15-2:45 3 Creating a sustainable economy: top down and bottom up Institute for Plenary Synthesis and Commons Action for the UN04 May 2012 1:15-2:45 7 UN-Water Report on Water Resources Management for Rio+20 Summit UN WATER, UNEP 13 RIO+20
  16. 16. Reflections on the negotiations - Tuesday, 24th AprilEmma Puka-Beals Shoya HiroseMount Holyoke College Climate Youth JapanTuesday morning’s plenary on sections III and V focused on food I would like to make a comment from a climate change viewpoint,security. The G77+China moved to retain some of its previously being my area of expertise. I was present during negotiations onproposed text, but in a change from Monday’s plenary, sections I, II and IV – a rather long session. Hearing the effortsnegotiated primarily on the basis of Co-Chairs’ Streamlined made by the delegates, I had the impression that the topic ofText paragraphs. Delegates disagreed on whether food security IFSD is too broad, although I am very aware of its importance – ashould be articulated as a right or a goal. There was a push framework which covers all three interconnected dimensions ofto include fisheries throughout the text on agriculture, and to sustainable development is the only way to combat urgent globalinclude ‘science-based’ as a qualifier for agricultural methods. issues like climate change. From a climate change perspective, ISeveral developed countries moved to delete references believe the Rio+20 negotiations will have a direct impact on thespecifically to developing countries, as well as to small-scale UNFCCC process, especially when it comes to 1) creating a newfarmers, arguing that a movement towards sustainable food framework beyond 2013, and 2) financial resources that wereproduction should engage and benefit everyone. Delegates pledged at COP15 and COP16 but have not yet led to concretedisagreed on re-evaluating existing trade regulations, and actions. The outcomes from Rio+20 will hopefully have a positivetaking steps to enhance access to agricultural markets was impact on COP18. However, due to the fact that governments arecontroversial. There was a strong push to replace ‘indigenous now investing so much time in addressing the economic crisis,communities’ with ‘indigenous peoples’ throughout the section. reaching an ambitious agreement may be difficult. Nonetheless,As text was negotiated, delegates were able to reach an I strongly believe in the power of people to bring about changeagreement which allowed the Secretariat to delete the majority ofnon-CST paragraphs. Delegates appeared to exercise restraint inretaining old text, which significantly streamlined the document continue working for the future we want! . and progress, which always gives me confidence and courage to .and allowed delegates to focus on the alternative text that wasconsidered most important by those who had proposed it. pic: Roel GroeneveldOutreach is made possible by the support of