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Newsletter of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development16 January 2012, Volume 3, Issue 1                  ...
Major Groups Corner: Participatory Extension Services, Please                                          A First Look at the...
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Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) Rio+20: Making it Happen, Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2012


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In our efforts to raise awareness around the themes of sustainable development, we devote this special issue to Food Security, one of the seven critical issues of Rio+20. inside this issue - Food Security - Zero Draft [page 1] - Major Groups Corner - Spotlight on UN System - Important Events [page 2]

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Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) Rio+20: Making it Happen, Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2012

  1. 1. Newsletter of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development16 January 2012, Volume 3, Issue 1 Rio+20: Rethinking Food In our efforts to raise awareness Food security exists when all people, around the themes of sustainable at all times, are able to have physical development, we devote this and economic access to sufficient, safe special issue to Food Security, and nutritious food that meets their one of the seven critical issues dietary needs and food preferences of Rio+20. for an active and healthy life. Food security covers availability, access, utilization and stability issues, and — through its focus on individuals — also inside this issue embraces their energy, protein and - Food Security nutrient needs for activity, pregnancy, - Zero Draft growth and long-term capabilities. [page 1] It is becoming increasingly clear that the food and sustainable agriculture sectors will be critical to greening the global economy. Agriculture and food production constitutes the single largest - Major Groups Corner economic sector in the world, using around 60 per cent of the world’s ecosystems and providing - Spotlight on UN System livelihoods for 40 per cent of the global population. In addition, agriculture is the largest source of - Important Events income and jobs for poor rural households and often represents their surest path out of poverty. [page 2] Food security is an issue that impacts all three pillars of sustainability. Given that the United Nations recognizes adequate access to food as a basic human right, sustainable agriculture and poverty eradication are not only economic and environmental issues, but human rights issues as well. Food security and sustainable agriculture will remain at the forefront of the global conversation at Rio+20 in June as a means to mainstreaming sustainable development. In addition, progress on the existing framework of Millennium Development Goals will be highlighted at Rio+20, as well as plans for future progress on Sustainable Development Goals to be elaborated in the official Conference outcome. In preparation for Rio+20, the UNCSD Secretariat was pleased to release a Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture Issues Brief last month. The Brief provides an overview of existing commitments, current initiatives and future goals relating to global food security. For more information or to view the Issues Briefs, visit the official Rio+20 website. Follow Rio+20 On 10 January, the Visit us on Facebook and Twitter Co-Chairs of the UNCSD Bureau made public the zero draft of the Rio+20 outcome document, Contact us representing a milestone in the preparatory process led by Member States with engagement from Major Quote Groups, UN system partners and other stakeholders. At“ Don’t own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your the second meeting of the Preparatory Committee for UNCSD, the Bureau announced its intention to share a zero draft with Member States in ” house catch fire. January 2012. Prepared by the Co-Chairs of the UNCSD Bureau, the text offers a basis for further negotiations by delegations during the forthcoming series of informal meetings taking place at - Wendell Berry UN Headquarters. The text contains five sections framing the theme and objectives of Rio+20 as Farming: A Hand Book outlined in General Assembly resolution A/RES/64/236, and proposes further elaboration on the seven emerging challenges. 1
  2. 2. Major Groups Corner: Participatory Extension Services, Please A First Look at the Zero DraftIn its appeal to the Rio+20 preparatory process, the Major Group for Farmers highlighted the From 25 to 27 January, Member Statesurgent need for a more knowledge-based approach to agriculture, particularly through the will hold initial discussions on the zerocreation of modern extension services for women and the rural poor. draft of the Rio+20 outcome document“Women account for 60 to 80% of peasant growers and produce 90% of food in Africa and at UN Headquarters in New York.about half of all food worldwide. Yet in sub-Saharan Africa, only 15% of landholders are This informal meeting will be held inwomen and they receive less than 10% of credit and 7% of extension services” said the position the ECOSOC Chamber of the Temporarypaper submitted to the Rio+20 compilation document, which was invited by Member States to North Lawn Building, and Conferenceserve as the basis for a zero draft of the official Conference outcome document. Room 3 will be reserved for overflowExtension services for farmers would develop capacity for two-way information sharing and viewing.provide platforms for greater interface between the scientific and research community and The Provisional Organization of Work issmallholder food producers. Likewise, opportunities for youth to seek training and employ- now available online here.ment in the agricultural sector could address the persistent challenge of retaining youngpeople to farming and the agricultural sciences. See more online here. Upcoming Events The Other 7 Billion Int’l Scientific Symposium on Food CodeSustainable would like to challenge you to make the and Nutrition Security Information world a more sustainable place. A concept engineered by 17 - 19 January 2012this small but socially-conscious game design firm, players will be invited to compete online Rome, Italyby managing restricted resources across social, environmental and economic sectors while [more information]considering their interdependencies. Visit them online here.UN System Responds to the Food Crisis TEDxManhattan: Changing the Way We EatDespite a 2 per cent decline in world food prices in December 2011, global food security 21 January 2012remains highly unstable heading into 2012. Nevertheless, 2011 saw the highest yearly average New York, United Statesfor food prices since the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) introduced the Food Price [more information]Index in 1990. The 2011 yearly average was nearly 15 per cent higher than the previous yearlyhigh recorded during the 2008 world food price crisis, largely due to a year of unpredictable Capacity Building Workshop forand extreme weather patterns and disasters along with lingering uncertainty regarding the Major Groups and Other Stakeholdersstate of the global economy. 24 January 2012Within the objective of New York, United Stateseradicating poverty, Rio+20 [more information]will aim to place rising foodprices high on the agenda Global Civil Society Workshopfor world leaders in June. 24 January 2012The Secretary-General New York, United Statesappointed a High-Level [more information]Task Force on the GlobalFood Security Crisis to La Responsabilité sociétaleensure that the UN system, et ISO 26000international financial 6 - 7 February 2012institutions and the WTO Geneva, Switzerlandare working in synergy to [more information]address food security issues around the world and support Member States and regional bodieswith capacity to identify and take action on the root causes of food insecurity. The High-Level Concertation surTask Force will work closely with the Rio+20 Secretariat to outline key issues and goals relating to « la transition énergétique»food security, land degradation and sustainable agriculture ahead of the Rio+20 Conference. 6 - 7 February 2012In an effort to develop communities that are more resilient to climate change and natural Lyon, Francedisasters with respect to food security, the World Food Program (WFP) has recently partnered [more information]with Oxfam America through the R4 Rural Resilience Initiative. This initiative unites the global reach of WFP with the innovative riskmanagement framework of Oxfam to enable thousands of poor farmers and food-insecure households to strengthen their food andincome security in the face of a changing climate, through a number of different initiatives and programs.In the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, WFP provided emergency food assistance to some four million Haitians. WFP efforts inHaiti created over 200,000 temporary jobs while stimulating the Haitian economy and improved food security for over one million people.However, progress has since slowed and WFP still provides food assistance to nearly 1.5 million Haitians each month.Ten years after the 2002 International Scientific Symposium on the Measurement of Food Deprivation and Undernutrition, a new FAOsymposium will once again convene world leaders in Rome from 17 to 19 January to examine emerging trends in food security andstrategies for addressing these food security issues, while reaffirming commitment to the Rome Declaration drafted during the WorldFood Summit in 1996. The outcome of this symposium will likely have a impact on sustainable development commitments pledged in 2Rio de Janeiro this June.