The 2012 Earth Summit has come to a close. This campaign lives on.
Its chapter on “Food security and nutrition and sustainable agriculture” lists what needs to happen but fails to define “sustainable agriculture”, and doesn’t include any sort of commitment with regard to agricultural policies:
Food security and nutrition and sustainable agriculture
108. We reaffirm our commitments regarding the right of everyone to have access
to safe, sufficient and nutritious food, consistent with the right to adequate food and
the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger. We acknowledge that
food security and nutrition has become a pressing global challenge and, in this
regard, we further reaffirm our commitment to enhancing food security and access
to adequate, safe and nutritious food for present and future generations in line with
the Five Rome Principles for Sustainable Global Food Security adopted in 2009,
including for children under two, and through, as appropriate, national, regional and
global food security and nutrition strategies.
109. We recognize that a significant portion of the world’s poor live in rural areas,
and that rural communities play an important role in the economic development of
many countries. We emphasize the need to revitalize the agricultural and rural
development sectors, notably in developing countries, in an economically, socially
and environmentally sustainable manner. We recognize the importance of taking the
necessary actions to better address the needs of rural communities through, inter
alia, enhancing access by agricultural producers, in particular small producers,
women, indigenous peoples and people living in vulnerable situations, to credit and
other financial services, markets, secure land tenure, health care, social services,
education, training, knowledge and appropriate and affordable technologies,
including for efficient irrigation, reuse of treated wastewater and water harvesting
and storage. We reiterate the importance of empowering rural women as critical
agents for enhancing agricultural and rural development and food security and
nutrition. We also recognize the importance of traditional sustainable agricultural
practices, including traditional seed supply systems, including for many indigenous
peoples and local communities.
110. Noting the diversity of agricultural conditions and systems, we resolve to
increase sustainable agricultural production and productivity globally, including
through improving the functioning of markets and trading systems and strengthening
international cooperation, particularly for developing countries, by increasing public
and private investment in sustainable agriculture, land management and rural
development. Key areas for investment and support include sustainable agricultural
practices; rural infrastructure, storage capacities and related technologies; research
and development on sustainable agricultural technologies; developing strong
agricultural cooperatives and value chains; and strengthening urban-rural linkages.
We also recognize the need to significantly reduce post-harvest and other food
losses and waste throughout the food supply chain.
111. We reaffirm the necessity to promote, enhance and support more sustainable
agriculture, including crops, livestock, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture, that
improves food security, eradicates hunger and is economically viable, while
conserving land, water, plant and animal genetic resources, biodiversity and
ecosystems and enhancing resilience to climate change and natural disasters. We
also recognize the need to maintain natural ecological processes that support food
112. We stress the need to enhance sustainable livestock production systems,
including through improving pasture land and irrigation schemes in line with
national policies, legislation, rules and regulations, enhanced sustainable water
management systems, and efforts to eradicate and prevent the spread of animal
diseases, recognizing that the livelihoods of farmers, including pastoralists, and the
health of livestock are intertwined.
113. We also stress the crucial role of healthy marine ecosystems, sustainable
fisheries and sustainable aquaculture for food security and nutrition and in providing
for the livelihoods of millions of people.
114. We resolve to take action to enhance agricultural research, extension services,
training and education to improve agricultural productivity and sustainability
through the voluntary sharing of knowledge and good practices. We further resolve
to improve access to information, technical knowledge and know-how, including
through new information and communications technologies that empower farmers,
fisherfolk and foresters to choose among diverse methods of achieving sustainable
agricultural production. We call for the strengthening of international cooperation on
agricultural research for development.
115. We reaffirm the important work and inclusive nature of the Committee on
World Food Security, including through its role in facilitating country-initiated
assessments on sustainable food production and food security, and we encourage
countries to give due consideration to implementing the Committee on World Food
Security Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land,
Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security. We take note of the
ongoing discussions on responsible agricultural investment in the framework of the
Committee on World Food Security, as well as the principles for responsible
116. We stress the need to address the root causes of excessive food price volatility,
including its structural causes, at all levels, and the need to manage the risks linked
to high and excessively volatile prices in agricultural commodities and their
consequences for global food security and nutrition, as well as for smallholder
farmers and poor urban dwellers.
117. We underline the importance of timely, accurate and transparent information in
helping to address excessive food price volatility, and in this regard take note of the
Agricultural Market Information System hosted by the Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and urge the participating international
organizations, private sector actors and Governments to ensure the public
dissemination of timely and quality food market information products.
118. We reaffirm that a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and
equitable multilateral trading system will promote agricultural and rural
development in developing countries and contribute to world food security. We urge
national, regional and international strategies to promote the participation of
farmers, especially smallholder farmers, including women, in community, domestic,
regional and international markets.
More than ever, now is the time to hold the feet of policy makers to the fire. We have gathered thousands of signatures in the US thanks to Change.org, Care2.com and our partner SlowFood USA. The European campaign has rallied a dozen organizations.
We rely on you to help us keep this campaign alive, and to grow the movement. As Rio+20 has demonstrated, fertile ground for change is to be found in the energy and resources of civil society.
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