Posts filed under ‘RIO+20’

Frustration in the air by Rio+20 Youth

The second day of Rio+20 is about to finish, with youth demanding their voices to be heard. There is widespread frustration in the air, as the negotiating text on The Future We Want fails to set the base for the concrete actions it has promised. Youth, joined by NGO and indigenous people representatives have been protesting for at least 3 hours this afternoon, while world leaders were discussing in the Plenary.

Watch Cam Fenton from the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition shaming world leaders and 11-year-old Ta’Kaiya Blaney of the Sillamon nation calling on the Earth Revolution.

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June 21, 2012 at 10:56 pm Leave a comment

David Suzuki: why use nuclear power to boil water?

There is a person that has long pioneered the idea that solutions are in our nature. And he does great in explaining the complexities of the natural world in a compelling, easily understood way. I was around in the talk of Dr. David Suzuki from the David Suzuki Foundation at Rio+20. In this short video, Dr. Suzuki makes a point why nuclear energy is a non-sense.

For more than 30 years, David Suzuki has been the voice for nature in Canada. Born in Vancouver, he was sent to a Japanese internment camp with his family at the age of six, during the Second World War. After the war, Suzuki moved to Ontario, growing up with a passion for nature. This led him to earn a PhD in Zoology from the University of Chicago. Next, he moved back to Canada and started teaching at the University of British Columbia. He also started appearing on television to gain public support for science. By 1971, he had his own show right here. He’s also authored 43 books, with his latest one called “David Suzuki’s Green Guide”, a “how-to” guide to being a green citizen.

Watch the video here.

June 21, 2012 at 7:39 pm Leave a comment

Hans Herren: In Agriculture, Business as usual is not an option

I met with Dr. Hans Herren at Rio+20, to talk about IAASTD and the way forward. The 1995 World Food Prize Winner didn’t mince his words. “It will take more than just words to change the system”, he told me. According to him, food consumption is the key towards the effective transformation of food production and distribution.

How? By pricing food according to its true cost and value, and by informing consumers of what’s in the food they buy through correct labeling. In other words: ending subsidies to commodity crops, factoring the environmental, social and public health costs of industrial food production into the price tag of food items and labeling GMOs are the name of the game! Watch the video here.

June 21, 2012 at 7:14 pm Leave a comment

Delegates at Rio+20 Have Reached an Agreement

Negotiators and delegates at Rio+20 have reached an agreement and released the final document which is to be approved by world leaders starting 20th June 2012. The document calls for “urgent action with regards to sustainable production and consumption.” Nonetheless, no, specific details or time frame has been given for the implementation of this agreement.

With regards to agriculture, the document has recognized the role of traditional sustainable agriculture practices including traditional seed systems for local communities as well as the role of women in the advancement of sustainable agriculture. In this regard, if the agreement is successfully implemented, the world will have made a giant step towards ecological and social intensification on agriculture.

The delegates have also recommended that action be taken, to improve agricultural research, extension, training and education with an aim to improve productivity and sustainability.  Let’s hope that the momentum of the draft of the paper will still be present in some weeks! and that it will reach politicians especially in Europe and the US who have not even signed the IAASTD (International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development).Want to learn more about the agreement? Go to http://www.uncsd2012.org/content/documents/727The%20Future%20We%20Want%2019%20June%201230pm.pdf

June 20, 2012 at 11:00 pm Leave a comment

Youth are beating the drum at the Peoples Summit

There is a huge distance separating the Peoples Summit and the Riocentro convention center where world leaders are meeting for Rio+20. And this distance is not only in terms of kilometers, but also political. Parallel to the high level negotiations, the Peoples Summit hosted an array of events in a more informal setting. Some claim that the actual solutions are being formed there, through day-to-day interactions by members of the civil society.

Several demonstrations also took place throughout the city and the Peoples Summit. The protagonists are the youth, full in their colour, enthusiasm, creativity and brio. Beating the drum for positive changes towards to a greener, more just, happier world.

Watch the video here.

June 20, 2012 at 12:26 pm Leave a comment

Vandana Shiva: Earth Democracy

The organic movement is in Rio+20 with a very concrete agenda: to mainstream organic agriculture at all levels. Among them is Dr. Vandana Shiva, who has been fighting for biodiversity and small farmers’ right or the past four decades.

Founder of the Navdanya movement in India, Shiva is one of the deepest thinkers of our times, with exceptional abilities of eloquence and reflection, which make her one of the strong assets of the organic movement. I have followed Dr. Shiva for a day in her busy schedule in Rio+20 and captured on video her insights on the food system, the current economic crisis, youth and poverty.

Watch the video interview here.

June 20, 2012 at 11:32 am Leave a comment

How Can we Feed the 9 Billion?

Vandana Shiva at the Event

As you may have heard the world’s population is expected to increase to 9 billion by 2050.  This hás brought about a lot of debate regarding how the world can achieve food security for all its 9 billion citizens by 2050.  On Monday, June 18th 2012, IFOAM held a learning event at the Agriculture and Rural Development Day in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. The event focused mainly on achieving affordable, accessible, inclusive and resilient food and farming systems through Ecological and social intensification.

Among the panelists were Vandana Shiva (NAVDANYA India), Sue Edwards (Institute for Sustainable Development, Ethiopia), Andre Leu, President of IFOAM, Hans Herren of Biovision and Laercio Meirelles (Ecovida Association, Brazil).

In this event, ecological and social intensification of agriculture was presented as the solution to food insecurity now and in the future. Normally, when we think of agricultural intensification, we think of increasing chemical and technological inputs. However we should be looking at ecological intensification or rather biodiversity intensification: This basically refers to the diversification of farm systems with regards to crop varieties, animals, trees etc. Food security cannot be achieved through monoculture and thus farmers must diversify their farms. “Chemical and technological intensification of agriculture will never be sustainable,” says Vandana Shiva.

Currently, companies such as Monsanto are taking the native seed varieties from the farmers, engineering them genetically to achieve uniformity and selling them back to the farmers. This linear flow of agricultural biodiversity must be stopped if we are going to achieve food security. Moreover, diverse farms provide better nutrition than monocultural farms.

In addition to ecological intensification, we need social intensification in agriculture. Women have always been the custodians of seeds and especially herbs and spices in agriculture. In addition it is mainly women who control breeding programmes for livestock. Therefore, in order to conserve agricultural biodiversity, we must acknowledge and promote the role of women in agriculture.

Do your part in nourishing the 9 billion by signing Nourish9Billion’s petition and demanding that the European Union commit to sustainable agriculture.  Leave your comment below or comment on twitter using the hashtag #YORio20.

June 20, 2012 at 12:55 am Leave a comment

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