Posts tagged ‘Organic’

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.

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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

The Future we want is Organic

Rio+20 is already providing a vehicle for civil society organisations to form new alliances with governments, agencies, businesses and each other. With governments of the developed world being in massive debt there will be very little new money on the table in Rio. However, Rio has the potential to be a massive catalyst for sustainable development, just as Copenhagen was for climate change.

Of course, like in Copenhagen, politicians might fail to see beyond strict GDP figures and the undue influence of powerful lobbies. However, this conference is an one-in-a-generation opportunity for organisations from all over sectors and from every corner of the world to come together and plant the intellectual seeds that will mainstream sustainability at all levels: from policy making to our everyday lives.

The food movement, and youth in particular, have a unique opportunity to catch this new wave and position sustainable agriculture at the centre of the agenda.

I am in Rio+20 as a youth reporter for Young Organics and I will be mainstreaming sustainability to youth networks around the world. Follow me on twitter @geopavlos under the hashtags #YORio & #IFOAMrio

June 10, 2012 at 1:48 pm 1 comment