More and Better Newsletter N°9 | March 2011
More and Better activities
- Rio+20 will be important!
- A regional office in Africa for More and Better
- “Agroecology and the Right to Food”, the new report by Olivier de Schutter
Rio+20 will be important!
Twenty years after the Rio Earth Summit, the UN Conference on Environment and Development (1992), and forty years after the first huge UN Conference on Human Environment, held in Stockholm (1972), a new UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) will take place in Rio, June 4-6, 2012, preceded by the third and last Preparatory Committee (PrepCom).
The preparation process started a year ago. Everyone who really care about environment and development should be aware of the Rio+20 Conference in 2012. It might be a good possibility for some important and positive decisions, but could also do more harm than good. Our engagement, over the next 14 months, will be crucial on the outcome.
Objective and main themes
According to the UN, the objective of the Rio 2012 Conference is “to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, and address new and emerging challenges.”
The Conference will focus on two themes: (a) a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; (b) the institutional framework for sustainable development. Other emerging issues will also be on the agenda.
Agriculture: the main issue?
Agriculture should be the core issue for the Rio 2012 Conference because food production is the most important human activity. Strengthening small scale food producers is essential in order to eradicate hunger and poverty. Industrial agriculture is causing enormous environmental damage, including substantial contribution to climate change, while small scale ecological food production preserve the environment, cool the planet and contribute significantly to the fight against hunger.
An informal group including social movements, NGOs and individuals from different institutions is now working to get sustainable agriculture as the core issue at the Rio 2012 Conference. More and Better is actively taking part in this group. In May, we will send out more information about this work and how other organizations and people can engage in the process.
Good side event and dialog with governments
During the second UN PrepCom for the Rio 2012 Conference, this year, More and Better, together with FAO, UNCTAD, the Millennium Institute and Biovision Foundation, organized a successful side-event on sustainable agriculture and green economy. We were also, together with other CSOs, active in discussions and dialog with governments, institutions and other organizations.
Some web-pages about Rio 2012
- UN information about Rio 2012: http://www.uncsd2012.org/
- Stakeholder forum: http://www.earthsummit2012.org
- Brazilian civil society committee: http://www.Rio2012.org.br
- UNEP about green economy: http://www.unep.org/greeneconomy
- For reference to the side event organized also by More and Better: http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/content/documents/Rio20Volume2Issue5.pdf
Some important conferences in connection with Rio 2012
- May 2-13: UN Commission on Sustainable Development, New York, USA
- October 18-22: Committee on World Food Security, Rome, Italy (probably CSOs Parallel meeting: October 15-17)
- November 28-December 9: UNFCCC COP-17, Durban, South Africa
- December 15-16: 2nd Intersessional Meeting of UNCSD, UN Secretariat, New York, USA
- Regional Preparatory Meeting for Asia Pacific Region, ESCAP
Sept 2011 (To be confirmed) , Bangkok, Thailand
- Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Latin America and Caribbean Region, ECLAC
7 Sept 2011 - 9 Sept 2011 , Santiago, Chile
- Regional Preparatory Meeting in the Arab Region, ESCWA and partners
18 Oct 2011 - 20 Oct 2011 , Cairo, Egypt
- Regional Preparatory Meeting for Africa Region, ECA and partners
Nov 2011 (To be confirmed) , Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
- Regional Preparatory Meeting for ECE Region, ECE
1 Dec 2011 - 2 Dec 2011 , Geneva, Switzerland
- March 5-7: 3rd Intersessional Meeting of UNCSD, UN Secretariat, New York, USA,
- May 28-30: 3rd Preparatory Committee Meeting UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,
- June 4-6: UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
A regional office in Africa for More and Better
According to the decisions taken during the general assembly and discussed within the International Coordination Committee, we started, in October 2010, the process to support a regional office of More and Better in Africa. The Office, located in Yaoundè, Cameroon, is supported with a very light structure and a minimal equipe providing technical assistance to our co-coordinator Elisabeth Atangana (Elisabeth is also President of PROPAC and of PAFFO). More and Better Africa will be working in accordance with common principles, objectives and plans of the network and regular reports will be submitted to the International Secretariat in Rome and the coordination committee. More information on More and Better Africa work and action plan for 2011 will be following in the next newsletter. For any further inquiry you may have, please contact the secretariat in Rome.
“Agroecology and the Right to Food”, the new report by Olivier De Schutter
Based on an extensive review of recent scientific literature, the new report from Olivier de Schutter, the UN Rapporteur on the Right to Food, demonstrates that agroecology, if sufficiently supported, can double food production in entire regions within 10 years while mitigating climate change and alleviating rural poverty. The report, therefore, calls States for a fundamental shift towards agroecology as a way for countries to feed themselves while addressing climate- and poverty challenges.