The UNCSD Rio+20 presents an unparalleled opportunity to further the goals of the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative – as poverty alleviation, food security, and environmental protection are all key themes of the meeting. With Rio+20 less than a month away, we are seeing many organizations expand their coverage of relevant activities, publications, and events. We highlighted a video interview with UNEP’s Executive Director last week. Today, we take a look at what the CGIAR Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers has on their plate, and what is in the CGIAR’s call to action (from which the following is adapted).
CGIAR calls for a focus on the entire agricultural landscape as an integrated system, which recognizes that isolated solutions will not reduce risks or achieve required progress in the same way as integrated approaches will.
CGIAR calls for a focus on harmonizing food security and environmental sustainability through agricultural research and development. This will require us to minimize the harmful effects of agriculture on the environment through more efficient management of water, soils and agricultural inputs.
CGIAR calls for the sustainable management of complex agricultural systems while maximizing agricultural productivity and improving the livelihoods and food/nutrition security of the poor.
To achieve these objectives at Rio+20 and beyond, CGIAR, the world’s largest publicly-funded global research partnership that advances science to reduce global poverty and hunger by addressing issues related to climate change, farming, forestry, environment and natural resources management, among others, has outlined a seven-point plan for how agricultural research for development can contribute to a more sustainable, food-secure future. Rio+20 actors (including government decision-makers; farm, land, and livestock managers; civil society organizations; and the private sector) should:
- Adopt cross-sectoral approaches which facilitate broader partnerships, coordinated regulatory frameworks and appropriate economic incentives.
- Address the unequal sharing of natural resources and their benefits through improved governance, land rights, and technology dissemination.
- Support knowledge sharing systems that engage with smallholder farmers to improve the management of their crops, livestock, and natural resources in order to increase production as well as minimize negative environmental impacts.
- Support the wide range of options, including community-designed programs, currently available to restore and better manage degraded environments and ecosystems.
- Strengthen and support local food production groups, livestock herders, and smallholder farmers by investing in agricultural research, strengthening land and water rights, increasing access to markets, finance, and insurance, and enhancing local capacity.
- Endorse the full implementation of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA).
- Commit to sustainable agricultural systems that prioritize food and nutrition security in order to lessen the need for emergency responses.
Check out the CGIAR at Rio+20 website for related articles and upcoming events.