The Gender Dimensions of Food and Nutrition Security in the context of Climate Change

On UNFCCC Gender Day at COP18/ CMP8, the Mary Robinson Foundation — Climate Justice released a video and a policy brief on the gender dimensions of food and nutrition security in the context of climate change. The impacts of climate change on food security are exacerbating existing inequalities in access to resources, especially for women who are primarily responsible for food production and for feeding their families. This is contributing to an injustice whereby those who have done least to cause the climate change problem are already suffering disproportionately from its impact, which is undermining their right to food, their health and well-being.

ICN2 – We need a new food paradigm

Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), 19-21 November 2014

Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2)

The Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), an inclusive inter-governmental meeting on nutrition jointly organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), in cooperation with the High Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis (HLTF), IFAD, IFPRI, UNESCO, UNICEF, World Bank, WFP and the WTO, will be held at FAO Headquarters, in Rome, 19-21 November 2014. It will be a high-level ministerial conference which will propose a flexible policy framework to address today’s major nutrition challenges and identify priorities for enhanced international cooperation on nutrition.

ICN2 will bring together senior national policymakers from agriculture, health and other relevant ministries and agencies, with leaders of United Nations agencies and other intergovernmental organizations and civil society, including non-governmental organizations, researchers, the private sector and consumers.
The conference will review progress made towards improving nutrition since 1992, reflect on nutrition problems that remain, as well as on the new challenges and opportunities for improving nutrition presented by changes in the global economy, in food systems, by advances in science and technology, and identify policy options for improving nutrition. The key objectives of the ICN2 will be to:

  1. review progress made since the 1992 ICN including country-level achievements in scaling up nutrition through direct nutrition interventions and nutrition-enhancing policies and programmes;
  2. review relevant policies and institutions on agriculture, fisheries, health, trade, consumption and social protection to improve nutrition;
  3. strengthen institutional policy coherence and coordination to improve nutrition, and mobilize resources needed to improve nutrition;
  4. strengthen international, including inter-governmental cooperation, to enhance nutrition everywhere, especially in developing countries.

The scope of the conference will:

  • be global in perspective, but focus particularly on nutrition challenges in developing countries;
  • address all forms of malnutrition, recognizing the nutrition transition and its consequences;
  • seek to improve nutrition throughout the life cycle, focusing on the poorest and most vulnerable households, and on women, infants and young children in deprived, vulnerable and emergency contexts.

ICN2 will build on ongoing global political processes and initiatives to contribute to the post-2015 UN development agenda including identifying priority areas, nutrition development goals as well as the policies that are required to achieve, measure and account for them. The outcome of the ICN2 will contribute to the UN Secretary-General’s call for a high degree of policy coherence at global, regional, national and sub-national levels and a global partnership for development at all levels. The ICN2 will also enlarge on the Secretary-General’s call to leaders gathered at the Rio+20 Summit to take up the “Zero Hunger Challenge”.

Why an ICN2?

More than half the world’s population is adversely affected by malnutrition, ICN2 will keep nutrition high on the international and national development agendas

ICN2 will be the first global intergovernmental conference to address the world’s nutrition problems in the 2lst century

ICN2 goal is to improve nutrition through national policies and effective international cooperation

Global economy, food systems and the nutritional status of populations have changed markedly since the first ICN in 1992. A new policy framework and more appropriate responses are needed

Global problems require global solutions, only an intergovernmental conference can legitimately identify the commitments of stakeholders to act decisively to address malnutrition

The conference is being streamed live here: ICN2 Live

Supporting Family Farmers in 2014 and Beyond

The year 2014 has been declared IYFF, the international year of family farming by the United Nations General Assembly. It is a worldwide celebration that aims to change the position of farming families, indigenous groups, cooperatives, and fishing families , putting them at the center of agricultural, environmental, and social policies.

The IYFF aims to focus international attention on the men, women, and youth who operate the more than 400 million family farms around the world.

Arnest, a youth farmer with a vision, located in Kayunga District in Uganda
Arnest, a youth farmer with a vision, located in Kayunga District in Uganda

IYFF strives to raise the profile of family farming and smallholder farming by focusing global attention on its significant role in eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing and preserving natural resources, protecting the environment, improving equality, and emphasizing the important role of women farmers and youth to build a more sustainable food system.

According to Jose Antonio Osaba, Coordinator of the IYFF-2014 Civil Society Programme and Advisor to the World Rural Forum, “the most effective way to combat hunger and malnutrition is to produce food near the consumers- precisely what family farming does.” Through local knowledge and sustainable, innovative farming methods, family farmers can improve yields and create a more nutrient-dense and diverse food system.

And family farming integrates two incredibly important, but often overlooked, groups of agricultural producers: women and youth. 

“In many developing countries, women are the backbone of the economy,” explains Melanne Verveer, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, FAO. “Yet, women farmers do not have equal access to resources and this significantly limits their potential in enhancing productivity.”

Overcoming deep-rooted inequalities that prevent female farmers from gaining rights to access land, inputs, and economic resources will allow them to farm more productively. According to FAO, providing female farmers access to the same resources as men could reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 100-150 million people.

And maintaining young people’s interest in farming as a profession is vital to future food security. Today, youth face global unemployment levels of up to 28 percent and many see agriculture as a burden, not an opportunity. But governments, schools and universities, businesses, and international organizations can cultivate the next generation of agricultural leaders by investing in policies and practices that make rural areas and agriculture intellectually stimulating and economically sustainable.

papayaz

Food for thought:  Farmers aren’t just food producers–they are business women and men, teachers in their communities, innovators and inventors, and stewards of the land who deserve to be recognized for their hard work that supports both people and the planet.

Our contribution: We are 2 farmers in Uganda (Laureene and Arnest), who founded Wakulima Young Uganda, a coalition of youth farmers growing fruit. Together, we grow passionfruit, papaya, pineapples, mangoes; and instead of having to jump through the loops trying to find a European buyer, we are committed to find a local market for our fruit along the value chain. We would like to promote healthy meals in schools, and so our first point of entry is supplying packaged fruit to local schools in Uganda. We are also planning to produce fresh fruit juices and dried fruit, depending on the market

Wakulima Young Uganda works with youth farmers, for youth by youth, and supporting family farms mainly operated by youth and women

We are always looking for partners and welcome input and knowledge that can be applied to the project