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Implementing the Addis Ababa Action Agenda: The 2017 ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development Follow-up

“The Addis Agenda and the SDGs can bring the public and private sector together for sustainable development.” —Ms. Preeti Sinha, Senior President, YES Institute, India

Building on the official summary of the forum by the President of ECOSOC, a new publication has been released to provide detailed coverage of the substantive discussions at the 2017 Second Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) forum on financing for development follow-up (FfD forum), held from 22 to 25 May 2017 in New York. It also includes a series of annexes containing summaries of the side events held during the forum and other relevant documents.

Overall, the 2017 FfD forum sent a strong signal that the international community remains deeply committed to global collaboration and to enhance partnerships for sustainable development, despite a challenging global macroeconomic environment and the threats posed by climate change, humanitarian crises and conflicts. 

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What should we do to attract more youth in agriculture?

On July 13th, the International Agri-Food Network, together with a number of leading organizations, hosted the “Agriculture and Food Day” in New York in the margins of the High Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development. This day was meant to celebrate, discuss, analyze, and brainstorm around the role of Agriculture and Food in relation to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

This special day included a thematically-focused plenary session with high-level speakers including high-ranking UN diplomats; a series of roundtable discussions on inter-linkages in SDGs; and a dynamic luncheon featuring youth in agriculture with the goal to raise awareness of the critical need for investment in Goal 2.

Youth engagement emerged as a fundamental theme to transform agriculture into a more sustainable, productive and attractive sector. Issues such as asset and investments; modernization of the rural world; incorporating agriculture into secondary – and at some level – primary school education; access to markets; and empowering young women farmers were discussed amongst the group led by Gerda Verburg, former Minister of Agriculture of the Netherlands and current Chair of the Scaling-Up Nutrition Movement.

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Register now for the upcoming CFS plenary session

The UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) is the main United Nations body in charge of developing policy recommendations and guidance on a wide range of food security and nutrition issues. The Committee reports to the UN General Assembly through the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and to FAO Conference.

The annual session of the CFS takes place every year in October and brings together over 1100 food security and nutrition experts. This year the CFS will be holding its 44th Annual Session from October 9 to 13 at FAO Headquarters in Rome. Due to its multi-stakeholder approach, the CFS is the only intergovernmental forum within the UN system, where the participation of private sector associations and civil society organizations is facilitated by their own autonomously established coordination mechanisms. 

If you register with the Private Sector Mechanism (PSM) delegation, you will have the opportunity to:

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Agriculture and Food Day at the High-Level Political Forum

On Agriculture and Food Day, an event hosted by the International Agri-food Network (IAFN) in the margins of the UN High-Level Political Forum in New York, it is time to summarize the importance of targeting Agriculture and Food, to be able to reach the SDGs.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) help to guide people and the planet towards a sustainable future, and they were created to do exactly this: measure progress and achievements towards this series of 17 goals. During the High-Level Political Forum, the United Nations is meant to work its member states to track progress on several of the SDGs to see how the world is doing on this ambitious journey. Solutions however cannot address just one goal, but must look to make a difference to several at once

Investments made in agriculture — the dominant occupation for the world’s poorest people — can do just that:  . The International Agri-Food Network advocated for several years, as the goals were developed, to make sure that a stand-alone goal on sustainable agriculture and food security would be established as part of the SDGs. This goal is SDG2: Ending Hunger. IAFN is hosting the event with the Farming First coalition, a group that has been advocating for agriculture programs to be ‘farmer-centred and knowledge-based’

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Steps to Eradicate Childhood Stunting & Achieve SDG2.2

Originally published in Farming First. Part of Farming First’s #SDG2countdown on SDG2.2: ending malnutrition, featuring three projects on the frontline of the battle against stunting

Stunting continues to be one of the most pernicious and widespread forms of malnutrition, having a disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable populations compared with other types of malnourishment. According to 2016 data, 155 million children under five around the world are stunted, representing more than 20 per cent of the under-five population. The majority of stunted children are in Asia (87 million) and in Africa (59 million).

Resulting from insufficient food and nutrients, stunting has significant consequences for human health as well as social and economic development. The effects last a lifetime, ranging from impaired brain development, lower IQ, weakened immune systems, and greater risk of serious diseases like diabetes and cancer later in life. Beyond the devastating personal impacts, stunting is also an enormous drain on economic productivity and growth. Economists estimate that it can reduce a country’s GDP by as much as 12 per cent.

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Blog for the 2017 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development: Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world

 

Proposed series of blogs

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Robynne Anderson Named to the 2017 Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame

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Three accomplished and talented women will join the prestigious Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2017. Robynne Anderson, Patty Jones and Jean Szkotnicki will be formally inducted into the national Hall of Fame at a ceremony on Thursday, November 30, 2017 in Calgary, Alberta.

“I am personally thrilled that more Canadian women are being recognized this year for their extraordinary accomplishments in the Canadian agriculture industry,” says President Herb McLane, Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame Association. “This year’s three inductees have contributed to the strength and health of our industry from very different perspectives – covering the animal health sector, publishing and consulting, and livestock photography. With more than 210 inductees in the Hall of Fame, and only five of them women, it is very heartening to be recognizing the outstanding contributions these three women continue to add to the Canadian agricultural industry.”

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Food Security and Nutrition in an Urbanizing World

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) launched today its 2017 Global Food Policy Report, which focuses this year on Food Security and Nutrition in an Urbanizing World. The launch event took place in Brussels, on the eve of the European Days, on June 6, 2017, with the participation of SNV World and Welthungerhilfe. I was invited to moderate the keynote interview session on “International Responses to Urbanization”, featuring two wonderful speakers: Brave Ndisela, Strategic Programme Leader for Food Security and Nutrition at the FAO, and Gerda Verburg, Coordinator of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement and Assistant Secretary-General to the United Nations. 

The IFPRI report shows a clear picture of the massive and rapid urbanization trend that is happening around the world and more strikingly in Africa and in Asia. By 2050, two thirds of the world population will live in urban areas. As urban population grows, poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition are increasingly becoming urban problems. The speakers addressed some of the priority actions that are needed to counter these trends. 

IFPRI did a Survey (the results are in the report) showing that 73% of the respondents think the expansion of cities and urban population will make it harder to ensure that everyone gets enough nutritious food to eat. The speakers presented the scale and space of urbanization in the developing world and the problems of food security and nutrition that are growing fast among urban population. They also noted the opportunities, in particular more balanced linkages between urban and rural. 

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Grain Transportation Enters New Era

The Transportation Modernization Act C-49 is being introduced in Canada and will address many long term issues concerning grain transportation.  It is exciting to see many of its provisions and everyone is eager for more details.  Congratulations to Minister Garneau and to all the parties which have demonstrated so much commitment to Canadian farmers.

Now we need that support to speed along its passage before the prior legislation sunsets.  It is important that provisions like Interswitching have continuity.  For shipments to the US, it is particularly important that Interswitching and data requirements are robust.  It is too easy just to think about the ports, but crops like Oats move mostly to the United States and so that southern corridor is just as important.

Celebrate World Milk Day 2017

Milk is considered one of the first foods, with it emerging into the agriculture scene nearly 10,000 years ago. Since then, it has been an integral part of everyday life particularly in the growth and development of children. Did you know that an eight-ounce glass of milk contains the same amount of calcium equal to twelve servings of whole grains, ten cups of raw spinach or six servings of legumes? It is a little-known fact that milk is the only product on which a human could survive wholly on as it contains every nutrient your body needs. 

Personally, the nutritional benefits of milk, for both my children and me, make it a very important part of our everyday life. Milk has been a part of my diet since I was a child, my favourite memory about milk was waking up every morning as a kid in India and waiting for our local dairy farmer to deliver fresh milk. To this day, that same local dairy farmer delivers milk. As a matter of fact, India is the largest producer of milk in the world. 

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation declared June 1st as World Milk Day in 2001. This year will mark the 16th annual World Milk Day. A day created to connect the many facets of the dairy industry and promote the importance of milk as a global food. This day works in conjunction with National Dairy Month, which has been celebrated every year in June since 1937. 

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