emerging blog

Update on Target Malaria

Despite being preventable and treatable, malaria is estimated to have caused 438,000 deaths in 2015. 70% of these are children less than 5 years old. This means a child dies of malaria every 2 minutes. Current interventions such as drug treatments, bed nets and insecticide spraying have helped to lower the burden of disease but new tools are needed to eliminate malaria, tools like gene drive technology that Target Malaria is working on for malaria vector control.

Target Malaria started as university-based research program and has grown to include molecular biologists, population geneticists, anthropologists, policy makers, stakeholder engagement teams, risk assessment specialists and regulatory experts from Africa, North America and Europe. This is one these projects that are on the verge of developing a life changing technology that could impact millions of lives.

Prof Abdoulaye Diabate presented the project at the Grand Challenge annual meeting in London to show how “New tools for mosquito population engineering and control” could be a solution to win against malaria, perhaps for good. “Bednets and IRS have done an incredible job by cutting down the death toll of the disease to less than 400 000 per year. This has brought a smile to many faces, but the question is — for how long? We are facing mounting challenges. Insecticide resistance is growing fast, big and noxious, making it clear that unless new tools are found to complement existing ones, we may never cross the last mile of malaria elimination.”

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High Level Dinner Highlights

You know what they say about first impressions …well I was certainly impressed! This was my first CFS and High Level Dinner and I found both to be amazing experiences. 

The 2016 edition of the High Level Dinner held on October 18th at the Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria saw 190 attendees from businesses, governments, NGOs, and academia gather to discuss, debate and collaborate on what “Delivering the SDGs through Innovation” means. 

The interactive format of the event allowed many ideas, thoughts and perspectives to be shared amongst the group. Some of the main conclusions were in order to achieve the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals innovation is a cornerstone and it is imperative that significant investments are made in technologies and infrastructure. These investments can then foster the sharing of knowledge empowerment and innovation advancements globally. Click the following link to view the full High Level Dinner report

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Celebrate Global Pulse Day – January 18, 2017

On January 18, 2017, the world will celebrate pulses…again! Formerly known as Pulse Feast, Global Pulse Day will be celebrated every year to promote the nutritional and environmental benefits of pulses. 

Celebrate with us by joining our Thunderclap to promote the benefits of pulses for people and the planet on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr. Sign up here: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/50361-global-pulse-day?locale=en 

Eat pulses that day and tell the world about it! You can register your lunch, dinner, party with pulses with us so they are part of the celebrations on January 18! Events will take place globally and be shared through social media. Learn more, and register your event here: http://pulses.org/global-pulse-day  

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Trade Mission to Mexico: You oat-ta love this!

I did not ask to be Mexican, I was just lucky to be born in this beautiful country. My luck doubled when I joined Emerging, which allowed me to be part of many interesting projects, including one to promote oats in Mexico with the Prairie Oat Growers Association (POGA). I like food in general, but I love oats more. 

Since 2013 we have been helping POGA with a campaign to promote this cereal in Mexico and to better understand the market opportunities for Canadian oat producers in Mexico. This past November we took a small delegation for a Trade Mission to Mexico City and Guadalajara to meet with relevant players in the country, as well as to host 2 media events and be part of the World’s Diabetes Day awareness event in Mexico City. 

Attended by 2,000 Mexicans, on November 13th the Mexican Diabetes Federation and the Mexican Ministry of Health organised a public event in Mexico City to raise awareness on this disease that is affecting more than 6 million people and is one of the main causes of death in the country. That was a sunny Sunday when Mexicans did many fun activities such as dancing Zumba and watching Lucha Libre wrestlers (if you want to see these funny developments visit this link). Since oats are a suitable food for people living with diabetes, POGA was granted with a booth to distribute recipe cards and fact sheets to promote oats and their nutritional properties. POGA partnered with the largest oat company in the world, Grupo Vida, who contributed with free oats samples to hand out during the event. 

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How to hold a Global Pulse Day Event on January 18th, 2017 #GlobalPulseDay #LovePulses

Register your event: http://pulses.org/register-global-pulse-day 

If you love beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas, January 18, 2017 is going to become your favorite cooking day. It will be the second ever Global Pulse Day, a global event to celebrate pulses and continue the momentum of the 2016 International Year of Pulses. Encourage people around the world to eat pulses on January 18th. Raise awareness on the multiple benefits of consuming pulses for people and the planet. 

The first Global Pulse Day took place on January 6, 2016 as “Pulse Feast”, with 141 events spanning 36 countries, reaching 21 million people. 

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CFS43: PSM Side-events work to achieve World Food Security, and the SDGs

The 43rd plenary session of the UN Committee of World Food Security took place October 17 to 21, 2016 to discuss the issues and solutions on global food security and nutrition. This year’s session saw 56 side-events. The Private Sector Mechanism hosted 4 and a book launch, all discussing various issues and topics to advance the private sector’s engagement in reducing food insecurity, and achieving the sustainable development goals. These side-events included: 

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The role of standards to facilitate trade of agricultural commodities for food security and nutrition

A successful side event organized at the margins of the Committee on Commodity Problems

How often do we think about all the regulations that surround our food? Probably never. And yet, before we can enjoy any meal, a lot of standards have been playing their role in the background to make sure our food is safe for consumption. As the world population is growing fast, so are the technologies in food safety, improved standards and trade flows enabling the agriculture industry to keep up with the growing demand. This pace is necessary to be able to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and especially Goal 2.

Market access issues are some of the most important obstacles to achieving these goals and standards setting bodies like Codex Alimentarius are challenged to deliver at the same pace as the world demands. The Codex Alimentarius, managed jointly by the FAO and the WHO, plays a critical role as the most important international standard setting body in the area of food safety, quality and trade fairness. Thus, enabling trade in agricultural products to benefit producers, importers and consumers. 

With this perspective in mind, I helped organize a timely side-event on “The role of standards to facilitate trade of agricultural commodities for food security and nutrition” that was organized in the margins the Committee on Commodity Problems since a large portion of commodity problems has to do with market access issues.

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Let’s Recognise the Importance of Livestock in Achieving the SDG’s

Undeniably there are environmental impacts associated with livestock, as with everything, but with this same stroke there are irrefutable benefits of animal source proteins, especially in developing nations. The article, “Lets ‘meat’ in the middle on climate change”, discusses how eliminating meat consumption all together could have devastating effects on developing nations and proposes a solution where countries meet in the middle with a tailored approach to tackling the challenges associated with livestock and combating climate change. 

Currently, 800 million people go hungry every year and 2 billion suffer from micronutrient deficiencies. Introducing or increasing animal proteins in these people’s diets can combat this. Additionally, a billion people earning less than US$2 a day around the world depend on livestock for their livelihoods. The sector represents 40% of the agricultural GDP of developing nations and as much as 60% in some poor countries. These are just a few of the staggering statistics on the importance of livestock covered in this fascinating article. To combat climate change it is going to take everyone, but it should be done in a manner that does not compromise the livelihoods and the food security of millions. Check out Polly Ericksen’s captivating article here

 

Private Sector Delegation at the UN Committee on World Food Security

A delegation of over 170 business leaders were in Rome for the 43rd plenary session of the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) that took place at the FAO, October 17th-21st. The delegation was coordinated by the Private Sector Mechanism (PSM). Participation was met with excellent feedback from member states and the United Nations, and the PSM secretariat wishes to extend its thanks to all those who were present. The PSM is more active and engaged with the CFS than ever before, and we look forward to your continued support in ensuring that its stature in this forum continues to grow.

 Highlights:

  • Succesful meeting with FAO Director General Jose Graziano da Silva, including efforts to address regional engagement with FAO
  • Bilateral meetings with representatives from more than 60 member states and UN agencies
  • 21 interventions made from the floor by a full range of delegation members on a broad selection of topics in the CFS agenda, as well as several plenary panel slots for PSM members
  • The PSM was able to organize 4 side events and a book launch this year, reaching over 230 attendees
  • High Level Dinner bringing together 190 ambassadors, representatives of CFS member states, UN agencies, NGOs, and companies, as well as the chair of the CFS, Her Excellency Ambassador Amira Gornass and Mastercard Vice-President Tara Nathan, to discuss the role of innovation in achieving the SDGs.
  • The Partnership Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals, co-hosted with Norway and the UN Global Compact attracted an audience of 80. Featuring a diverse selection of speakers, the discussion spoke to every goal of the 17 SDGs.
  • Succesful endorsement of CFS recommendations on the role of livestock for sustainable agriculture and on connecting smallholders to markets.

For more information on the Private Sector Mechanism: www.agrifood.net 

USAID BIFAD 2016 Award for Scientific Excellence goes to a Cornell development economist and his partners

An international award for developing a form of livestock insurance has been awarded to a Cornell development economist and his partners in the USAID-funded BASIS Assets and Market Access Innovation Lab. The insurance could help hundreds of thousands of African herders stave off poverty in times of drought. Index based insurance aids pastoralists affected by drought by giving them the resources to buy feed and needed supplies before they acquire losses in both wealth and productive assets. 

The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) has given its 2016 Award for Scientific Excellence to Chris Barrett, the Stephen B. and Janice G. Ashley Professor of Applied Economics and Management at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management; Andrew Mude, PhD 2006, principal economist at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI); and Michael Carter, professor of agricultural and resource economics at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis). The award was presented 12 Oct 2016 at the 2016 World Food Prize international symposium in Des Moines, Iowa.

We are proud to work with ILRI to increase awareness of the vital role livestock plays in agriculture and its contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals.

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