Our friends at Real Agriculture took the time to interview me at FarmTech in Alberta. It is always fun to chat with Shaun, and got to discuss how Canada is doing on sustainable agriculture. It is particularly important since progress is being made on some global indicators that would allow more consistent and direct comparisons between countries. I think Canada is going to stack up well. Canada’s already made lots of progress on soil health through the use of conversation tillage. Now we need to focus in on improving crop rotations and measures on biodiversity. It’s great to see people already thinking about intercropping and other solutions to drive us to the next great innovations in agriculture. Onwards to continuous improvement!
On July 17, 2018, the SDG Business Forum will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, in the context of the High Level Political Forum, which is running from July 9-18. The Business Forum is a multistakeholder platform to support business action and partnerships to achieve the SDGs. It fosters public-private dialogues, catalyzes new partnerships and alliances, and explores innovative business solutions to accelerate sustainable development. Over 1,000 leaders from business and government are expected to attend. Learn more here. Please mark your calendars!
No, I am not swearing at you. Or if I were, it would be to express excitement over the new innovation work in Canada. The Government of Canada set out a challenge to have public, private and academic institutions band together to create new innovations to support Canadian growth and jobs. A great example of blended finance, it asked for proposals that would link whole value chains and reach every corner of the country with exciting synergies of expertise.
Canada has always been an agricultural powerhouse, but these days it’s not just about selling prairie wheat, P.E.I. potatoes and maple syrup to the world. Now we’re also building bio-cars from ag-based fibres, composites and foams. We’re creating naturally derived pharmaceuticals and functional foods that help fight disease. We’re cutting carbon emissions by finding valuable uses for agricultural wastes, and we’re boosting agricultural productivity in all kinds of ways.
On the occasion of Canada’s 2018 Agriculture Day, which is on February 13th, I want to take time to reflect on some of the incredible work in agriculture that Canadians are accomplishing. It is such a thrill to pause each February 13th and realize that we’ve made incredible progress in just the past year, and that sensation of admiration and optimism is only multiplied when we compare where we are now to where we were five, ten, and fifty years ago.
The International Year of Pulses (IYP) was declared by the United Nations for 2016 and ended in February 2017. What were the year's legacy outcomes? The IYP saw the pulse sector band together to conduct an unprecedented worldwide campaign. Today, multiple sources and research results agree: this very special crop might make an immense difference in a world where the estimated number of undernourished people increased to 815 million in 2016, up from 777 million in 2015.
“Our Time has Come!”
It is an amazing night to have three women inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame on the same evening, moving us from 8 women and 210 men. Now if we just keep doing this for the next 70 years, we’ll be all caught up.
But seriously, it is a special moment and a true honour to be joining Jean and Patty tonight. Women have long been a backbone of the agriculture sector. With time and patience, we are seeing more women moving into leadership roles. At the same time, it is also a conscious choice and I hope every one of us in this room will use tonight as a reminder that we need to turn to women and ask them to join the boards, the committees, and the leadership roles.
I am so grateful to CAAR for the role they played in my early career, and for their continued support. The association took a big chance on me. CAAR has written an article highlighting my upcoming induction.
Read the full article here.
Proposed series of blogs
The theme of the 2017 session of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), to be held from 10-19 July in New York, is "Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world". The session will hear presentations by 43 countries that have volunteered to make national presentations on their follow-up and implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. The session will also review in-depth the following SDGs:
- Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere;
- Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture;
- Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages;
- Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls;
- Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation;
- Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development;
- Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.
In order to promote the 2017 HLPF session, the DESA Division for Sustainable Development is launching an online blog series to capture the views of experts, Member States, the UN system, Major groups and other Stakeholders on this year’s theme and/or the 7 SDGs that will be reviewed in-depth by the HLPF in July.
The contributions to the online Blog should provide various perspectives on eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world, and how to promote the achievement of SDGs 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 14, and 17, and will thus contribute to discussions at the HLPF. The blogs are also intended to create a buzz around the HLPF itself. Giving voice to a wide range of stakeholders also underlines the inclusive spirit of the 2030 Agenda and HLPF.
The blog entries should to be succinct and to the point, a maximum of 700 words in length. They will be published on the DSD website. The blog can be published by individual authors, or on behalf of an organisation.
Guiding questions for authors
The blog entries could address one or several of the following questions:
- What concrete steps need to be taken to end poverty?
- How can we promote prosperity?
- How are global trends impacting our approaches to eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity?
- How can we spur implementation of SDGs 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 14 and 17?
- How are SDGs 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 14 and 17 interlinked?