Nominations for the World Food Prize are open until May 1

If you know an outstanding individual working to make hunger history – why not nominate them for the biggest accolade in agriculture?

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World Ocean Summit 2019

Tiare Boyes is a youth ocean leader. She is the Executive Director at B.C Tuna Fisherman's Association and Founder of Leeward Consulting Ltd. 


 The Economist’s World Ocean Summit was hosted in Abu Dhabi this year with the theme ‘building bridges’.

Many governmental representatives, corporations, NGOs and scientists were in attendance from around the world. While there was a youth contingency, they were largely absent from many of the events. Last year youth in marine fields were asked to present at short intervals between discussions, which was a highlight as many bright young ideas were shared and it was easy to recognize the youth and be able to speak with them during the networking events.

It was interesting to visit Abu Dhabi and learn of some of the ongoing ocean initiatives underway in the Gulf of Persia. It was wonderful to meet local representatives and to learn some of the unique local challenges facing desert/ocean cities.

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GBA4E High-Level Dinner: Innovative & Sustainable Business Solutions

On March 12, 2019, at the Fourth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA4), The Global Business Alliance for the Environment held its first High Level Dinner, welcoming more than 80 guests.

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United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA4)

Preparations for the fourth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA4) kicked off on March 4 with the Fourth Open-Ended Meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives (OECPR) negotiating over 30 resolutions which will be presented to the assembly for adoption. The theme of UNEA4 is ‘Innovative Solutions for Environmental Challenges & Sustainable Consumption and Production.’ The three focus areas are: environmental challenges related to poverty and natural resources management, including sustainable food systems, food security and halting biodiversity loss; life-cycle approaches to resource efficiency, energy, chemicals and waste management; and innovative sustainable business development at a time of rapid technological change.

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The Legacy of Pulses: #WorldPulsesDay

Thanks to the formidable leadership of Burkina Faso, the Second Committee of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted, by consensus, in November 2018 a draft resolution establishing 10 February as World Pulses Day (WPD). The establishment of this day will be a lasting legacy of the enormously successful 2016 International Year of Pulses. World Pulses Day is a new opportunity to heighten public awareness of the nutritional benefits of eating pulses! Read the UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution here. World Pulses Day is meant to also reaffirm the contribution of pulses for sustainable agriculture and achieving the 2030 Agenda.

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Stakeholders E-consultation On the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under review at the 2019 High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF)

Share your inputs on the SDGs under review at the 2019 HLPF!

Deadline: 22 February 2019

Background: 

When adopting the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Member States decided to undertake thematic reviews of progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including cross-cutting issues. 

Member States have also decided that the HLPF, under the auspices of ECOSOC, would discuss a set of SDGs and their interlinkages, including with other Goals, with a view to facilitating an in-depth review of progress made on all SDGs over the course of a four-year cycle, with means of implementation, including SDG 17, reviewed annually.

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UN Environment Assembly - Save the date!

The fourth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly, the world's highest-level decision-making body on the environment, will take place in Nairobi from 11 to 15 March 2019 under the theme “Innovative solutions for environmental challenges and sustainable consumption and production”.

In the run-up to the Assembly, UN Environment is leading a global campaign to Think Beyond Live Within. This campaign focuses on an informative and emotive approach to communicating the environmental cost of key consumption and production models.

As part of the campaign, UN Environment encourages people to take the lead and #SolveDifferent for a sustainable future for our planet.

Watch the video message from Siim Kiisler, 4th President of the United Nations Environment Assembly, inviting you to #SolveDifferent:

HOW TO REGISTER FOR UNEA 

Accredited NGO

You can register for UNEA4 at the following link - https://reg.unog.ch/event/26962/ 

Below is a rundown of the registration process and document requirements:

1. First, you will be prompted to create an indico account here. Once your account is created, you can use the login details to register for the conference. 

2. During the application, you will need to provide the following documents/information: 

- A passport photo 

- A nomination letter from your accredited organization. The letter must be on your organizations’ letterhead and may list up to 5 representatives from your organization. 

- You will be asked to select the meetings you would like to attend. Please select all the meetings listed in the application form.

- You will need to select a representation type. Please select Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO’s), followed by accredited NGO as the subtype. You may then select your organisation under the organisation name.  

Once you have completed your application, you will receive an email noting that your registration is pending approval. You should then receive the final confirmation shortly thereafter. 

Non-Accredited NGO 

You can register for UNEA4 at the following link - https://reg.unog.ch/event/26962/

Below is a rundown of the registration process and document requirements:

1) First, you will be prompted to create an indico account here. Once your account is created, you can use the login details to register for the conference. 

2) During the application, you will need to provide the following documents/information: 

- A passport photo 

- A nomination letter from your organization.  

- You will be asked to select the meetings you would like to attend. Please select all the meetings listed in the application form.

- You will need to select a representation type. Please select Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO’s), followed by non-accredited NGO as the subtype. You may then manually input the name of your organisation. 

Once you have completed your application, you will receive an email noting that your registration is pending approval. You should then receive the final confirmation shortly thereafter.

 

POGA launches Oats Canada in China

The Prairie Oat Growers Association (POGA) has started a project focusing on finding solutions to the phytosanitary problem for oats in China.  POGA launched a website in Chinese in November ahead of the mission that took place November 12 to 18 in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Beijing along with the delegation of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Ministerial Trade Mission to China. 

China is the second largest importer of oats globally. Australia largely dominates the market holding almost the 97% of the shares. Canadian oat exports for human and animal use to China are blocked due to the absence of specific phytosanitary protocols. Therefore, Canadian oats products have only a partial access to the market, mainly as oat seeds and processed oats. Notwithstanding this significant limitation Canadian oats have quickly gained market shares over the last 5 years. ln 2017 Canadian oat exports in China had a remarkable 345% increase compared to 2016, which made Canada becoming the second oat exporter in China after Australia. 

A new logo “Oats China” was created and a new website was launched ahead of the mission. In addition, a series of recipe cards were created in Chinese.  As the project continues through the new year, we are excited to explore new ways to promote Canadian oats in China. 

Negotiations at COP24 UNFCCC crucial to help countries record their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

Emerging attended the 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), that took place in Katowice, Poland, December 1-14, 2018. I followed the negotiation process focused on the implementation details of the Paris Agreement with regards to agricultural issues. The negotiations at Katowice were crucial to help countries account for and record their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

At COP24, countries reached an agreement on many of these details and made a good step forward but a lot remains to be done. Scientists say that the current global commitment to reduce GHG emissions is not enough to prevent the severe and negative impacts of climate change. As the Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres said, the lack of action against climate change now would be suicidal. So future UNFCCC meetings need urgently to scale up developed countries’ efforts in mitigating their emissions and provide the necessary finance to developing countries to do the same. 

The agricultural sector especially needs policy discussion to be translated into concrete action on the ground as climate change is predicted to significantly reduce agricultural production and increase food insecurity. At the same time, agriculture is also a cause of the problem as it is responsible for almost a quarter of the GHG emissions through deforestation and the management of livestock, soil and nutrients. For these reasons, many considered the recent decision to formally include agriculture in the UNFCCC negotiations as a landmark result. 

However, since that decision, the process has been slow and mainly focused on procedures rather than on substantial climate action. Discussions take the form of thematic workshops covering key issues such as soil, nutrients and livestock rather than traditional negotiations. In Katowice the debate focused specifically on the role of the specialized bodies of the UNFCCC in assisting countries with the implementation of the outcomes of the workshops. Unsurprisingly, one of the main result of the discussion was that the UNFCCC action in the agricultural field is still limited. Overall the discussion confirmed the need to research a continuous delicate compromise between developing and developed countries on issues such as finance and the balance between mitigation and adaptation.

While the process is slow, and views sometimes diverging, all countries are aware that their joint work is essential to create the institutional, technical and financial structures needed to transform the agricultural sector and the overall food system to respond to the climate crisis. Countries are expected to boost the development of technological innovations in agriculture, improve their transfer to developing countries, identify knowledge gaps, stimulate the sharing of best practices, foster capacity development and facilitate the needed financial mechanisms.

The next UNFCCC negotiation sessions in Bonn in June 2019 will be an important step to understand if, when and how discussions will be translated into concrete actions for the benefit of 500 million small farmers and entire society.

 

PSM Workshop at the World Bank Youth Summit

On December 3-4, 2018, the World Bank Group hosted its annual World Bank Youth Summit in Washington, DC. This event, attended by over 400 young people (age 18-35) from across the world, focused this year on the theme “Unleashing the Power of Human Capital.” Within this theme, the two-day event elaborated on two sub-themes: how do young people expand their own personal capital; and then, how can they work to enhance the human capital of others throughout their entire lifespan? 

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