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.
Last year, the third session of the United Nations Environment Assembly took place at the UN Environment Programme headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya from 4th to 6th December. This Assembly is the world’s highest decision-making body on the environment, with a dual role to govern the UN Environment Programme and discuss how to address important environmental issues at the bi-annual summit.
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.
Based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and Emerging ag, a training seminar will be presented at UN Headquarters in New York, on 6 March, 2018, to raise awareness of the pivotal role played by agriculture as a sector and by farmers, especially women farmers, to achieve sustainable development. The upcoming 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 62) and its focus on rural women makes this initiative most timely and relevant to ongoing efforts to achieve the SDGs, and in particular Goal 2 and Goal 5, highlighting the fact that sustainable agriculture and farmers must be central to policy decisions that affect food security and nutrition.
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.
Twice a year, the entire Emerging team gets together in various parts around the Globe to strategize, plan, and review, and strengthen our team. We do this because as a global team the time-zone differences often means we cannot all “get together” at once. We brainstorm, strategize, and take part in training to ensure our clients continue to experience the fantastic level of service they have become so accustomed to. We also find it important because we are wholeheartedly aware that to thrive as a business we have to constantly innovate and expand our ideas. During these retreats, we spend two days getting our project teams to work on client deliverables, brainstorm ideas, and question assumptions. Tons of new ideas are tossed out and whittled down to a few powerful ones that are then implemented.
From the 4th to 6th December 2017, The UN Environment Assembly, the world's highest-level decision-making body on the environment, held its 3rd session (UNEA-3) in Nairobi. The Assembly was held under the overarching theme of “Towards a Pollution Free Planet” and passed 11 resolutions, each addressing a specific dimension of pollution. For the first time, a Ministerial Declaration was approved by consensus – this declaration will serve as a global action plan on pollution. View the approved declaration here.
“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.
The Global Business Alliance for the Environment (GBA4E) is excited to participate in the third session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-3) which is taking place at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, from 4th to 6th December, under the overarching theme of “Towards a Pollution Free Planet”.