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Gaftaworld, Issue 197, August 2012

Rio + 20 – Gaftaworld

From an article written by Robynne Anderson for Gaftaworld, Issue 197, August 2012
You may have seen the media coverage suggesting Rio+20 “just settled” and “showed no ambition”. However, the needs of farmers and the importance of agriculture are well reflected in the final outcomes.

Development after 2015

The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, has appointed his advisory panel for the Post 2015 Development Agenda. 2015 is a looming deadline for the UN because that is when the current Millennium Development Goals expire. Unfortunately many of them will go unmet, and the UN wants to regalvanize attention on key means to achieve sustainable development. The current progress report shows that good progress is being made on poverty, access for girls to eduction, , the fight against TB, and internet access. On the other hand, hunger remains an area where there is still a long way to go.

Mobilizing Knowledge for Agriculture

I was honoured to moderate an extraordinary panel of leaders from around the world who are delivering key projects to benefit farmer knowledge systems, when USDA hosted a session on "Mobilising knowledge for agriculture" at Rio+20. Extension and rural advisory services (RAS) are key to putting farmers’ needs at the centre of rural development, ensuring sustainable food security and poverty reduction, and dealing with risks and uncertainty. Knowledge sharing mechanisms must focus on critical areas including protecting natural resources, productive farming processes, product development, marketing skills, nutritional needs, and household health. Improving institutional capacity in extension will help us to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and any future Sustainable Development Goals.

Food is Our Common Ground: Diets, Land Use and Emissions

Food and emissions make for complex choices. Please see the latest article from Sonja Vermeulen of CCAFS (part of the CGIAR system) that illustrates the challenges and the fact that there is more than one response around the world:

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