ALAI, América Latina en Movimiento
Ensuring Food Security; Mitigating Climate Change - Has Caricom Made the Right Policy Choices? - Part 1: Food Security
Table of Contents
Part I - Policy Analysis
· Ensuring Food Security
· The Comparative Merits of Organic and Conventional Agriculture: The Views of UnitedNations Agencies and other Specialist International Organizations
· A Critical Analysis of Caricom's Regional Food Security and Nutrition Policy
· Food Security
· Food Safety and Population Health
· Water and Energy Efficiency
· Rural development, poverty, unemployment and income inequality
· Land, water and marine resource management systems
· Trade and export market opportunities for Caricom agriculture
· Summary Conclusion
Part II - Post Scriptum
· Why did Caricom chose the "Business-as-usual" agricultural model for its Food Security and Nutrition Policy?
· Caribbean Civil Society, Knowledge and the Imbalance of Power
The paper is in two parts. Part 1 (the subject of this document) critically examines Caricom's Regional Food Security and Nutrition Policy. Part 11 (to be posted next month) will examine the Region's Climate Change Mitigation Policy. Both policies were formulated to give effect to the Liliendaal Declaration that was adopted by Caricom Heads of Government in July 2009. In the Declaration, Caricom Heads of Government recognized the multi-functional nature of agriculture and its importance as a contributor to rural development, GDP, employment, export earnings and the sustainable development of the Region. They considered that there was an urgent need to maximize regional agricultural production in order to meet regional food security and nutrition needs, address poverty alleviation, income and employment generation. The Heads of Government requested the CARICOM Secretariat to draft a Regional Food and Nutrition Security Policy (RFSNP) that would achieve those objectives. In October 2010, the Secretariat submitted a draft policy document to Caricom Heads of Government, which proposed a policy framework and a comprehensive set of policy actions that are based exclusively on conventional agricultural practices. The Heads of Government adopted the policy document in its entirety.
Last November, UNEP circulated to all U.N. member states a policy document, "Towards A Green Economy: Agriculture - Investing in Natural Capital" (the agriculture chapter of "Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication"), which will serve as the principal document for discussions at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (RIO+20) scheduled for Rio de Janeiro in late June. The chapter on agriculture is based on a comprehensive evaluation of the evidence, the results and the conclusions of recent scientific studies on the subject. In the conclusion of "Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication", UNEP emphasized that a transformation of todayʼs predominant agriculture paradigms is urgently needed because the high productivity levels of conventional (industrialised) agriculture was achieved at an unsustainably high environmental cost. It required high levels of environmentally-damaging inputs, such as chemical fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides; extensive farm mechanisation; intensive use of transportation fuels; increased water use that often exceeds replacement rates; and higher yielding crop varieties - agricultural practices that are unsustainable.
In making the case for an alternative agricultural paradigm UNEP affirmed, in "Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication", that if worldwide transition efforts are immediately initiated and if the transition is carefully managed, green (organic) agriculture could nutritiously feed the world's population until 2050. In "Agriculture - Investing in Natural Capital", UNEP emphasized the potential global benefits of making that transition. It would "enhance food security, reduce poverty, improve nutrition and health, create rural jobs, and reduce pressure on the environment, including reducing GHG emissions." Those potential achievements respond to virtually all the concerns and needs that Caricom Heads of Goverment expressed in the Liliendaal Declaration.
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