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Farm Radio Weekly

World: Rio+20 and sustainable agriculture (Various sources)

Last week in Brazil, world leaders, civil society and representatives of the private sector attended the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, known this year as Rio+20 (http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.html).

Many observers were disappointed with the outcomes, saying that discussions did not go far enough. Barbara Stocking is the Chief Executive of Oxfam GB. She said at the end of the conference: “They came, they talked, but they failed to act.”

One day of the conference was called “Agriculture Day” and dedicated to sustainable agriculture (http://www.agricultureday.org/). Key speakers from international agricultural policy and research institutions took the opportunity to call for agriculture, as the single largest employer in the world, to be at the heart of the green economy. Read the discussion summary here: http://www.agricultureday.org/final-communique

Nelly Bassily, Farm Radio Weekly’s Research and Production Officer, attended the conference. She commented on the atmosphere at the meeting: “On the one hand, heads of states and government officials were patting themselves on the back for simply saying the words ‘green economy’ in their plenary interventions inside Rio Centro. On the other hand, major groups, like the ones for NGOs, children and youth, women, and farmers were really frustrated and dissatisfied with the wording of the final outcome document, calling it The Future We DON’T Want.”

Ms. Bassily felt that Henry Saragih, international coordinator of La Via Campesina, summarized opposition to the final outcome best when he stated, “The pathway to a more sustainable future must move towards socially responsible and sustainable markets and finance; balancing human needs with those of the ecosystems upon which all life depends.” Read more statements from La Via Campesina at: http://viacampesina.org/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1293:rio20-opening-statement-of-the-farmers-major-group&catid=48:-climate-change-and-agrofuels&Itemid=75

To read the final outcome document, titled “The Future We Want,” click here: http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N12/381/64/PDF/N1238164.pdf?OpenElement

Other global institutions made calls for action at the conference:

IFAD: http://www.ifad.org/events/rio/resources/statement.htm

CGIAR: http://www.cgiar.org/consortium-news/cgiar-calls-for-action-at-rio20/

At this link, you can view a video (47 minutes) of a discussion with key speakers from Rio+20, “How Agriculture will Address the Rio+20 Challenges”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwlI_ndQ9nc

For other analysis and reports from around the world, see:

-Rio+20 Earth Summit talks: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jun/20/rio20-earth-summit-talks

-Women’s group disappointed at Rio+20: http://blogs.worldwatch.org/nourishingtheplanet/womens-major-group-disappointed-and-outraged-at-the-rio20-outcomes/

-Rio+20: The landscape approach: http://www.irinnews.org/Report/95670/RIO-20-The-landscape-approach

-Africa After Rio: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/muhammad-yunus/rio20-africa_b_1619492.html

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