Ipes Food, 7 July 2021 | Source
- Experts call for agroecology, organic and regenerative agriculture to take centre stage at UN Food Systems Summit in New York.
- WWF, Oxfam, IUCN and ECOWAS among 230 organisations to sign ambitious manifesto; 580 individual experts also sign on.
7 JULY, BRUSSELS – Over 800 international organisations, farming groups and food experts want agroecology, organic and regenerative agriculture to top the agenda at this year’s UN Food Systems Summit. The voices from six continents are calling on governments and businesses to take action once and for all on the “damaging” status quo in global farming.
“In the run up to this UN Summit, certain groups have been playing fast and loose with the meaning of sustainability,” warned Emile Frison of IPES-Food, and co-founder of the call.
“Conventional agriculture – with its heavy reliance on chemical inputs – has failed millions. It continues to deplete soils, damage biodiversity, drive climate change, and destroy livelihoods. Quite frankly, nothing short of a food systems transformation will steer us to safety,” added Frison.
Experts argue the momentum is increasingly with agroecology, organic and regenerative agriculture. The call has also unified these diverse movements in the face of ongoing attempts to co-opt sustainable agriculture.
“These approaches work with nature, not against it,” says Agroecology Europe’s Paola Migliorini, “and the international body of evidence can no longer be ignored.”
For months now, global momentum has been building behind the manifesto – initiated by IPES-Food, IFOAM-Organics International, Agroecology Europe, FiBL Europe and Regeneration International.
Signatories are calling on Summit leaders to adopt all 13 of the sustainability principles set out by the High-Level Panel on Food Security and Nutrition in a landmark 2019 report. Among the groups to sign the call are WWF International, the US conservation group The Nature Conservancy, Oxfam, and West Africa’s ECOWAS bloc.
The 2021 UN Food Systems Summit, slated for September in New York, has been mired in controversy,* with civil society groups from all continents critical of the lack of transparency on the road to the Summit.
But IFOAM – Organics International’s Louise Luttikholt sees an opportunity to break the deadlock – and the status quo:
“If decision makers and business leaders are truly concerned about healthy soils, healthy plants, animals, and people, or even the Paris Agreement, then this is a golden opportunity to unify under one banner and adhere to these principles.”
*Today, IPES-Food published a briefing note warning that the UN Food Systems Summit is undermining science and knowledge in the global governance of food.