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September 11, 2009

EcoAgriculture Partners Newsletter

Connections between food systems, biodiversity, and human health have been profiled in  several mainstream venues this summer. Both Time Magazine (http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1917458,00.html) and the documentary Food Inc. (http://www.foodincmovie.com/)  exposed critical weaknesses of the current industrial food system in the U.S. They detail the water pollution wrought by industrial feeding operations, the increasing homogeneity of seed stock, rising obesity and diabetes rates among the poor populations, and the increasing disconnect between our pastoral vision of farming and the way it is actually being implemented. An upsetting article in the San Franscisco Chronicle this summer outlined the ways in which new federal food safety regulations are actually sabotaging the efforts of farmers in the Salinas Valley, California, to grow food in biodiversity-friendly ways (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2009/07/13/MN0218DVJ8.DTL).


It is increasingly clear that we cannot just regulate our way out of a broken system. Examples of innovative approaches toward food security and the environment abound. Articles in this Newsletter show how consumers, farmers, politicians, and citizens are contributing to creative solutions. From traditional healers gathering to share knowledge in India [in “Upcoming Events”] to the recently released “L’Aquila” Joint Statement on Global Food Security from the G8 [In the Scene], communities large and small are coming together to craft innovative alternatives for such challenges as climate change and health care in the context of ecoagriculture.

 


Table of Contents

EcoAgriculture Partners Updates In the Scene Resources Call for Papers, Partners, and Proposals Upcoming Events

 

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EcoAgriculture Partners Updates

Small grants support ecoagriculture projects in Mesoamerica

Ecoagriculture Partners and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) recently distributed two small grants to encourage ecoagriculture in the region, funded by World Bank Development Grants Facility. The grant opportunity was linked to the Ecoagriculture Leadership course which was held in November 2008 in conjunction with IICA and the Tropical Agriculture Research and Training Center (CATIE).


The first of the two selected projects was used to strengthen the capacity of local leadership in the Northern Zone of Costa Rica. IICA facilitated a workshop on “Unleashing Local Energy” which was attended by over 60 people including agricultural producers, local government officials, and those from the conservation and education sectors. The second small grant supports the development of an online community of practice around ecoagriculture. The project is being implemented by participants from various countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras) relying on the use of electronic tools such as forums, bulletins, etc. This community of practice will be based at the portal “Central America Landscapes: Communities for Rural Action” (www.territorioscentroamericanos.org/ecoagricultura).

Updates to Ecoagriculture Partners' website

Web pages on our program categories: Understanding Ecoagriculture, Linking & Learning, and Policies & Markets now feature headlines of Recent Updates and Publications related to these programs, giving you a quick snapshot of related recent activities.


Within the programs, individual initiatives now feature a new tabbed scheme for better organization of the knowledge and activities under those initiatives.


We have also added a secure online donation feature on our website for ecoagriculture supporters to make donations using credit cards or PayPal accounts (http://www.ecoagriculture.org/page.php?id=48).


And new photos continue to be added to our photo gallery on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ecoagriculture/). Most of these photos are being released under the Creative Commons license for like-minded users to communicate and generate dialogue on ecoagriculture. If you have photos of ecoagriculture practices, or agricultural landscapes that you would like to share through our gallery, please contact Sajal Sthapit, ssthapit@ecoagriculture.org.


We hope these changes will be useful to you, and welcome your feedback!

Ecoagriculture Partners and the Food and Agriculture Organization discuss carbon monitoring in agricultural landscapes

Ecoagriculture Partners and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations hosted a discussion on monitoring, reporting and verification of agricultural projects for greenhouse gas mitigation at the Heinz Center on 2 September 2009 – the second event in a series on agriculture and climate change.


To open the discussion, Professor James Lassoie of Cornell University presented an overview of the status of monitoring methodologies in agriculture and provided a look toward the future of monitoring through a new project at Cornell Center for a Sustainable Future.  Participants then heard a brief commentary by Ellysar Baroudy of the World Bank Biocarbon Fund, Dennis Ojima of the Heinz Center and Melinda Kimble of the United Nations Foundation. 


This kicked off a lively discussion focusing on the opportunities and challenges of monitoring in agriculture, especially soils.  Participants brought up issues of the complexity of the mechanisms, the use of default values to counter grey areas in land use projects, the need to measure and report so that default values can become more reliable, complications due to land tenure and ownership of credits, permanence of credits issued, need for investment in research and many other issues. 

Ecoagriculture Partners participates in World Agroforestry Congress, Nairobi, Kenya

Sara J. Scherr, Louise Buck, Seth Shames and Jeff Milder of Ecoagriculture Partners participated in the recently concluded World Congress of Agroforestry in Nairobi, Kenya, at the United Nations Environment Programme headquarters, from 24-27 August 2009.
 
Ecoagriculture Partners’ President and CEO, Dr. Scherr gave a keynote address on the Congress Theme 3: Key policy issues for agroforestry, on the opening day. On 27 August, Ecoagriculture Partners facilitated a side event titled, Ecoagriculture Landscapes: Mobilizing Action Together. Nearly 30 participants joined the event for an update on the activities of Ecoagriculture Partners, and to share experiences from their own ecoagriculture initiatives in different parts of the world.


Dr. Louise Buck, Coordinator of the Landscape Measures Initiative, presented on agroforestry in landscape-scale conservation strategies on 26 August 2009 at the Technical Session.  Jeff Milder, Ecoagriculture Partners Research Associate, presented his paper titled "Quantifying ecoagriculture: methods and proxies for tracking conservation outcomes in complex agricultural landscapes" on the same date.


For power point presentations and more details see: http://www.ecoagriculture.org/announcements.php?id=351.

Ecoagriculture Partners becomes a member of the Sustainable Food Lab

Ecoagriculture Partners has officially become a member of the Sustainable Food Lab this week, joining food industry groups; non-government organizations; government and academic institutions and private foundations. Nearly half of the 67 members of the Sustainable Food Lab come from the business sector, including Unilever, Starbucks and General Mills, among others.


Membership criteria includes potential influence on shifting the mainstream food system onto a more sustainable path, work on innovative projects that can add to collective learning; and commitment to designating one or more individuals to become actively engaged with the Sustainable Food Lab.


Based in White River Junction, VT, the Sustainable Food Lab is a project of the Ag Innovation Network. They work to accelerate the shift of sustainable food from niche to mainstream. For more information see: http://www.sustainablefoodlab.org/.

Claire Rhodes, Coordinator of Community Knowledge Service, moving on to a new landscape

Claire Rhodes, Coordinator of the Community Knowledge Service at Ecoagriculture Partners, has accepted a new position with CaféDirect in London UK as of 1 October 2009.  In her role as the manager of a non-profit arm of Cafedirect, Claire will facilitate support to the smallholder farmer organizations who supply CaféDirect with Fairtrade-certified coffee, tea, and chocolate.
 
Claire has been an instrumental part of Ecoagriculture Partners from the beginning, through co-managing the 2004 Ecoagriculture Conference and Practioners’ Fair in Nairobi in 2004 to facilitating learning exchanges and partnerships through the Community Knowledge Service. We will miss the probing intellect and deep dedication Claire brings to her work, but hope to collaborate on future projects.


Claire can be reached at: CLAIRELRHODES@GMAIL, or Tel: +44 7790 641499.

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In the Scene

EnterpriseWorks/Vita holds workshop on value chain cases in the context of conservation marketing and certification

This event, sponsored by EnterpriseWorks/VITA, was supported by USAID under the Translinks Program -Linking Natural Resources, Economic Growth and Good Governance. Twenty-six participants, from eight countries representing field practitioners, community groups, the private sector, government and donors shared their product and enterprise development experiences and learned about tools, methodologies, and market trends that are generating documented benefits for the poor and conservation of key biodiversity areas.


The workshop proceedings and PowerPoint presentations of the case studies and training materials are available for download at: http://www.enterpriseworks.org/display.cfm?id=5&sub=23&cont=52.

Ecological Society of America announces new statement on ecosystem services and decision making

The Ecological Society of America has drafted a policy statement focusing on four main mechanisms to encourage decision makers to account for the environmental costs of growth. The mechanisms are, as follows:


• Internalize externalities
• Create mechanisms for sustaining ecosystem services
• Enhance decision makers’ capacity to predict environmental impacts
• Manage for resilient ecosystems.


For the full statement and more information see: http://rs.resalliance.org/2009/07/27/ecological-society-of-america-statement-on-ecosystem-services-and-decision-making/.

African Women in Agricultural Research and Development awards announced

African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) has announced the selection of 61 women scientists who will receive the innovative AWARD Fellowship, designed to boost the female talent pool for African agriculture. Chosen from nearly 500 applicants from 10 sub-Saharan African countries, these women bring with them scientific and development expertise that has great potential to tackle the food crisis and climate change while improving the daily lives of small-scale farmers.


This is the second year AWARD has identified and honored outstanding African women scientists to receive career development resources aimed at strengthening their expertise as pro-poor researchers while also positioning them as leaders. They come from 48 different institutions of education and research in the region.


For more information see: http://fellowsupdate.wordpress.com/.

G8 works toward global food security

The “L’Aquila” Joint Statement on Global Food Security – released on 10 July 2009, highlights deep concern among the world’s largest economies about global food security. The statement connects food security with economic growth, social progress, political stability and peace and advocates increased and targeted investment to enhance agricultural productivity. It links the need for effective actions on global food security to those related to climate change, sustainable management of water, land, soil and other natural resources, including the protection of biodiversity. It also emphasizes the need for cross-cutting, inclusive approaches involving all relevant stakeholders at global, regional and national levels. Lastly, the statement highlights the need to pay particular attention to smallholders, women and families through training and knowledge sharing networks.


The Group of Eight (G8) is a forum for governments of eight nations of the northern hemisphere: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The group meets once a year to discuss matters of economics and policy. The presidency and responsibility for hosting the meeting rotate among member nations.


For the full text of the L’Aquila statement, see: http://www.g8italia2009.it/static/G8_Allegato/LAquila_Joint_Statement_on_Global_Food_Security%5B1%5D,0.pdf.


For more information about the G8 Summit see: http://www.g8italia2009.it/G8/Home/G8-G8_Layout_locale-1199882116809_Summit.htm.

AdapCC program supports climate change adaption strategies among smallholder farmers

The leading British Fairtrade company Cafédirect and the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) are implementing a three year Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) between April 2007 and March 2010. The main objective of the joint initiative, called “Adaptation for Smallholders to Climate Change” (AdapCC), is developing and implementing exemplary climate change adaptation strategies with pilot coffee and tea organizations in four countries in Latin America and East Africa.


In Chiapas, the most important coffee growing region in Mexico, the AdapCC initiative is supporting the smallholder coffee-trading organization Más Café to prevent deforestation. Deforestation is one of the most pressing threats to the sustainability of future coffee production in the area (as well as a major risk to the local environment), as shade trees ensure the production of high quality coffee. In Michimikuru, Kenya, the diversification of food and income is an important aspect of the adaptation strategy planned for farmers, in a landscape where a dense tea monoculture, combined with degraded lands and unsustainable agricultural practices has led to vulnerabilities from climate change.


For more information see: http://www.adapcc.org/ or email Kathleen Schepp, Project Coordinator at kathleen.schepp@gtz.de.

Worldwatch Institute evaluates innovations in agriculture and environmental management

The Worldwatch Institute is launching a two-year project to point the world toward innovations in agriculture that can nourish people as well as the planet, supported by a $1.3 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The project will focus specifically on sub-Saharan Africa. Among the many innovations and approaches that Worldwatch plans to examine are: adding nitrogen-fixing plants into crop rotations as a low-cost solution for enriching soils and breaking weed and pest cycles; overcoming freshwater shortages with rain harvesting, efficient irrigation, micro dams, and cover cropping; strengthening local breeding capacity, including the use of farmer-run seed banks and genetic markers of important crop traits; tapping international carbon-credit markets to reward farmers for enriching their soils and planting carbon-sequestering tree crops and involving women farmers in decision-making at all levels.


Worldwatch will work with partner organizations to provide on-the-ground research in locations around the world, access to farmer-to-farmer networks, and knowledge of specific agricultural interventions, from irrigation and soil improvement to market development. This robust network includes World Neighbors, Ecoagriculture Partners, Heifer International, Rodale Institute, Slow Food International, International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the Global Water Policy Project. The project will culminate in the release of State of the World 2011: Nourishing the Planet.


For more information see: http://www.ecoagriculture.org/announcements.php?id=323.

World Agroforestry Congress, Nairobi, Kenya

The second World Agroforestry Conference was held in Nairobi, Kenya from 23-28 August 2009. The overall theme was "Agroforestry - The Future of Global Land Use,” with plenary, symposia, concurrent sessions, and poster sessions organized around the following topics:

  • Food Security and Livelihoods
  • Conservation and Rehabilitation of Natural resources
  • Policies and Institutions

Coverage of many of the presentations and issues raised are available on the Congress blog at http://www.worldagroforestry.org/wca2009/blog. Planned publications include a summary document, a book of abstracts, refereed journal articles, journal special issues, and books on the key topics covered in the symposia and technical sessions. A declaration that embodies the substance of Congress deliberations will be developed as a tool for discussions with policy makers and donor agencies to advance the cause of agroforestry worldwide. Please keep checking the website at http://www.worldagroforestry.org/WCA2009/  for updates!

Sustainable Food Lab hosts agricultural climate stewardship strategy meeting, Pennsylvania, US

This meeting took place at the Rodale Institute (http://www.rodaleinstitute.org/) in Fogelsville, PA, near the Rodale Institute, from the 8-10 September 2009, and focused on agricultural climate stewardship. 45 participants, inlcuding representatives from agriculture and carbon industry groups, NGO's and researchers discussed carbon footprint methods, soil sequestration pilots and numerous other initiatives that are building the capacity of the food supply chain to mitigate climate change. Discussion focused around the most promising carbon foot-printing methodologies and decision-support tools, the potential for increasing incentives through higher quality and higher valued agricultural carbon and other ways to tap the potential of agriculture to mitigate climate change and high leverage pilot projects – existing and new. The meeting included a tour of the Rodale Institute's soil carbon field experiments.


The Sustainable Food Lab (http://www.sustainablefoodlab.org/) hosted the meeting in partnership with Unilever’s Sustainable Agriculture’s team, Innovation Center for US Dairy and others, among them Ecoagriculture Partners.

Santoyama ecoagriculture initiative launched

 The Meeting of International Experts on the International Satoyama Initiative Concept "Biodiversity and Sustainability" was held on the 25 of July, 2009, in Tokyo, Japan. Satoyama describes a Japanese eco-system that supports biodiversity and is paradoxically the result of human transformation of forests over 2,000 years of rice farming. A fascinating Japan Times article from this August (http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20090823x1.html) explains what satoyama is, and how it is threatened on the one hand by large-scale agribusiness and pesticides that are sterilizing the land, and on the other hand by the encroachment of forests on villages that farmers are abandoning in rural Japan.


According to Japan’s Environment Ministry, more than half of Japan’s threatened plant and animal species live in satoyama areas. The Environment Ministry has created at least three editions of a national biodiversity strategy and launched a Satoyama Initiative that has included knowledge sharing with Asian regional conferences. And Japan will next year host the 10th Conference of Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP10) in Nagoya.


Resources in English include Takeuchi Kazuhiko et al’s book Satoyama: The Traditional Rural Landscape of Japan (Springer, 2002).

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Resources

Australian Conservation Foundation launches policy proposal for sustaining food and farming systems

The Australian Conservation Foundation (AFC) has released a report outlining 24 policy suggestions to the Victorian Government that would assist Victoria to equip its food and farming systems to produce more healthy foods, more sustainably, in a much more difficult climate, while consuming less water, energy and soil, fewer nutrients and without damaging biodiversity.  While the focus of this project was confined to Victoria, the vast majority of its findings and suggestions are relevant nationally.  These policy propositions build on a more comprehensive background paper that was published by the ACF in October 2008.


This is the second and final phase of the Future Food and Farming project, commissioned by the ACF with funding from the William Buckland Foundation and undertaken by Andrew Campbell of Triple Helix Consulting.


Both reports and more information about the project can be found at: http://www.acfonline.org.au/default.asp?section_id=281.

Ecology and Farming Magazine publishes issue focused on organic agriculture in Africa

Issue #44 of the Ecology and Farming Magazine focuses on organic agriculture in Africa, highlighting main challenges and successes. Relevant pieces to ecoagriculture include, “Innovating with Natural Pesticides to Produce Organic Cotton In Lira District In Uganda,” by Florence Nagawa & Lucy Senya, “Mainstreaming Gender in Organic Agriculture” by Edith Kunihira, and “Food Production, Biodiversity and Water Use in South Africa” by Raymond Auerbach. To view the table of contents visit: http://shop.ifoam.org/bookstore/download_preview/E&F45-Teaser.pdf.


Non-members or non-subscribers can purchase the publication via the IFOAM shop at: http://shop.ifoam.org/bookstore/.

The World Bank focuses on ecosystem-based approaches to climate change

The World Bank has made a list of the five main threats arising from climate change -
namely droughts, floods, storms, rising sea levels, and greater uncertainty in agriculture – and the twelve countries most at risk from these threats in "Convenient Solutions to an Inconvenient Truth: Ecosystem-based Approaches to Climate Change" published in June 2009. Four of the world's poorest nations top the list of the twelve countries at the highest risk from climate change.


Malawi, a low-income southern African country, where most people live in rural areas and earn US $975 or less per year, was identified as most susceptible to droughts. Malawi has been suffering from two serious droughts in the past 20 years and a prolonged dry spell in 2004 and the frequency and intensity of droughts are expected to increase further. Among the other countries most at risk of drought are Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, India, Mozambique, Niger, Mauritania, Eritrea, Sudan, Chad, Kenya and Iran. Meanwhile, leading the list of countries most in danger of food deficits is Sudan, followed by Senegal, Zimbabwe, Mali, Zambia, Morocco, Niger, India, Malawi, Algeria, Ethiopia and Pakistan. Large parts of the countries in the list are covered by arid and semi arid lands or desert, which are extremely vulnerable to droughts.


The full report is available at in PDF format at: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2009/07/08/000333037_20090708013334/Rendered/PDF/493130ESW0whit10Box338946B01PUBLIC1.pdf.

Kalpavriksh Environment Action Group publishes directory of community conserved areas in India

Kalpavriksh Environment Action Group has published a Directory of Community Conserved Areas (CCAs) in India, which catalogues turtles, forests, blackbuck, primates, wetlands and beaches conserved by rural communities across India. The directory will contribute to a deeper understanding of community-led biodiversity conservation, and issues of livelihoods, tenure, development, legal and policy environment, and ecological impacts. The 800-page Directory contains:

  • 140 case studies from 23 states, representing a diversity of
     cosystems, communities, and kinds of efforts.
  • State-level analyses, and a national overview, dealing with: the definition of CCAs, kind of ecosystems covered by them, kind of species protected, ecological and social impacts, institutions established by them, kind of legal and other support available and kind
     of threats faced.
  • National and state maps
  • Photos and illustrations from various sites

For more information, contact: Anuradha Arjunwadkar at
kvbooks@vsnl.net.

World Bank publishes report on building response strategies to climate change in agricultural systems in Latin America

This study by the World Bank reports the results of action research to identify and prioritize stakeholder driven, locally relevant response options to climate change in Latin American agriculture. Focusing on three main regions, The Yaqui Valley of Northwestern Mexico, the Mantaro Valley of Central Peru and the Western Littoral Region of Uruguay, authors identify main responses strategies. These strategies include climate information systems, water management technologies, improvements in the integrated management of natural resources and production systems, and technological innovations to minimize climate risk and institutional innovations. Response strategies vary significantly by region.


For the full report see: http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EXTLACREGTOPRURDEV/Resources/503766-1225476272295/PDF_Agricultue_Climate_change.pdf.

Ecoagriculture Partners and the Worldwatch Institute release Ecoagriculture Policy Brief 3, "Mitigating Climate Change through Food and Land Use"

Ecoagriculture Partners published a policy brief with the Worldwatch Institute on mitigating climate change through food and land use this August, based on our recent report by the same title. Recommended policy actions include:

  1. Promote emission reduction, storage, and sequestration options in climate policy and investment.
  2. Incorporate farming and land use investments in cap-and-trade systems.
  3. Link terrestrial climate mitigation with adaptation, rural development, and conservation strategies.
  4. Encourage large, area-based programs. 
  5. Encourage voluntary markets for greenhouse gas emission offsets from agriculture and land use.
  6. Mobilize a worldwide, networked movement for climate-friendly food, forest, and other land-based production

To view the policy brief visit: http://www.ecoagriculture.org/documents/files/doc_297.pdf.

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Call for Papers, Partners, and Proposals

Call for papers: Innovation and Sustainable Development in Agriculture and Food

This international symposium will be held in Montpellier, France from 28 June to 1 July, 2010. At the meeting, participants from diverse disciplines and geographic areas will examine whether science and society can reinvent agricultural and food systems to achieve sustainability. Abstracts for the symposium should be focused around 5 main issue areas, listed below:

  • Innovating to link production and conservation: how to feed the world population and protect the planet at the same time?
  • Questioning social equity: how can innovation reduce the fragility of poor populations and make them members of a sustainable society?
  • Learning and being creative: how can different types of knowledge be combined to create innovation?
  • Acting collectively: what kinds of institutions, policies, and forms of governance can strengthen society’s capacity for resilience?
  • Renewing research models and practices: how can research better fulfill its responsibilities to elaborate innovating solutions in collaboration with society?

Partners for the event include the French Agricultural Research Center for International Development,  the French Institute for National Agronomic Research, Montpellier SupAgro, and the Agropolis Fondation. The deadline for submission of abstracts is 15 September, 2009.


For more information on the meeting and abstract submission see: http://www.isda2010.net/.

Fellowship available on research on conservation and use of genetic resources

Two Fellowship opportunities will be available for 2010 to carry out research on conservation and use of plant genetic resources. The fellowships are supported by Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., United States and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), Australia.


Applications are invited from nationals of developing countries, aged 35 or under, holding a masters degree (or equivalent) and/or doctorate in a relevant subject area.
The deadline for applications is 8 November 2009.


For more information see: http://www.bioversityinternational.org/about_us/fellowships/vavilov_frankel_fellowship.html#c2386 or send a request to Andie Dimitriadou at a.dimitriadou@cgiar.org.

Call for candidates for Young Researchers Seminar, 25th-30 March 2010, Montpellier, France

The French Initiative for International Agricultural Research in collaboration with Agropolis Fondation and with the support of the Young Professionals’ Platform for Agricultural Research for Development (YPARD) is organizing its first biennial seminar for young researchers working in developed and developing countries from the 25th-30 March 2010.


Entitled "Exploring Agricultural Research for the future: a dialogue between young researchers from the South and the North", this event will provide an opportunity for doctoral and post doctoral students to dialogue and to establish links between young researchers from the North and the South. This seminar will gather some 40 young researchers who will reflect on how innovation and integration are factored into their respective research work, what are the obstacles faced, what are the institutional and organizational prerequisites, etc.  The deadline for applications has been extended to 30 September 2009.


For more information and to apply see: http://www.gip-ifrai.fr/gip_ifrai_eng/.

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Upcoming Events

Food, Agriculture, and National Security: 2009 World Food Prize and Borlaug Dialogue symposium, 14-16 October 2009, Des Moines, Iowa, US

The formal awarding of the $250,000 World Food Prize will be the cornerstone of a week-long series of events that will attract several hundred government officials and policymakers, private-sector and agribusiness executives, academics and scientists, and NGO and development-agency leaders from over 65 countries. The focus this year will be on the connection between food and agriculture and national and international security and cooperation, with speakers including renowned global CEOs, agricultural ministers and diplomats, noted intelligence and security experts, and other eminent leaders in agricultural and rural development.


For more information see: https://www.worldfoodprize.org/symposium/2009.htm.

Food and Agriculture Organization, Summit on Food Security, 16-18 November 2009, Rome, Italy

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will convene a World Summit of Heads of State and Government on Food Security, November 16-18, 2009 in Rome, Italy, to consider adoption of a new food security declaration, an initial draft of which has been prepared by the FAO. The draft text, which is intended to initiate the negotiation process, calls for the complete eradication of hunger from the face of the Earth by 2025 and for secure, sufficient, safe, and nutritious food supplies for a growing world population that is projected to reach 9.2 billion in 2050.


In October, three important events will prepare the ground for the Summit, including a high level expert forum on 12-13 October, the Committee on World Food Security, and World Food Day on 16 October 2009.


For more information see: http://www.fao.org/wsfs/world-summit/en/.

Agriculture for Development and Food Security in the Americas, 1 October 2009, Washington DC, US

The Inter-American Institute for the Cooperation on Agriculture and the Organization of American States are co-organizing this conference for development of food security in the Americas. The primary objectives are to:

  • Create a leadership platform to bring attention to the needs and opportunities of investing in Latin America and Caribbean agriculture
  • Position food security for discussion at the Fifth Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Rural Life in the context of the Summit of the Americas process, and the Fifteenth Regular Meeting of the Inter-American Board of Agriculture to be held in Jamaica October 2009
  • Raise the visibility of the importance of food security and agriculture which was reaffirmed in the Declaration of Commitment of Port of Spain, at the Fifth Summit of the Americas
  • Seek agreement to hold hemispheric workshops throughout 2010, thus leading to the creation of National Food Security Plans in the Member States


For more information see: http://www.iica.int/Eng/regiones/norte/USA/Pages/FoodSecurityConference.aspx.

TerrAfrica to hold side events at the UNCCD COP 9, 21 September to 2 October 2009, Buenos Aires, Argentina

The ninth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification will be held at the Hotel Hilton in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 21 September to 2 October 2009. As for the previous COPs, the TerrAfrica Partnership is considering a set of activities and events as part of its support to increase advocacy and knowledge and information sharing to advance the scaling up of sustainable land management in Sub-Saharan Africa. Arrangements are underway for the following activities / events:


  • Wednesday, 23 September, 1-2:30 p.m., Civil Society Organizations and Sustainable Land Management (SLM) – Launching of the new coordination mechanism for the African CSOs (being prepared with the CSOs SAG).
  • Thursday, 24 September, 6-8 p.m. TerrAfrica Update on Progress – Report on progress made and lessons learnt from the Independent Evaluation (being prepared by TerrAfrica Secretariat)
  • Friday, 25 September, 1-2:30 p.m. Climate Change and SLM – Promoting SLM in its potential to mitigate and adapt to climate change: TerrAfrica early achievements and planned activities (being prepared with the Climate & Land SAG)
  • Wednesday, 30 September, 1-2:30 p.m. Knowledge Management for SLM – Putting SLM knowledge into use in Africa: the TerrAfrica country service network launch   (being prepared with the Knowledge Management SAG)

For more information on the events, and TerrAfrica itself see: http://www.terrafrica.org/.

International healers exchange and conference on traditional medicine and sustainable healthcare, 7-20 November 2009, Bangalore, India

Around 50 healers from Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and South and North Americas are expected to participate in the first segment of the international healers exchange, which will run from 7-18 November 2009. The conference segment on traditional medicine and sustainable health care, running from 19-20 November 2009 will involve around 100 other interested participants such as academicians, researchers, NGOs, policy makers, apart from healers. A major objective of the program is to discuss strategies for integrating traditional medical practitioners in public health program. Steering committee organizations include Compas Network for Endogenous Development (www.compasnet.org), Ecoagriculture Partners (www.ecoagriculture.org) and the Foundation for Revitalization of Local Health Traditions (www.compasnet.org).


Please check out: http://www.frlht.org/compasnov09.htm for further updates in the coming weeks.

The newsletter was compiled by Ecoagriculture Partners. For more information, please contact info@ecoagriculture.org. Information about Ecoagriculture Partners and related employment opportunities can be found at www.ecoagriculture.org.