Statements/Contributions to Policy Processes

We have brought the ideas and analysis of the AgroecologyNow! work into different policy arenas at local, national and international levels. Statements/Contributions to Policy Processes, which focuses on two areas:

  1. Official policy spaces convened by governments and institution such as the United Nations, the UK Parliament or the European Union
  2. Civil society and social movement processes to articulate and advance policy positions from the bottom up

We aim to link the two areas above, supporting the participation of social movements in official policy-spaces (area 1) based on the social movement articulation of policy positions (area 2).

Statements/Contributions to Policy Processes 2020 – Highlighting the relevance of agroecology, territorial solidarity and the right to food for the European Farm to Fork Strategy

On 14 May, the Nyéléni Food Sovereignty Movement in Europe and Central Asia sent a letter to the Executive vice president of the European Commission (EC), Franz Timmermans, who is leading the European Green Deal. A week before the release of the new Farm to Fork Strategy and EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, the letter called on the EC to address the need to transform the food system. Jessica Duncan, Marta Rivera-Ferre and Priscilla Claeys prepared an academic Brief on “The importance of Food Sovereignty for the Farm to Fork strategy and the New Green Deal. Insights and limits of the SAM and SAPEA reports“, that was sent with the letter. Covid-19 has exposed even more limits and dysfunctions in our globalized food systems: from our reliance on under-paid farm and food sector workers operating in poor working conditions(most often women and migrants), the risks associated with intensive animal farming, including zoonoses,  to  barriers  facing  small-scale  producers  when  trying  to  access  local  markets, to gender  inequalities  and the  additional  risks  faced  by  people  with  pre-existing  diet-related health conditions. The brief argues that agroecology, territorial solidarity and the right to food should be put at the heart of the new Farm to Fork strategy.

2019 – Contributed evidence to UK National Food Strategy call for evidence. Two part submission entitled “Agroecology as a Key Pillar of A National Food Policy” available here and here.

2019 – Professor Michel Pimbert was invited to a Round table on Agroecology in Berlin (Germany) at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) on 21 October 2019. To help frame discussions on policy choices for BMZ , Michel presented a paper on Transformations for Sustainable and Just Food Systems through Agroecology (slides here). Participants in Berlin and Bonn (via video link) included senior staff from BMZ and GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), the German Ministry of Agriculture, and Civil Society Organisations (CSO) responsible for food, agriculture and rural development.

Professor Pimbert participated the next day in a follow up session on Overcoming Global Crises with AgroecologyMichel’s presentation focused on Institutional and political transformation for more agroecological policies and practices (slides here).

Last, Michel also engaged in a round table discussion and public debate involving about 160 people at the Heinrich-Böll Foundation on 22 October in Berlin. There were lively exchanges between the audience and panelists who represented the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), a major German political party, Biowatch South Africa, and the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR).  The debate on Overcoming Global Crises with Agroecology was moderated by Benny Haerlin, former CSO Bureau member of the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD). The day’s events were jointly organised by Misereor, Oxfam Germany, Inkota, and Bread for the World.

2018/2019 – Providing input UN High Level Panel of Experts report on Agroecological Approaches and Other Innovations. Our feedback on V0 Draft available here.

2018 – Participation in the European Parliament policy debate on Agroecology: Opportunities and challenges for European development policy. See here for minutes.

2018 – Providing evidence, advice – including generating 120 page synthetic literature review, policy brief and organizing an international workshop with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) focusing on transitions to sustainable agriculture through agroecology.

Statements/Contributions to Policy Processes

AgroecologyNow! organized workshop at UN FAO on agroecology transitions. November 2018.

2018 (In progress) – Provided statements and evidence to the 2018 UK Ag Bill process including:

  • CAWR response to Government consultation on the Green Paper: ‘Health and Harmony: the future for food, farming and the environment in a Green Brexit’, submitted in May 2018
  • Supported the Landworkers Alliance’s in their submission of evidence in Oct 2018
  • Submitted evidence for Ag bill in November 2018. See here.

2016-2018 – Participation on steering group of UK People’s Food Policy process. See here for more information.

2017: Participation as invited expert in the process of negotiation of a UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other people working in rural areas (see minutes A/HRC/36/58).  Drafted report for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Normative sources and rationale underlying the draft declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas (A/HRC/WG.15/4/3).

2017 – Worked with the Landworkers Alliance on a Study Tour on agroecology and sustainable food systems with UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

2016 – Participation on steering group and contribution to debates at Regional Symposium on Agroecology For Sustainable Agriculture and Sustainable Food Systems for Europe and Central Asia. See here for report with some of our contributions.

2016 – Participation and contributions to the Nyeleni Europe Forum on Food Sovereignty (700+ participants). See some reflections and outcomes of our involvement here, here and here.

2016 – Provided CAWR letter of comment on policy on smallholder access to markets at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

2016Submitted written evidence to House of Commons Select Committee Enquiry on Science communication inquiry.

2015 – Co-coordinated with European Coordination of Via Campesina an Agroecology forum in EU Parliament in Brussels. September 14/15, 2015. See:

International Agroecology Symposium in Mali in 2014.

2014 – Participation in International Forum on Agroecology in Mali. 2014. Click here to see our multi-media contribution coming out of this event.

2013-2017 – HLPE on Food Security and Nutrition. Professor Michel Pimbert was a member of the Steering Committee of the High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) on Food Security and Nutrition at the United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS). During the 4 years he served on the HLPE, Professor Pimbert co-authored the following HLPE reports:

  1. Food losses and waste in the context of sustainable food systems (2014)
  2. Water for food security and nutrition(2015)
  3. Sustainable agricultural development for FSN: what roles for livestock?(2016)
  4. Sustainable forestry for food security and nutrition (2017)
  5. Nutrition and food systems (2017) At the request of the the Committee on World Food Security of the United Nations (CFS), Professor Pimbert also co-authored two Notes on Critical and Emerging Issues for Food Security and Nutritionand Critical Emerging Issues.

For more information on the HLPE on Food Security and Nutrition and its role at the science-policy interface click here.

2012-2018: Priscilla Claeys support to the elaboration and negotiation of a UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other people working in rural areas

  • The Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other people working in rural areas, adopted in September 2018 by the UN Human Rights Council, recognizes new human rights such as the right to land, seeds and food sovereignty. It represents a major victory for the global food sovereignty movement, as it was demanded and initiated by La Via Campesina in 2012, and negotiated during 6 years. The Declaration is to be adopted in December 2018 by the UN General Assembly.
  • In its article 17.7, the Declaration states that: “States shall take measures aimed at the conservation and sustainable use of land and other natural resources used in their production, including, among others, through agroecology, and ensure the conditions for the regeneration of biological and other natural capacities and cycles”.
  • In its article 15, the Declaration recognizes the right to food sovereignty. It states: “ Peasants and other people working in rural areas have the right to determine their own food  and  agriculture  systems,  recognized  by  many  States  and  regions  as  the  right  to  food sovereignty. This includes the right to participate in decision-making processes on food and agriculture policy and the right to healthy and adequate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods that respect their cultures. It also states that: “ States shall formulate, in partnership with peasants and other people working in rural areas, public policies at the local, national, regional and international levels to advance and protect  the  right  to  adequate  food,  food  security  and  food  sovereignty  and  sustainable  and equitable  food  systems  that  promote  and  protect  the  rights  contained  in  the  present Declaration. States shall establish mechanisms to ensure the coherence of their agricultural, economic,  social,  cultural  and  development  policies  with  the  realization  of  the rights contained in the present Declaration.