AgroecologyNow! works with partners in social movements, civil society, governments and research institutions to promote a transformative agroecology for food sovereignty and social justice: www.agroecologynow.net.
See below for some highlights of our latest work and highlights from what’s up in networks, including free-to-download articles, videos and other resources. Please feel free to copy/adapt parts for use in newsletters, etc. or share the entire update via this link: https://www.agroecologynow.net/2021-09-update/ . [All What’s up Newsletters collected here.]
Special focus on AgroecologyNow! critical perspectives on UN Food Systems’ Summit
Failure to Engage: Civil Society Marginalised in UN Food Summit
The UN Food Systems Summit claims to launch bold new actions to deliver progress on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. To this end, it has sought to develop a dialogue-based participatory process with different actors at multiple scales on how to transform our food system. However, civil society organisations and allied academics are raising concerns about the high-level corporate influence of the Summit, the undermining of democratic institutions and inclusive multilateralism as well as its lack of grounding in human rights. Read at: https://wp.me/p67WNH-NN
Power to the Elites? Multistakeholderism and the UN Food Systems Summit
Multistakeholderism has become a new buzz word in food systems governance. It is also at the heart of how the UN Food System Summit (UNFSS) is organized. In theory, encouraging dialogue between various parties is a good thing. In practice, however, multistakeholderism fails to recognise that not all stakeholders start on an equal footing. It ignores critical questions like: who will be most-affected by a given set of policies and consequently, whose voice should be prioritised? Read at: https://wp.me/p67WNH-Pg Please also check out this short video explaining the concept of multistakeholderism and how it undermines people’s participation in the UNFSS.
Science Policy Interface – Open letter
Some of the main players of the UNFSS science group promote the establishment of a new science-policy interface for food systems. Academics following the UN Food Systems Summit have contested this proposal that would bypass existing democratic mechanisms and science policy advice through the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) of the UN Committee on World Food Security. https://wp.me/p67WNH-QK
Technology Sovereignty for Small Farmers – webinar recording
As part of the People’s Counter-Mobilization to the UN Food Systems Summit, civil society organisations and the AgroecologyNow! Collective co-convened a discussion on agricultural technology from a food sovereignty perspective. Check out this webinar recording to hear the testimonies of farmers, fisherfolk and mobile indigenous peoples across four continents, including critical questions they raise about the type of technology and innovation that small-scale food producers genuinely need and want. Read summary and overview here: https://wp.me/p67WNH-Qp
More Critical views on UNFSS from our Networks
- People’s Autonomous response to UN Food Systems Summit: FoodSystems4People
- UN Special Rapporteur thematic report analyzes in detail the short-comings of the UN Food Systems Summit: https://undocs.org/A/76/237
- Last chance to make the Food Systems Summit truly a people’s summit. Policy brief by Michael Fakhri, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food
- Academics on UNFSS: critical perspectives on failures of UNFSS through multimedia resources
- ETC Group. 2021. Hijacking Food Systems: technofix takeover at the FSS. Communiqué #118.
- Silvia Kay. 2021. Food Systems Summit risks furthering the corporate capture of agroecology. TNI & Cultivate Collective.
- IPES Briefing Note : Summit being used to fast-track new science body
- Turnhout, E., Duncan, J., Candle, J., Maas, T.Y., Roodhof, A.M., Declerck, F., Watson, R.T. 2021. Do we need a new science policy interface for food systems? Science. Vol 373, Issue 6559, pp 1093-1095.
- Marion Nestlé on The UN Summit on Food Systems : The Critique
Further AgroecologyNow! Features
Article and podcast – Transforming Cape Town’s Covid soup kitchens into spaces of dignity: a community vision
This blog post explores the emergence of community kitchens in South Africa in the wake of the COVID crisis. It examines their potential as a move beyond the ‘charity’ model of addressing hunger, towards a transformative perspective, rooted in dignity and the right to food. Readers can also learn more in this article and in a new podcast series “uPhakantoni?” (what are you dishing?). Read the blog at: https://wp.me/p67WNH-Rk
Open Access Article – Democratising the governance of agri-food systems: let the people decide
This paper describes and critically reflects on a participatory policy process which resulted in a government decision not to introduce genetically modified (GM) cotton in farmers’ fields in Mali (West Africa). The process described is part of ongoing participatory action research on democratising the governance of agri-food systems. As such, the authors’ critical reflections on the politics of knowledge and exclusion of black African farmer voices from policy and technological choices are particularly relevant for the upcoming UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS). https://tinyurl.com/88wzfvc3
Reflections on the IPES Food & ETC Group report ‘Long Food Movement – Transforming Food Systems by 2045’
In this webinar recording activists and researchers from the Philippines, Mali and the UK reflect on two very different futures for food systems – “agribusiness-as-usual” and radical food system transformation reclaimed by social movements – as imagined and described in the recently released IPES Food & ETC Group report ‘A Long Food Movement: Transforming Food Systems by 2045‘. Visit https://youtu.be/tp8h0MnLcNE to watch the webinar.
Statement – Call for solidarity with the Palestinian People
The AgroecologyNow collective condemns the violent Israeli attacks on the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and in Israel and calls on other scholar activists to continue to stand in solidarity with all Palestinians and farmers who feed them. Further, it is advocating for the enactment of all Palestinians’ rights – as enshrined in international law – to protection of life, land and livelihoods, and to freedom, dignity and peace. Read at: https://wp.me/p67WNH-Oq
AN! Column – The Stories We Trust: Regulating Genome Edited Organisms
In ongoing discussions about the regulation of genome edited organisms in the United Kingdom and the European Union, existing regulation to prevent harm to human and planetary health is often portrayed as the ‘bad guy’ trying to curb progress. What if we look at GMO-regulation in a different way? How to think of and design policy frameworks of care that support people- and earth-centred or agroecological processes of change? This article unpacks the narratives that underpin corporate campaigns to deregulate new technologies of genetic engineering. Read at: https://wp.me/p67WNH-PA
This is What Diversity Looks Like! – Reflection on Land Skills Fair event (UK)
The Land Skills Fair took place in the UK from 13th to 15th August 2021. The event was the first major in-person gathering organised by the Landworkers’ Alliance (LWA) since the covid pandemic – it centred not only their commitment to up-skilling for the agroecological transition, but also to building a diverse and people-centred food and farming movement. Chris Maughan reflects on the significance of the event for the LWA and the UK agroecology movement in general. Read at: https://wp.me/p67WNH-R4
Webinar Recording – Farming for Climate Justice
Farming for Climate Justice is a transdisciplinary collaboration between the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience at Coventry University (UK) and the University of Cape Town (South Africa) to enable explorations of food and farming systems exposed to the climate and biodiversity crises. The collaboration kicked off with three webinars focusing on three of the COP26 key themes: resilience and adaptation, nature and finance. Watch at: https://wp.me/p67WNH-OP
New Animation: To transform food systems money needs to move towards agroecology
Together with Brussels-based social justice organisation CIDSE, CAWR and the AgroecologyNow! group have produced a short and punchy animation to make the case for defunding harmful industrial agriculture and funneling that money into agroecology instead. This video is part of an ongoing CIDSE-CAWR collaboration investigating agricultural funding flows, and adds another voice to the growing chorus calling for the transformation of agriculture finance, in support of agroecology. Click here to watch in English, French or Spanish: https://tinyurl.com/myh8ryed
AgroecologyNow! What’s up with publications (click through to access)
- Pimbert, M.P., Moeller, N.I., Singh, J., and Anderson, C.R. 2021. “Agroecology.” In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Anthropology. Oxford University Press, 2018— Article published August 31, 2021 [Open Access]
- Pimbert, M.P. and Boukary Barry, 2021. Let the people decide: citizen deliberation on the role of GMOs in Mali’s agriculture. Agriculture and Human Values. [Open Access]
- Yap, C. 2021. Making the city through participatory video: implications for urban geography. Urban Geography, 1-21. doi: 10.1080/02723638.2021.1948698
- Book review of AgroecologyNow book: Lockwood, C. 2021. Agroecology now! Transformations towards more just and sustainable food systems. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems.
- Talleh Nkobou, A., Ainslie, A. & Lemke, S. 2021. Broken promises: a rights-based analysis of marginalised livelihoods and experiences of food insecurity in large-scale land investments in Tanzania. Food Sec.
- Van Dyck, B., Kenis, A. and Stirling, A. 2021. The genetically modified organism shall not be refused? Talking back to the technosciences. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space [Open Access]
- Video: ‘Memu Choostamu’ (We will See) by Unmasked Productions, India. A Telugu adaptation of Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s ‘Hum Dekhenge’ as performed by Iqbal Bano, is an ode to the brave, fearless people who stand up against fascism.
Highlighted Publications, Events and Updates on what’s up in our Networks
- Campaign: Agroecology Works: Scaling Up Agroecology in Africa for a Just Food System Transformation. AFSA.
- *Online interactive panel: Land-Food-Climate: Climate Resilience through the Right to Food: Perspectives on the UN Food Systems Summit, an African-European dialogue to help accelerate the transformation towards more climate resilient landscapes that work for people. Date: September 16, 2021
- *Virtual conference: Critical Food Studies Conference: South Africa and Beyond. Conference date: November 17-19, 2021. For more information, click here.
- *Virtual conference: Food Commons in Europe and Beyond. International Association for the Study of the Commons. Conference date: December 9, 2021. For more information click here.
- Report: Territories of Life: 2021 Report. A local-to-global analysis of territories and areas conserved by Indigenous peoples and local communities [ICCA Consortium]
- Guidebook: A Guide to Facilitation in the Civil Society Mechanism of the Committee on World Food Security [CSM; also available in Spanish and French]
- Publication: Embracing Rural Diversity: Genders and sexualities in the peasant movement [European Coordination Via Campesina, also available in French and Spanish]
- Report: State to Right to Food and Nutrition Report 2021 focusing on context of COVID 19 pandemic [Global Network for the Right to Food and Nutrition and FIAN International]
- Article: How the Gates Foundation is driving the food system, in the wrong direction [GRAIN]
- Publication: Food Sovereignty in the USA: A Selection of Stories [US Food Sovereignty Alliance]
- Article: Integrated policy analysis to identify transformation paths to more-sustainable legume-based food and feed value-chains in Europe.
- Magazine: Ruralismo frente a capitalismo energético. Revista Soberanía Alimentaria, Summer 2021 [in Spanish]
- Animation: Big Brother is Coming to the Farm: the digital takeover of food [ETC Group, also available in French and Spanish]
- Video: Agroecology Grassroots Solutions to Global Crises [Agroecology Fund]
- Article: Kothari, A. 2021. These Alternative Economies are Inspirations for a Sustainable World. Scientific American.
- Article: Building agroecology with people. Challenges of participatory methods to deepen on the agroecological transition in different contexts.
- Article: Agroecological transformations in urban contexts: transdisciplinary research frameworks and participatory approaches in Burlington, Vermont [Caswell et al.]
- Report: Credit where due: Financing a Just Transition to Agroecology in the Aftermath of Brexit [New Economics Foundation UK]
- Video: DYISeeds an ABC for seed production [Longo Maï and the Forum Civique Européen]