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Agro-Ecology: FI Parallel Event at Rio+20

On June 16th, FI will host the parallel event "Agro-ecological Farming can Nourish the World: Agro-ecology in Practice" at the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in partnership with Edmund Rice International, Dominicans for Justice and Peace, the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, and the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd. FI believes it is a grave injustice that one billion people around the world are malnourished, 75% of whom are food producers. The final study of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee on the advancement of the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas (February 20-24, 2012) stated that “hunger, like poverty, is still predominantly a rural problem, and in the rural population it is those who produce food who suffer disproportionately." The effects of climate change have further challenged the future of agriculture and the livelihoods of millions of people around the world.

The 1992 Rio Declaration states that: “Human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development. They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature” (Principle 1). In spite of this, and the many international conventions and treaties ratified by governments, human rights violations affecting food security and livelihoods continue to occur in many parts of the world. Poor and marginalized rural communities are deprived of their right to food, their right to a healthy environment, their right to adequate housing, their right to self determination, and their right to life.  

Many solutions have been proposed to resolve the biggest challenges facing agriculture and food security but not all are sustainable. The discussion at “Agro-ecological Farming can Nourish the World: Agro-ecology in Practice” will focus on how agro-ecological farming respects the limits of the planet’s ecosystem, integrates traditional knowledge from local communities, reduces waste, and can serve as a means to advance rural communities towards food and technological sovereignty.

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