To successfully feed the growing world population, agriculture must be more sparing in its use of natural resources. The UN Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development to be held in June 2012 should point the way towards a radical change of course in global agriculture and food policy. This was the key demand posed in the Declaration “Nourishing our people – nurturing our planet” by high-ranking representatives of government, international organisations, and the scientific community at a roundtable organized on 15 and 16 March 2012 in New York.
The event took place upon the invitation of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Swiss Biovision Foundation and the Millennium Institute, with the support of the Mercator Schweiz Foundation and other organizations. Guest speakers included David Nabarro, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Food and Nutrition Security, Terezya Huvisa, Tanzanian Minister for Environment and Sally Kosgei, Agriculture Minister of Kenya. (Picture: Biovision - peasant women in Africa)
At this discussion event, the organizers were seeking to reach a common understanding of possible results that could emerge from the Rio+20 Conference to enable food security to be strengthened and sustainable agriculture to be implemented on the basis of the insights and reports compiled to date, e.g., the World Agriculture Report of the IAASTD (International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development) and the Green Economy Report of the UNEP (UN Environment Programme). The recommendations in the Declaration are to be introduced into the preparatory process for the Rio+20 Conference, the objective being that the Conference enable the international community of States to take a decisive step forward in the direction of global food security and worldwide sustainable agriculture.