Roundtable on Sustainable Agriculture Forwards Declaration to Rio+20 Process

17 March 2012: Calling for the UN to make a radical change of course on global agriculture and food policy, a panel of high-ranking government representatives, international organizations and scientists adopted a Declaration on “Nourishing our people – nurturing our planet.”

The Declaration was adopted at the Roundtable on Food, Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture, which took place in New York, US, from 15-16 March 2012, and was organized in the run-up to the UN's Third Intersessional Meeting in preparation for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20). It makes the case that: change is needed in agriculture and food systems; a broad coalition of actors should be established; an enabling framework should be introduced to encourage sustainable consumption; the link between policy and science should be strengthened; leadership is required from the Committee on World Food Security; and an independent monitoring system is necessary to strengthen accountability.

The Declaration further notes the need for a UN action programme for agriculture that pursues rural development with improved conditions for small farmers and women, and relies on locally-adapted genetic varieties of plants. It will be used during Rio+20 to seek the support of delegations and stakeholders for the recommendations on food security and sustainable agriculture.

During the Roundtable, participants sought to reach a common understanding on results that could be achieved on food security and sustainable agriculture at Rio+20. The recommendations made in the Declaration will be introduced into the Rio+20 preparatory conferences. In the context of degraded soils, diminishing water resources, loss of genetic diversity and high-level of global food insecurity, the UN has designated food and nutrition as one of the seven focal themes of Rio+20. [IISD RS Sources] [Swiss Government Press Release] [IISD RS Coverage of the Third Intersessional Meeting of the UNCSD]