Realising the Right to Food in an Age of Climate Change

More support for small farms, this in a report by Chelsea Smith, David Elliott and Susan H. Bragdon from the Quaker United Nations Office, Geneva (May 2015).

Summary as follows:

• Industrial agriculture is a major contributor to anthropogenic climate change, and in turn climate change threatens the viability of food production around the world.

• Adapting to changing growing conditions will require access to the full breadth of genetic, species and ecosystem diversity that exists and continues to evolve, along with the knowledge of what works under what conditions.

• Modern varieties can yield immense public benefit. However their dissemination is often accompanied by the erosion of on-farm genetic diversity, loss of associated local knowledge, and the abandonment of traditional farming practices. This undermines our critical capacity to adapt to already-changing conditions.

• In their roles as experimenters, innovators and custodians of agrobiodiversity, small-scale farmers are integral to the pursuit of global food security in an era of climate change.

• The field of agroecology recognizes the contributions of small-scale farmers and provides a framework for integrating local and scientific innovation systems and mitigating the negative environmental effects of industrial agriculture.

• Complementarity between local and scientific innovation systems is best achieved when small-scale farmers lead the development of research agendas and are actively involved in the research process.

• Proactive measures need to be undertaken to support small-scale, agriculturally biodiverse farming systems to secure local and global food security, and hence the right to food, in the future.

One thought on “Realising the Right to Food in an Age of Climate Change

  1. Modern agriculture contributes to climate because it uses fossil fuels so this must stop. How can we feed 7 billion people without using tractors, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides? Historically about 50% of the population was engaged in agriculture. That means over 3 billion people will suddenly find themselves literately grubbing the soil to survive. Many countries import most of their food because they don’t have enough arable land. Many of their citizens would have to immigrate to find farm-able land.

    Without fossil fueled transportation non farming citizens would need to be relocated close to the food production areas. Even without the specter of climate change the oil is going to run out eventually so all this will have to be done anyway. Much better to do it now while there is some oil available. Of course there is zero chance of that happening.

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