Worldwatch Institute (Washington, DC)

Africa: Agriculture and Rural Development Day at Rio+20

press release

Photo: Frederic Courbet/Gates Foundation
The Rio+20 summit is envisaged as a conference at the highest possible level, including Heads of State and government or other representatives.

Nourishing the Planet is traveling to Rio de Janeiro to emphasize agricultural solutions as key to sustainable development at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development. Each day over the next few weeks, we will feature a blog highlighting special events or topics of discussion at the conference.

Agriculture is rapidly rising up the global policy agenda. It provides employment and livelihoods for 40 per cent of today's global population, and covers more land than any other human enterprise and in developing countries. Smallholder farms provide up to 80 per cent of the food supply. The challenges facing agriculture have become increasingly more complex, but we are now better equipped than ever to face them.

Today, the 4th annual Agriculture and Rural Development Day takes place, this time held in conjunction with the Rio+20 Earth Summit to discuss agriculture's role in building a global green economy. Co-organised by 17 partner organisations, the day will unite 600 agricultural experts, including policymakers and negotiators, farmers, and scientists.

The event aims to ensure that the new vision for sustainable development outlined at Rio+20 recognizes the importance of agriculture and includes key steps necessary for achieving a sustainable food system. Keynote speakers include Mendes Ribeiro Filho, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply, Brazil and Rachel Kyte, World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development and CGIAR Fund Council Chair.

Thirteen participatory "learning events" will also be held that share knowledge from various projects on the ground in the developing world. Each learning event relates to one of the seven recommendations outlined by the recent report from the Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change, "Achieving Food Security in the Face of Climate Change"

The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) has produced a short photo-film that illustrates ways people around the world are already taking actions that align with the Commission's recommendations.

The event will be webcast live all day - you can tune in at www.agricultureday.org, or follow the discussions on Twitter, via @agricultureday or with the hashtag #Rio4Ag

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InFocus

Rio+20 and the Quest for Sustainable Development

The Rio+20 summit is envisaged as a conference at the highest possible level, including Heads of State and government or other representatives.

The global Earth Summit will try to identify solutions to matters of worsening resource scarcity and climate change in order to build a green and more prosperous world for all. Read more »