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FAO and Brazil prepare an International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development
Porto Alegre will host the event in March 2006
24 November 2005, Rome- The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Government of Brazil are preparing an international conference to review agrarian reform and rural development issues worldwide and to identify sustainable rural development options that can contribute to rural poverty and hunger reduction. The Conference will be held in Porto Alegre, Brazil, 7-10 March 2006.

According to FAO, three out of every four people suffering from hunger live in rural areas and depend on natural resources such as land and water for their survival. However, the majority of them – and especially women and indigenous populations – do not have secure and continued access to those resources.

“If we want to reduce hunger and poverty in the world, we must go to the root causes of the problem. And in the poor rural zones, one of the main problems is the lack of secure access to factors of production, particularly land and water,” explains Parviz Koohafkan, Executive Secretary of the International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ICARRD).

Learning from experience

The main objective of the Conference will be to analyze agrarian reform and rural development experiences in different countries and identify policies, practices and lessons learnt that can bring about a new rural development paradigm based on social inclusion, environmental sustainability and livelihood security for the poor.

During the Conference in Porto Alegre, working groups will discuss the following questions:
  • Which policies and experiences have improved access to resources for the poorest populations?
  • How can local institutions be empowered and planning and management of resources be improved?
  • How can the concepts of agrarian reform, social justice and sustainable development be combined?
  • How can the concept of food sovereignty ensure more equitable access to resources?
An International Observers Panel will promote the incorporation of these proposals in national development policies and will monitor progress through a set of voluntary guidelines and indicators.

Participatory processes

The promotion of participation of stakeholders in decision making in rural development processes is another fundamental objective of the Conference. To encourage this participation, dialogue sessions between representatives of governments and civil society organizations will be organised during ICARRD.

The Conference Secretariat has launched an internet site: www.icarrd.org with discussion forums that will contribute to the exchange of information and ideas on the Conference themes.

The documents to be discussed in the Conference working groups will be the result of wide ranging consultative processes at global, national and local levels with concrete case studies prepared by international institutions, governments and civil society.

The Brazilian government proposed the city of Porto Alegre, known worldwide as the host of the World Social Forum, to hold the Conference in order to highlight the importance of the participation of civil society and farmers’ movements in agrarian reform and rural development policies.
Contact:
Nuria Felipe Soria
Information Officer, FAO
nuria.felipe@fao.org
(+39) 06 570 55899
(+39) 348 5589105

Contact:

Nuria Felipe Soria
Information Officer, FAO
nuria.felipe@fao.org
(+39) 06 570 55899
(+39) 348 5589105

G. Bizzarri

Secure access to land and water is essential to reduce rural poverty.

Audio

Parviz Koohafkan, Director, FAO Rural Development Division, says there is a need for a new paradigm in agrarian reform (real)

Broadcast quality (mp3)

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FAO and Brazil prepare an International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development
Porto Alegre will host the event in March 2006
24 November 2005 - FAO will convene an International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development in Porto Alegre, Brazil, 7-10 March 2006, to identify sustainable rural development experiences that can contribute to rural poverty reduction.
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