56 Contributing to the future priorities of the CFS

Dialogue on common pathways to address Agroecology and Genetic Resources.

Organizers: Civil Society Mechanism (CSM)


The side event aims to create a space of dialogue for CFS participants on the CSM proposals for future CFS priorities. CSM has been promoting the inclusion of agroecology and genetic resources among the CFS priorities for some years. CSM believes that both issues are imperative to be addressed by the CFS in order to create dialogue spaces among CFS participants to find common pathways.

Key speakers

Carl Hutchby (moderator – IITC)

Chantal Jacovetti (panellist – La Via Campesina)

Antonio Gonzalez (panellist – MAELA)

Larissa Maria Lima Costa (panellist – Permanent Representative of Brazil at FAO, WFP and IFAD)

Jimena Gomez (panellist – AGP FAO)

Main themes/issues discussed

Agroecology, biodiversity, genetic resources peasant’s rights, Global Farmers’ Rights Consultation in Bali, Agroecology Symposium.

Summary of key points

Agroecology includes innovative sustainable practices, employment, exchange peasants’ knowledge.

Challenges faced by Agroecology: strengthening land governance and seeds governance.

Agroecology represent a set of rights. Agroecology is not just an agricultural technique, it is a dynamic practice that includes a lifestyle based on local practices.

The lack of biodiversity is evident in those area with intensive monoculture.

Experiences of Brazilian public policies in Agroecology: national plan of Agroecology since 2012; a network of agroecological producers; implementation of EMBRAPA with Agroecology project; new plan of Agroecology for other 4 years.

The recommendations that came out from regional seminars on Agroecology and COAG, that push to continue the work of Agroecology inside FAO processes.

2nd Global Farmers’ Rights Consultation in Bali 2016. Six main recommendations: Establishment of a Working Group on Farmers’ Rights; proposal to celebrate on 2nd November as International day for farmers; legal space of farmers’ seeds protections; adopt national policies and regulations on farmers’ rights and farmers’ seeds; exchange in information on Farmers’ rights with States that implemented them; ensure benefit-sharing to develop a farmers’ seed system.

Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and wider agricultural biodiversity underpin a resilient model of food production that contributes to enhancing food security and nutrition for all human beings. Since there is currently a deep incoherence in the governance of genetic resources for food agriculture and a proliferation of different institutions dealing with the issue, the CFS is the only body that has the mandate to initiate a process that could improve policy coherence and coordination in order to enhance for food security and nutrition. Decisions on the governance of genetic resources for food and agriculture and wider agricultural biodiversity are taken by different  institutions (International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, Convention on Biological Diversity, UPOV, World Intellectual Property Organization, CGIAR Centres) on the basis that each has no right to encroach on the prerogatives of the other, with the final outcome of a confusing, contradictory and inefficient global strategy to conserve, sustainably use and develop agricultural biodiversity, and , inter alia, to improve access to these resources by small-scale food producers and strengthen farmers’ rights over their seeds.

Key outcomes/take away messages

Agroecology is complementary with nature. So it is not acceptable to put in the same political space Agroecology and agro-business.

It has been proposed to have an international year of Agroecology, after the year of family farming, which has been held in 2014.

CFS should include “Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and FSN” as a possible HLPE report in 2016. This issue has such a direct impact on food security, nutrition and realising the Right to Food that we believe the CFS should be giving it urgent consideration.