38 Increasing food security through sustainable agricultural practices. Which role for organic agriculture?

The multiple features of the organic agriculture that contribute to food security and to achieve the SDGs

Organizers

  • Permanent Representation of Italy to the International Organizations in Rome
  • Permanent Representation of Mexico to the International Organizations in Rome
  • IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements) -Organics International
  • OANI (Organic Action Network Italy)

Abstract

Increasing Food Security by the means of innovative and sustainable agricultural practices is one the challenges in achieving SDG2. Sustainability, in general terms is about ecosystem integrity, social well-being, and economic resilience. The event proposed has the aim of contributing in understanding how does organic agriculture contribute to each of these sustainability dimensions when it comes to Food Security.

Organic agriculture has an extraordinary potential thanks to its unique holistic approach combining ecosystem dimension, social inclusiveness, environmental and economic resilience.  It also represents a concrete opportunity for farmers thanks to its strong link with consumers looking for healthy and nutritious food.  Its contribution to the SDGs is not limited to Goal 2.  It also helps to achieve Goals 3 “Good health and well-being”, 6 “Clean Water and Sanitation”, 12 “Responsible consumption and production”, 13 “Climate action” and 15 “Life on Land”.

The presentations delivered during the side event will present the multiple features of organic agriculture that can make it crucial in increasing food security, while providing for environmental and societal health.&nb

Key speakers/presenters

  • Piefrancesco Sacco, Permanent Representative of Italy to the UN - Rome
  • Martha Bárcena Conqui, Permanent Representative of Mexico to the UN - Rome
  • Eva Torremocha, Vice-President of IFOAM Organics International
  • Andrea Arzeni – Laura Viganò, CREA Research Centre for Agricultural Policies and Bioeconomy
  • Norma Ruz, Executive Director of Special Projects of the World Heritage Authority, Natural and Cultural Site in Xochimilco and Tláhuac and Milpa Alta
  • Matteo Bartolini, Organic Action Network Italia coordinator
  • Raffaella Mellano, Agricola Mellano
  • Nadia El – Hage Scialabba, Senior Natural Resources Officer - Climate and Environment Division, Climate, Biodiversity, Land & Water Department FAO

Summary

Increasing Food Security by the means of innovative and sustainable agricultural practices is one the challenges in achieving SDGs. Sustainability, in general terms, is about ecosystem integrity, social well-being, and economic resilience. The aim of the event was to understand how organic agriculture can contribute to each of these sustainability dimensions when it comes to Food Security.

The presentations delivered during the side event have pictured the multiple features of organic agriculture that can make it crucial in increasing food security, while providing for environmental and societal health. The session started with an introduction by the permanent representatives of Italy and Mexico to the UN, Pierfrancesco Sacco and Martha Bárcena Conqui, who have shown great commitment to this topic and stressed the important role organic agriculture plays in tackling food security and achieving SDGs.
Researchers Laura Viganò and Andrea Arzeni from CREA then introduced the scientific evidence, including results carried out analyzing robust environmental and economic aspects.

Eva Torremocha presented IFOAM Organics International’s long experience in advocating for organic agriculture and witnessing how it can help in increasing food security. She explained the concept of Organic 3.0 and talked about the challenges of the future, where the goal is to succeeding in mainstreaming organic practices in conventional agriculture.
Finally, innovative organic production experiences from Italy (biodynamic dairy and meat farm in Piedmont, selected by the Italian Organic Action Network) and Mexico (the Chinampas system in the southern region of Mexico City) have been presented, thus confirming that the organic approach works.
Finally, Nadia El-Hage Scialabba briefed on the FAO organic agriculture program, including both normative work and assistance to MC with regards organic production, processing, certification and marketing to enhance FS, rural development, sustainable livelihoods and environmental integrity.

Key outcomes/take away messages

Organic agriculture has an extraordinary potential to achieve the SDGs thanks to its unique holistic approach combining ecosystem dimension, social inclusiveness, environmental and economic resilience while preserving biodiversity.

In recent years, due to the increasing consumer interest in healthy food, organic has grown from being a niche market to becoming a powerful economic sector, offering both sustainable work opportunities and high quality, environmental friendly products.

Side Event - 38 - Increasing food security through sustainable agricultural practices. Which role for organic agriculture?