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Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition • FSN Forum

Re: Invitation to comment on the revised draft of the political outcome document of the ICN2

Bhubaneswor Dhakal

Dear Moderator and participants of the FSN forum

The points in the declarations are still too general and inadequate to attract attention of policy decision makers on critical conditions. Most of the points in the declaration represent mainstream groups. The declaration is silent on the nutritional issues of minority, crises condition and regions with special food production systems. The people in government policy decision making can be lost to interpret the points in the declaration and translate into actions.  My specific points are as follows. 

1.      The third point of the preamble section, for example,has missed the term “Natural rights on food”.  In current development context some ethnic groups have been deprived of using the natural rights on food. It is based on the fact that the human races are naturally different in food bases from evolution perspective. The requirement of nutritional elements are, thus, naturally (genetically) different between the races. Or the groups may genetically adapted to the food sources on which their evolution based. The food bases of the society particularly the tribal communities are encroached, destroyed and criminalised in uses by mainstream societies. The minority groups are disadvantaged position to influence in government policy and markets. Many of them are not aware of effect of their food habit changes in their future generation. The policy and markets are dominated by mainstream groups which have increased the tempting the group on the food of mainstream societies. The interventions might have caused deficiency of the essential nutrition and led to extinction of the groups. The nutritional elements of the people could be increased by increasing their awareness on and access to their natural food bases.

2.      In the section of multiple threats of mal-nutrition, the document has stated the problem of climate change but the policy actions to mitigate the climate change have also increased threats to food security, the main pathway to nutrition, particularly for socially disadvantaged communities. The effects are more pervasive and serious than the global climate change at present context. For example, vulnerable people access to the food of common properties such as forests and alpine grazing areas which provided hedge against extreme misery conditions. Nowadays their accesses are restricted with expansion of national park/ protected area, community forestry and REDD forest policies. If you like to make the declaration fair the threats requires to be acknowledged.

3.      The issues of food security and nutrition problems are more critical in institutionally weak countries where international organizations (e.g. the World Bank, ADB, IPCCC and EPA) can make high influences in national policies decisions by using their material and symbolic powers. These agencies often overlook the issues of food security and nutrition of vulnerable societies in achieving their work progresses in other fields. For example, the World Bank has advised the Nepal government to apply its Carbon fund to managed community used forest resources for carbon storage under REDD policy. Many vulnerable people including tribal groups are based in the forest. The programme, by nature, restricts the vulnerable people’s access to local forest resources and affects food production and nutritional access. It also displaced local employment and increases the numbers of Nepalese women suffering from domestic violence and sexual abuses.  You can read the online EPIN document to evaluate the quality of the programme activities that the World Bank groups agreed to support (https://www.forestcarbonpartnership.org/node/3877). Therefore it is important to include a point about dialoguing with other international organizations to stop the policies and programmes that threatens food security and nutrition in vulnerable communities.

4.      It also requires action oriented commitments representing needs of minority groups, crises conditions and regions with special food production system in all sections.

Reference

Carbon Fund Ninth Meeting (CF9), April 9-11, 2014, Brussels, Belgium. (the EPIN document is attached in the first programme scheduled on Thursday).https://www.forestcarbonpartnership.org/node/3877--
 

Thank you.

Best Wishes.
Bhubaneswor Dhakal