Dear Forum Members,
Investing responsibly in agriculture, and particularly in smallholder agriculture, is essential for reducing poverty, creating decent employment opportunities, enhancing food security and nutrition, and ensuring environmental sustainability. Agricultural investments can generate a wide range of developmental benefits. In order to do so, however, they need to be responsible and specifically directed towards the achievement of such benefits, while aiming at avoiding potential negative consequences.
To address these needs, the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) has launched a consultative process to develop and ensure broad ownership of principles for responsible agricultural investments (CFS-RAI). The CFS-RAI principles are expected to promote investments in agriculture that contribute to food security and nutrition, and that support the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security.
The principles are intended to provide practical guidance to governments, private and public investors, intergovernmental and regional organizations, civil society organizations, research organizations and universities, donors and foundations. They will be voluntary and non-binding and should be interpreted and applied in line with existing obligations under national and international law.
Consultations will be held from November 2013 to February 2014 and will include regional meetings as well as electronic consultations. The e-consultation aims to build on the feedback and input received in the regional consultations by providing an opportunity to individuals and organizations that have not yet been able to participate in the physical meetings.
All consultation outcomes will contribute to the preparation of the First Draft which will subsequently be negotiated by the CFS-RAI OEWG in Rome in May 2014. The resulting CFS-RAI principles will then be presented to the 41st Session of CFS in 2014 for endorsement by the Plenary.
We welcome your feedback on the Zero Draft following the questions below:
1. Are all relevant issues and areas related to fostering responsible agricultural investments adequately addressed in the Zero Draft? If not, what should be changed?
2. Are the roles and responsibilities of relevant stakeholders clearly defined in order to facilitate implementation of the principles? If not, what should be changed?
3. Does the Zero Draft achieve the desired outcome to promote investments in agriculture that contributes to food security and supports the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security? If not, what should be changed?
4. The principles are intended to provide practical guidance to stakeholders; therefore:
We thank you in advance for your time and for sharing your knowledge and experiences with us.
CFS RAI Open Ended Working Group Chair