The vision of the reformed Committee on World Food Security (CFS) is to strive towards “... a world free from hunger where countries implement the voluntary guidelines for the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security”.1 As an important tool to achieve this vision, the Global Strategic Framework (GSF) will offer a set of guidelines for States, intergovernmental actors, the corporate private sector, and the CFS itself, on how to promote policy coherence within the rights based framework, towards the full realization of the right to adequate food.
This policy aims to provide redress and recognition to the rights of Small Scale fisher communities in South Africa previously marginalised and discriminated against in terms of racially exclusionary laws and policies, individualised permit-based systems of resource allocation and insensitive impositions of conservation-driven regulation. In line with the broader agenda of the transformation of the fishing sector, this policy provides the framewor for the promotion of the rights of these fishers in order to fulfil the constitutional promise of substantive equality. Indeed, in terms of our Constitution, the State is committed to respecting, protecting, promoting and fulfilling the rights of Small Scale fishers in South Africa.
In so doing, this policy discharges the State’s obligation in terms of Article 1 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to ‘adopt legislative and other measures’ to give effect to the rights enshrined in the Charter. In particular, this policy gives effect to the protection of peoples’ rights to “pursue their economic and social development according to the policy they have freely chosen” and to “freely dispose of their wealth and natural resources”.
Improving agricultural and food systems is essential for a world with healthier people and healthier ecosystems. Healthy and productive lives cannot be achieved unless “all people at all times have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and
healthy life” (FAO, 1996). Healthy ecosystems must be resilient and productive, and provide the goods and services needed to meet current societal needs and desires without jeopardizing the options for future generations to benefit from the full range of goods and services provided by terrestrial, aquatic and marine ecosystems. There are very strong linkages between the conditions to achieve universal food security and nutrition, responsible environmental stewardship and greater fairness in food management. They intersect in agricultural and food systems at the global, national and local levels.
Can the new food governance system and strategic thinking on food security and rural development, prompted by the 2007–09 food “crisis”, prevent future crises and lead to the lasting eradication of hunger?