Please find attached the submission to the E-Consultation on Hunger, Food and Nutrition Security.
Warm greetings from FIAN International, and best wishes for 2013!
With this email, I would like to send you some contributions to the ongoing consultation on Hunger, Food and Nutrition.
1) As a first contribution, I attach some key documents that were produced by the Civil Society working group before and after the elaboration of the First Version of the GSF. In my opinion, these are two key documents that bring together a:
Civil society alternative approach to the framing of global policies on food security and nutrition (“CSO Working Document on the GSF” which was elaborated as an input for draft 0 of the GSF);
Civil society assessment of the GSF after the approval of its First Version by the CFS in October 2012 (“CSO final assessment of the GSF...”). This document analyses the approved GSF from the perspective of the major CSO concerns and proposals that were brought to the attention of CFS stakeholders during the consultation and negotiation process. I strongly believe that these CSO positions should be taken into account when discussing the Post-2015 framework.
In short, CSO expressed after approval of the GSF by the CFS in October 2012 in their “Statement of social movements and other civil society organizations on the Global Strategic Framework of the Committee on World Food Security CFS”:
“We welcome the adoption on October 17, 2012, of the first version of the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition (GSF).
The GSF, as the overarching framework, will be the primary global reference for coordination and coherence in decision-making on food and agricultural issues. It is an important achievement of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). We as social movements and civil society organizations participated intensively in its elaboration.
The GSF constitutes a step forward in promoting a new model of governance on food, agriculture, and nutrition. This document is built upon the human rights approach, women’s rights and the recognition of the central role of smallholder farmers, agricultural and food workers, artisanal fisher folks, pastoralists, Indigenous Peoples, landless people, women and youth to food and nutrition security.
The GSF also recognizes that formal employment of rural workers and assurance of minimum living wages are key for food security and nutrition. The document mentions the potential of agro-ecology and provides important guidance on nutrition based on the Right to Food Guidelines. It also reaffirms the strong commitment of States to the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Lands, Fisheries and Forests, including through agrarian reform.
The GSF negotiations reached an important consensus on human rights-based monitoring and accountability, which implies that States, intergovernmental institutions and the private sector are held accountable for their actions and omissions regarding their obligations under international human rights law.
Several issues that are important to civil society are not addressed in the current version of the GSF in particular Food Sovereignty. We affirm our commitment to ensure that the new paradigm for food security policy will be based on food sovereignty.
We expect countries and all actors to fully support the implementation on the GFS on all levels. We will contribute to make use of this important tool for our initiatives and struggles at local, national and international level.”
2) As a second contribution I would like to stress three key human rights challenges for the debate on the post MDG period that address at the same time essential shortcomings of the MDG, especially MDG 1:
a) Primacy of human rights: Although the inclusion of human rights terminology and references has increased significantly in international frameworks dealing with food security and nutrition, it is still not fully understood and accepted that human rights are the primary responsibility of States and have primacy over any other policy area as stated in Article 1 of the Vienna Declaration adopted by consensus at the UN World Conference on Human Rights in 1993. In this perspective, it was an important achievement that the Vision Statement of the reformed CFS states that “the CFS will strive for 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”. The formulation of the post 2015 framework should recognize this primacy.
b) Qualifying policy coherence: The concept of coherence should be understood in terms of “human rights coherence”. In other words, government policies must be reviewed with the objective of ensuring they do not result in negative human rights consequences including on the right to food. This qualification is needed to avoid unintended effects resulting from having different policy objectives. Policy coherence is not an end in itself. Policy coherence must be human rights based, which essentially means that all policies with negative impact on human rights must be stopped, revised and made consistent with human rights requirements.
c) Human rights based monitoring and accountability: These terms have gained increasing acceptance among most actors in the food security and nutrition field, and were recognized in the First Version of the GSF. Although we know that States, intergovernmental institutions and private actors are hesitant to accept monitoring mechanisms that assume legal accountability for human rights impacts, we also know that without such accountability, no substantial change in national and international policies can be expected. If we believe that hunger is largely a product of policy failures to meet human rights obligations, including extraterritorial obligations, we must insist on establishing and strengthening accountability mechanisms at all levels.
3) Finally, as a third contribution and reference on how to include the Right to Adequate Food into global policy frameworks and how to apply a human rights approach in national food and nutrition security strategies, the FAO Right to Food colleagues published in collaboration with FIAN two Factsheets in March 2012:
1) The Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition: A Right to Food Perspective
2) Human Rights - a Strategy for the Fight against Hunger
From our point of view, the elements and conclusions of these fact sheets are as well valid for the Post 2015 consultation and could be taken into account in the context of the process.
I hope that these few contributions seem useful to you. If you have further requests or need some more information, please let me know.
Right to Food Accountability Programme Coordinator
Coordinador para América Central
FIAN International Secretariat
Contribution from the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity on Hunger, Food and Nutrition Security
The achievement of food security requires the sustainable increase of food production and access to food. More, and nutritionally adequate, food needs to be produced using less global inputs (land, water, fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals) per unit of produce. This needs to be achieved in the face of dwindling resources and increasing competition for those resources, whilst simultaneously responding to the impacts of climate change on farming systems and natural ecosystems and reducing the impact of agriculture on the environment. The challenge is indeed significant but most commentators conclude that it can be met.
Biodiversity has a central role to play in meeting the challenge. Biodiversity underpins ecosystem services which are essential for sustainable food production at all scales, from industrialised to small-holder subsistence farming. Some key examples where significant progress can be made include:
• Reversing the degradation of soils, which underpin all agricultural production. Conserving or restoring soil biodiversity and ecosystem functions delivers multiple benefits including: improved nutrient cycling and availability for crops, hence improving fertiliser use efficiency on-farm and reducing off-farm impacts; restoring soil organic carbon content, with multiple on-farm benefits in addition to contributing to mitigating climate change; improving water cycling, including soil water storage, thereby improving crop-water productivity as well as increasing resilience to increasing climatic variation; improving nature-based pest and disease regulation, thereby improving integrated pest management and enhancing prevention of spread of invasive alien species. Practitioners can determine the most feasible approach based on local environmental and socio-economic conditions, but restoring soil health, and the biodiversity underpinning it, must be the cornerstone of any sustainable agriculture strategy. Much success is being achieved by the farming community and needs to be mainstreamed and upscaled. The International Initiative for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Soil Biodiversity (http://www.cbd.int/agro/soil.shtml) was adopted in 2008 by the Parties to the CBD specifically to strengthen efforts in these regards. At CBD COP-11 Governments and international organizations launched the “Hyderabad Call for a Concerted Effort on Ecosystem Restoration” (http://www.ramsar.org/pdf/TEEB/Hyderabad-Call_vOct17-8am.docx-1.pdf);
• Genetic diversity is essential to maintain options for farmers, resilience of farming systems and productivity increases through improved breeds and varieties, particularly in response to increasing climatic change and increased variability. Maintaining the diversity of genetic resources available to farmers, preferably in-situ (landraces on-farm and wild relatives in natural ecosystems) but where necessary ex-situ, and including maintaining the cultural knowledge of farming, and the communities associated with this biodiversity, is an essential requirement for sustainable food security. We need to significantly strengthen support to the important efforts of the farming community, particularly small-scale farmers and indigenous and local communities, to conserve and sustainably use these critical genetic resources;
• Reversing the decline of pollinators, which are essential for sustaining crop productivity, as outlined further in the International Initiative for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Pollinators (http://www.cbd.int/agro/pollinator.shtml);
• Recognising that the needs are not simply for food security in terms of minimum requirements of calories and protein, but for food security which includes adequate provision of vitamins, minerals, micro-nutrients and other essential components of a healthy diet. A diverse source of foods, produced on healthy soils, is essential for food and nutrition security. Biodiversity has a central role to play in achieving a healthy diet, as outlined further in the Cross-Cutting Initiative on Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition (http://www.cbd.int/agro/food-nutrition/).
These, and other, needs and approaches are well captured in the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity (2011-2020) and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets (http://www.cbd.int/sp/). The central purpose of this plan is to promote the contribution that biodiversity can make to achieving sustainable development. The plan and targets, therefore, are not just for the environment or biodiversity community but represent a framework for action for all interested in sustainable development. The contribution of biodiversity to achieving food security in a post-2015 world is one of the most significant areas in which progress can be made.
As indicated in the UN Rio+20 outcome document "The Future We Want", biodiversity has a critical role to play in maintaining ecosystems that provide essential services, which are the foundations for sustainable development and human well-being.
The UN General Assembly declared 2011-2020 the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity, with a view to contribute to the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets, decided in 2010 in Nagoya, Japan by the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the Convention. This Strategic Plan for Biodiversity considers biodiversity as an opportunity for human well-being and poverty eradication. That is why the 20 Targets to implement the Strategic Plan relate not only to conservation and sustainable use, but also relate to reducing direct pressures on biodiversity and, most importantly, addressing the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across all sectors of government and society.
Overall, the Targets aim to bring about a considerable change in our lifestyles, and particularly in our development paradigm – over the next decade we must move firmly away from unchecked consumption and towards sustainable use.
Breastfeeding, a smart choice for working women.
Introduction: Mothers are the fastest-growing segment of current global workforce. In the past 20 years, the percentage of new mothers in the workforce has increased which makes women more challenging when they become pregnant. In most cases, those mothers are not able to return works due to lack of support in work place or lack of care giver who can take care of their baby during her absence that make it challenging to continue her jobs and results is discontinuation of job in this stage. Those continue their job phase lots of challenges to continue breastfeeding to their child and started bottle feeding. It is well documented that one of the primary reasons for early breastfeeding cessation is the Mother’s return to work.
Breastfeeding is a low-tech, low-cost health promotion behavior that has received increasing support from public health authorities worldwide over the past 50 years. It has become increasingly clear that breastfeeding is the best option for infant and young child feeding, and that not breastfeeding exposes mother and child to higher risks of ill health in both the short and long term.
Inappropriate Infant and Young Child Feeding practices is one of the major cause of child malnutrition. Initiation of breastfeeding within one hour, exclusive breastfeeding for first six months and continued breastfeeding for 20 to 23 months have been identified as major indicators for achieving Millenium Development Goal 4, reducing child mortality one third by 2015.
Barriers to optimal infant and young child feeding contribute to 1.4 million preventable deaths annually in children under five, the majority of whom are dying already during the first month of life. Initiating breastfeeding within the first hour of birth can reduce neonatal mortality by 20%, but shockingly, more than half the world’s newborns are not breastfeed within an hour of birth. Exclusive breastfeeding for six months and continued breastfeeding for 12 months may prevent under five child deaths by 13%, complementary feeding may contribute to reduce 6% child deaths (Lancet2003). Globally only around 37% of infants under six months are exclusively breastfed (Lancet2003). A 16-country study found that adequate maternity leave policies might increase breastfeeding sufficiently to prevent one to two neonatal deaths per 2,000 live births.
Human milk and infant formula are not equivalent and are not equally suitable options for infant feeding. Research has found that for every $1 spent on breastfeeding support, companies save $3. This is because in companies which support breastfeeding women return to work earlier,fewer health-care dollars are spent, fewer sick days are taken, employees report greater job satisfaction, companies report reduced staff turnover.
Health insurance studies have documented that infants who are exclusively breastfed for three months or longer have overall health care costs that are $300-$400 less per year than infants who are bottlefed. Evidence reported in a two-year study of 343 employees an annual savings of $240,000 in health care expenses. Breastfeeding also Lower Absenteeism & Turnover Rates One-day absences to care for sick children occur more than twice as often for mothers of formula feeding infants. A study of multiple companies with lactation support programs found an average retention rate of 94%.
Given this atmosphere of unacknowledged demand, there is an urgent need to educate employers on the value and feasibility of worksite breastfeeding support programs for business profitability. So a worksite breastfeeding support initiative can easily build upon the increased awareness of the importance of breastfeeding, utilizing a combination of outreach and education strategies to reach both employers and empoyees.Breastfeeding support in workplace improve retention, mitigates lost productivity/absenteeism, earlier return from maternity leave, higher employee loyalty and create a family friendly business.
Challenges and opportunities:
The challenge in terms of breastfeeding protection is the adoption and the monitoring of an adequate policy of maternity entitlements that facilitate six months of exclusive breastfeeding for women employed in all sectors, with urgent attention to the non-formal sector. Lack of support in Workplace, family members, poor Implementation of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes makes mother more difficult to continue breastfeeding.
The Innocenti Declarations (1999, 2005) and WHO Global Strategy for IYCF (2002) call for provision of imaginative legislation to protect the breastfeeding rights of working women and further monitoring of its application consistent with ILO Maternity Protection Convention No 183, 2000 (MPC No. 183) and Recommendation 191. MPC No. 183 specifies that women workers should receive:
• Health protection, job protection and non-discrimination for pregnant and breastfeeding workers
• At least 14 weeks of paid maternity leave
• One or more paid breastfeeding breaks daily or daily reduction of hours of work to breastfeed
Furthermore, Recommendation 191 encourages facilities for breastfeeding to be set up at or near the workplace.
Many country’s make good progress in tracking maternity protection and could manage six months maternity leave with payment, however, long ways needs to go to achive this.
Directions for the future:
• Aware employers with this maternity protection law and encourage for incorpoarting into their existing policy.
• Prenatal education classes for the pregnnat women in the work place
• Orientation of employes with the advantages of breastfeeding
• Establish baby creche in all work places.
• Improve knowledge amongst both employers and employees regarding importance of proper breastfeeding and complemnetary feeding practices.
• Establish a work site environment that favors mothers recently given birth breatsfeed exclusively enabling them to transition back into the workplace while optimizing the benefits their infants receive from being breastfed.
• Advocate employes to make an reasonable time and private accommodations for employees to express milk at the workplace whom are not taken their baby in the work site.
• Ensure Co-workers support in the work place.
• Proper implementation of International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitute.
• Provision of worksite based lactation management.
Submitted by: Eminence and Bangladesh Civil Society Network for Promoting Nutrition(BCSNPN)
3/6, Asad Avenue, Mohammadpur, Dhaka, Bangladesh. www.eminence-bd.org, www.bcsnpn.net, email:firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
What works best? Drawing on existing knowledge, please tell us how we should go about addressing the hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition challenges head on. For example, how important are questions of improved governance, rights-based approaches, accountability and political commitment in achieving food and nutrition security?
In the development field, the concept of governance achieved prominence at the end of the 1980s and beginning of 1990s with the recognition that development policies were failing, in part because insufficient attention had been paid to political and institutional processes and outcomes. These concerns also were reflected in the field of food and nutrition security , and took special relevance due to challenges aroused by the globalization, with different positions that looked at the global level as the most challenging level, or at the national level as the critical point where governance weaknesses constrains the adequate provision of public goods.
After the 2007-2008 crisis, all the stakeholders have recognised the need to reconfigure the prevailing arrangements for food and nutrition governance at global level and also the critical role of governance at national and local level. This consensus was expressed in World Summit on Food Security Declaration (2009) that underlines the need to “Foster strategic coordination at national, regional and global level to improve governance, promote better allocation of resources, avoid duplication of efforts and identify response-gaps.”; it has also seen in the move to reform the FAO Committee on Food Security (CFS). Simultaneously the scope of governance has passed from the visions limited to government responsibilities to the recognition of the role of civil society and private sector.
The current governance of food and nutrition security reflects its multidimensionality and cuts across many areas of policy such as development, production, health, trade, science, human rights and climate change. At global level there is no single international institution with the exclusive mandate to address food and nutrition security; instead there are multiple institutions that are responsible for various aspects. In addition, other common types of international institutions, such as special programs or funds, and informal institutions have a relevant impact and play determinant roles (e.g. the G8/G20). All those elements configure governance of food and nutrition security as a complex regime with rules and functions determined in distinct international fora, and a heterogeneous nature in terms of membership composition and decision-making procedures. At national levels a similar complex regime prevails, with public and private institutions and stakeholders interacting in a multisectorial scenario influenced by the international framework and external actors.
The complex regime of governance food and nutrition security has not achieved the results intended and is under strong scrutiny. It does not provide mechanisms that ensure that humankind overcomes the challenges it face yet, it is however the product of a long process of cooperation. Improving it requires to understand the gaps, conflicts and weaknesses that cause its poor functionality.
The first is an issue of overall institutional architecture which creates overlaps of authority and jurisdictions of different bodies and institutions.
The second issue is the lack of internal coherence and consistency when it comes to principles, laws and regulations, stemming from the lack of consensus on hierarchy of different laws and gaps in the global regulatory system to resolve contradictions, as it is the case between trade and human rights.
The third issue is a two part problem: 1)lack of practical linkages between bodies that necessarily should be linked, and 2) absence of follow up between them, that is to say, a disconnect between deliberative institutions where consensus on diagnoses and recommendations are reached and those international bodies that handle negotiations and decision-making needed to put in practice what is agreed upon by the former.
Those issues are not specific to ‘food and nutrition security’ governance; they are also seen in a variety of development areas, such trade or environment, themselves governed by complex regimes. The global governance system yet does not offer effective solutions to resolve the contradictions resulting from the above mentioned issues.
Building the Post-2015 Global Development Framework.
The reform of Committee on Food Security (CFS) has been very successful but there needs to be a continued international effort to strengthen the mechanisms for enabling the participation of all stakeholders and countries in a meaningful way and facilitate more inclusive dialogue processes. The regional integration bodies could play a bigger role acting as a node that facilitates the link between the global and the national level in the dialogues and deliberative aspects, but also by taking action to enable States in implementing recommendations from CFS, thus filling some gaps of the governance regime.
The regional actors could also play a relevant role to build a global framework sensitive to regional and national contexts and capacities and facilitate national ownership. Building frameworks in this way facilitates their adoption thru stronger commitments and realistic timeframes.
Within the process of developing the global framework there should be space for committing to global governance as a goal or target in and of itself. This should fill some gaps related to overlapping mandates, lack of adequate mechanisms to resolve conflict of principles, laws and regulations, and other system failures.
FAO member States approved the Voluntary guidelines to support the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security that constitutes a framework for enhancing food and nutrition security governance at national level. The Right to Adequate Food can also be a reference point to overcome some of the inconsistencies of food and nutrition security governance at global level.
Improving governance at national level matters and is a critical aspect but it has to be complemented with a clear and sound improvement at international level, otherwise we will perpetuate the weaknesses and failures of past decades.
Juan Carlos García y Cebolla
Team Leader – Right to Food
Agricultural Development Economics Division (ESA), FAO
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, Rome, Italy
The new Micronutrient Forum has been working on strategy development topics that may provide some insight into the process, but not available for this deadline. If you will take suggestions beyond this date, please let me know.
In the mean time, my personal input is the following:
lessons learned: a) Current global and national support, although improved, is still insufficient and/or not evenly distributed to those sectors where progress and funding is required, i.e. nutritional aspects of various interventions; b) More time/ effort is needed to move beyond uni-sectoral approaches and recognize the whole-ness that is needed for effective programs and interventions
a) Getting various groups to set aside prejudices and recognize each-others’ contributions and essentiality in the mix
b) Removing the threats and waste introduced by warring and greedy countries and leaders
c) Getting countries to develop population-driven long-term agendas, as opposed to donor or politically driven agendas that drop as soon as the funds end or the next political leader takes over
a) Programs and interventions MUST come from within each country (encouraging topics by providing funding is self-limiting)
b) International organizations must recognize and work from the fundamental premise that no matter what we do, we cannot force countries or individuals within countries to comply (obesity and non-communicable disease in Europe and North America are classic examples)
Theme 3: These objectives are a mixed bag of some thought and some essentially unattainable goals that do not take into consideration the fundamental causes behind the “clinical signs”
Should build objectives that approach the cause:
a) All countries have functioning cross-sectoral working groups that develop country-specific plans aimed at reaching universal year-round access to appropriate and adequate food, reducing chronic malnutrition (as demonstrated by reductions in stunting), developing sustainable food systems aimed at improving the quality and quantity of food and minimizing any waste and loss of these foods;
b) All political leaders demonstrate their commitment to long-term national development by developing nutrition and health systems that continue to function separately from a given political party.
Now THAT would be something to accomplish
There are many proofs already that the cheapest and most lasting way to feed the hunger is to help small farmers to help themselves. They must have the right to have land, water and the knowledge of organic farming, storage and selling. This knowledge is not known to many decision makers and the public. It is necessary to find ways to spread this concept to them.
Please don't overlook the importance of breastfeeding as a key contributor to child survival, health and healthy development. Exclusive breastfeeding until around 6 months and continued breastfeeeding alongside complementary foords for 2 years and beyond is the optimum feeding practice.
In a week that saw the news that Australia is "suffering" from a "formula shortage'" thanks to bulk buying Chinese consumers who are sending infant formula home after the milk fiasco there, there seems to be an urgent need for mentioning the importance of BREASTFEEDING (and making the WHO code a more robust tool that protects all mothers and children) in the Millenium Development Goals. I'd like to add my voice to others who have called for BREASTFEEDING to be included.
The remarks I make under the themes of this consultation are drawn partially from a 2011 FAO position paper for which I was a coordinating author titled Food, Agriculture and Cities: the challenges of food and nutrition security, agriculture and ecosystem management in an urbanizing world. The full paper can be found at http://www.fao.org/fcit/fcit-home/food-for-the-cities-position-paper/en/. In addition this builds on recent policy language included in the Rio+20 outcome document calling for urban rural linkages for food and nutrition security.
The key lessons from the initial Millennium Development Goals (MDG) must include, among many things stated by others, a recognition of a changed context for achieving food and nutrition security for all in the mid-21st century. The urbanization of world population, and the consequent challenges of feeding cities and rural hinterlands in a world of economic and environmental volatility, demand fundamental change in the way food systems are conceived, implemented and made more resilient. As these challenges have become increasingly evident, especially following the food price and economic crises of the last five years, there are also innovative ecosystem approaches that have civil society and multilevel government support for policy, programmes and resources in every region, in both low and high income countries.
New approaches combine systems-based and integrated crop, livestock and forest landscapes in both rural and urban settings. New approaches include integrating new agricultural landscapes with both targets of climate change mitigation and adaptation and with targets of reducing poverty and hunger. New approaches also integrate these ecological, social and economic targets with local and national political commitment. While such multi-dimensional integration is not ubiquitous by any means, it is evident in pockets of innovation across the world. This is very hopeful. To spread these examples of good practice and multi-targeted outcomes, it is necessary to have a multipronged approach such that three critical groups in all society – civil society, local authorities and national governments – all take ownership of such integrated sustainable development approaches in setting targets.
The targets of the ZHC are a useful beginning, but there should be explicit reference to integrated solutions as mentioned above. There should also be explicit reference to the need for integration of urban and rural areas to achieve the targets of sustainable diets and resilient food systems to meet the continuing economic and environmental challenges that will characterize the future in all regions. In this spirit I would add the following to existing goals a, c and e:
This thematic discussion was led by FAO and WFP in collaboration with “The World We Want”.
The consultation was facilitated by the Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)