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Consultations électroniques ouvertes du HLPE

Re: Food security and nutrition: building a global narrative towards 2030 - HLPE consultation on the V0 draft of the Report

stella joy
stella joyActive Remedy Ltd.United Kingdom

On behalf of Active Remedy Ltd. I would like to thank the organizers for offering us the opportunity to provide input towards the HLPE V0 draft report 2020:  ‘Food security and nutrition: Building a global narrative towards 2030’

1. The V0 draft is structured around a conceptual framework that proposes to focus on six dimensions of FSN. Along with the four established pillars of FSN (availability, access, stability, utilization), the V0 draft also discusses two additional dimensions: agency and sustainability, which have become increasingly important and recognized dimensions to achieving sustainable food systems.

Do you think that this framework addresses the key issues of FSN?

 

Yes, we feel that the two dimensions of ‘agency’ and ‘sustainability’ are important and needed additions to the conceptual framework.

 

We do however feel that the V0 draft could be significantly improved if more emphasis is placed upon the essential role of water, biodiversity and ecosystems in providing all the causes and conditions needed for long-term sustainable agriculture.

“Forest ecosystems are fundamental to maintaining the water cycle.” (FAO, Forests and Water Action Plan, 2015)

http://www.fao.org/forestry/43810-05bc28890480b481d4310a3c5fe8a1003.pdf

With increasing urgency for food production, there is a trend towards expanding agricultural cultivation to cover more terrestrial land surfaces. However it is absolutely essential that any substantial changes in vegetation cover are done with full consideration and appreciation of the complex interconnectivity that exists between ecosystems.

 

“Ensuring that ecosystems are protected and conserved is central to achieving water security – both for people and for nature. Ecosystems are vital to sustaining the quantity and quality of water available within a watershed, on which both nature and people rely. Maintaining the integrity of ecosystems is essential for supporting the diverse needs of humans, and for the sustainability of ecosystems, including protecting the water- provisioning services they provide.” (UN Water, Analytical Brief, 2013)

https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Water%20Securi... obal%20Water%20Agenda%20A%20UN%20Water%20Analytical%20Brief.pdf

 

Also recognition of the need to conserve these ecosystems in order to maintain and regulate essential earth systems such as the global hydrological cycle and climate systems, is key to achieving FSN.

 

“Forests perform vital ecosystem services, including the regulation of the water and carbon cycles and protection of biodiversity, that are essential to agriculture.” (HLPE 11)

 

The fact that all food production is dependent upon the global water cycle and that this in turn is dependent upon interlinking ecosystems needs to be given far more attention when putting measures in place towards sustainable food systems. Essentially the conservation and restoration of biodiversity, particularly within key water related ecosystems, is necessary to meet the present demands for FSN. The importance of this fact cannot be overemphasised within this report.

 

“As is discussed in more detail in Chapter 3, current global discourse favours a decentralized approach, based on the principle of subsidiarity as espoused in Agenda 21 of the UN Conference on Environment and Development of 1992. One such approach to water management is the ecosystem approach (ES), which aims at the integrated management of land, water and living resources. Importantly, the ecosystem approach recognizes that humans are an integral component of ecosystems (CBD, 1992), and calls for strong stakeholder participation – involving those who have an interest in, or could be affected by, decision- making. It also recognizes that management of natural resources should be decentralized to the lowest appropriate level. Whether within more traditional water management approaches, or newer approaches such as the ecosystem approach, it is at the local level that there is the greatest potential for collective action around water management.” 
(HLPE 9)

As was concluded in FAO, HLPE Report 9 in 2015:

“Water is life. Water is essential to food security and nutrition. It is the lifeblood of ecosystems, including forests, lakes and wetlands, on which depend the food security and nutrition of present and future generations.”

 

“The cycle of water through the land, atmosphere, and oceans is intimately tied to the Earth’s climate through processes such as latent heat exchange and the radiative effects of water in its vapor, liquid, and solid phases. Water, and its cycling in the Earth system, is critical for human populations and ecosystems. The National Climate Assessment process is clearly identifying changes in the timing and availability of water as central to an understanding of the effects of climate change.” (USGCRP, ‘Our Changing Planet’, 2001.)

https://www.carboncyclescience.us/sites/default/files/documents/2013/ocp...

The fact that all FSN is dependent upon climate, which is dependent upon the global hydrological cycle and that this in turn is dependent upon interlinking ecosystems, needs to be seriously addressed when putting measures in place for sustainable food systems.

 

“Given their important role in water supply and regulation, the protection, sustainable management and restoration of mountain ecosystems will be essential.” (UNESCO, Climate Change Impacts on Mountainous Regions of the World, 2012)

http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002246/224605M.pdf

With increasing urgency for food production, there is a trend towards expanding agricultural cultivation to cover more terrestrial land surfaces however it is absolutely essential that any substantial changes in vegetation cover are done with full consideration and appreciation of the complex interconnectivity that exists between ecosystems and the need to conserve the in order to maintain and regulate essential earth systems such as the global hydrological cycle and climate systems.

 

“The Global Water Cycle is an integral part of the Earth/ Climate system; water vapor constitutes the Earth’s most abundant and important greenhouse gas, and water is its most active solvent.” (USCRP, Draft White Paper, chapter 7: ‘The Global Water Cycle and its Role in Climate and Global Change, Strategic Plan for the Climate Change Science Program’, November 2002)

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.368.2885&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Considering that it has been widely accepted that water is essential to all food security, we feel that the global water cycle should be given greater prominence within this report.

 

“Water is at the heart of both the causes and the effects of climate change ((NRC, 1998)” (National Academies, Emerging Global, Water and Energy Initiative- An integrated Perspective, 1999)

https://www.nap.edu/read/9648/chapter/2

Recognizing the vital importance of the ecosystems, which maintain the hydrological cycle has been agreed upon by world governments and included within SDG Goal 6, Target 6.6 as a necessity for achieving water availability.

“By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes” (UN, 'Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development', Target 6.6, New York, September 2015)

This is a particularly pivotal target, which needs immediate implementation and which will determine the effectiveness of all other efforts towards achieving FSN and the 2030 Agenda:

“The current pace and scale of human development is altering the hydrological cycle in ways that has eroded the capacity of ecosystems to provide life-sustaining functions and services. Rivers that for centuries ran from source to sea now run dry in many years due to damming, diversion and depletion of glaciers and water resources.” (UN Water, ‘The Global Water Crisis: Addressing an Urgent Security Issue’ 2012)

2. The V0 draft analyzes in what ways thinking on FSN has shifted in recent years as articulated in past HLPE reports; and how these insights can feed into a global narrative on how best to meet SDG2 targets.

Do you think that the analysis of the evolution of conceptual approaches and thinking on FSN clearly addresses its current adequacy to meet the SDG2 targets?

 

“Sustainable forest management aims to maintain and enhance the economic, social and environmental values of all types of forests, for the benefit of present and future generations, “leaving no one behind”. As such, sustainable forestry is a key component of sustainable food systems. Conversely, optimizing the contributions of forests and trees to FSN could be a key objective of SFM. (HLPE 11)

Unless the present V.O Draft places far greater emphasis upon the interconnection of the SDG Goals and Targets, it will be impossible to meet the SDG 2 Targets.

“71. We reiterate that this Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals and targets, including the means of implementation, are universal, indivisible and interlinked.”   

(UN, Transforming our world, the 2030 Agenda, 2015)

 

It has been agreed by world government and UN bodies, that all the SDGs of the 2030 Agenda are interconnected, therefore when considering Goal 2 on Ending Hunger, other interrelated goals need to be considered.

 

“The inter-linkages and integrated nature of the Sustainable Development Goals are of crucial importance in ensuring that the purpose of the new Agenda is realized. If we realize our ambitions across the full extent of the Agenda, the lives of all will be profoundly improved and our world will be transformed for the better.”                          (UN, Transforming our world, the 2030 Agenda, 2015)

3. The V0 drafts identifies main trends that have complex implications for all dimensions of food security. While some of these trends have widespread agreement with respect to their implications for food security and nutrition, others have less agreement and as such require more research.

Do you think that trends identified are the key ones in affecting FSN outcomes today that might help explain stalled progress on meeting SDG2 targets? Do you have additional data or information that could help refine the analysis of the interplay between these trends and FSN outcomes?

 

It is positive that section 3.3 of the draft looks at the stresses caused by biodiversity loss, land degradation, water scarcity and pollution that arise from land-use changes but we feel that far greater emphasis needs to be given to these areas because they are so pivotal in ensuring FSN and the resilience of the sector.

 

“For future food security, land and water management needs to preserve ecosystem functions and ensure the future of the resource. Sustainable management of ecosystems, and an ecosystem’s approach to water management from local to continental levels is key to ensuring quantity and quality of water for food security and nutrition in the future.” (FAO/HLPE, HLPE 9, Water for Food Security and Nutrition, 2015)

 

The V0 draft can only be truly effective if far greater attention and emphasis is given to FSN conclusions highlighted in previous HLPE/FSN Reports. HLPE 9 and HLPE 11 are valuable in this respect.

 

“Ecosystems and landscapes sustain water resources. Forests play a major role in the watercycle, ensuring quantity, quality and stability of water for human use.” 
(HLPE 9)

“Forests perform vital ecosystem services, including the regulation of the water and carbon cycles and protection of biodiversity, that are essential to agriculture.” (HLPE 11)

 

“Water basins can be of huge dimensions and in some cases continental. Furthermore, the interaction between ecosystems and the water cycle can operate at continental scales, meaning that ecosystem management can have sometimes very remote effects on water availability, as the example of land- use change in Amazon shows (see Box5).” (HLPE 9)

5. Are there any major omissions or gaps in the V0 draft?

 

The links between FSN, the global water cycle and ecosystems, although given attention in previous HLPE Reports have been marginalised in this Draft

“We recognize the key role that ecosystems play in maintaining water quantity and quality and support actions within respective national boundaries to protect and sustainably manage these ecosystems” (UNCSD, The Future We Want RES/A/66/288 2012, para 122, 2012).

https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/733FutureWeWant.pdf

Are topics under-or over-represented in relation to their importance? Are there any redundant facts or statements that could be eliminated from the V0 draft (especially considering the CFS request for a concise report)?

Issues, which we have highlighted in our submission have been severely under represented in this VO Draft and need to be given far greater emphasis, considering that they form the very structure and basis for any successful FSN outcome.

“The natural resources of the earth, including the air, water, land, flora and fauna and especially representative samples of natural ecosystems, must be safeguarded for the benefit of present and future generations” (Stockholm Environment Report 1972)

http://wedocs.unep.org/xmlui/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/28247/Stkhm_D...

“For future food security, land and water management needs to preserve ecosystem functions and ensure the future of the resource. Sustainable management of ecosystems, and an ecosystem’s approach to water management from local to continental levels is key to ensuring quantity and quality of water for food security and nutrition in the future.” (FAO/HLPE 9, Water for Food Security and Nutrition, 2015)

Also as mentioned in section 3.3vof the present VO Draft:

 

“Agriculture is far more sustainable when whole systems thinking is applied, simulated by directly utilizing the patterns and resilient features observed in natural ecosystems. In the face of these environmental stresses, there is growing interest in low external input farming methods such as agro-ecology that seek to strengthen agricultural ecosystems” It would be helpful to include the term ‘permaculture’ as well as ‘agro-ecology’ into this section and because it is an approach that provides many mitigation and adaptation solutions to the problems posed by climate change, then it would be beneficial to elaborate upon the advantages of agro-ecology and permaculture.”

 

(This FAO 2014 paper offers further information regarding this critical issue.

 

Agronomy for Sustainable Development

https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1051/agro:2008054.pdf

 

“Humanity is at a watershed moment. Ultimately, the challenge of water security cannot be approached only as a problem-solving exercise – it is about fundamentally redefining and reshaping humanity’s relationship with water as it flows through communities, economies, and the ecosystems that sustain them. Addressing this challenge demands that human society envision and enable new ways to live in harmony with the natural water cycle.” (UN Water, ‘The Global Water Crisis: Addressing an Urgent Security Issue’ 2012)

http://rem-main.rem.sfu.ca/papers/adeel/2012_-_Water_Security.pdf