The International Year of Family Farming
The 2014 International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) aims to raise the profile of family farming and smallholder farming by focusing world attention on its significant role in alleviating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas.
The goal of the 2014 IYFF is to reposition family farming at the centre of agricultural, environmental and social policies in the national agendas by identifying gaps and opportunities to promote a shift towards a more equal and balanced development. The 2014 IYFF will promote broad discussion and cooperation at the national, regional and global levels to increase awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by smallholders and help identify efficient ways to support family farmers.
At the 66th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, 2014 was formally declared to be the “International Year of Family Farming” (IYFF). The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations was invited to facilitate its implementation, in collaboration with Governments, International Development Agencies, farmers' organizations and other relevant organizations of the United Nations system as well as relevant non-governmental organizations.
Plans for PhD fellowships unveiled at TWAS meeting
South-South collaboration to increase PhD fellowships for scientists in developing countries gained momentum as this week's annual meeting of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) ended with the announcement of various programmes for the coming years.
Combating desertification and drought; The youth’s involvement
In this article the author articulates the determination of the youth and their engagement in combating drought and desertification in arid and sami-arid regions of Namibia.
Why women should own their land
When women own the land they till, families tend to be better fed, better educated and healthier, research suggests. Women account for nearly half of the world’s smallholder farmers in developing countries, according to some estimates, and they increasingly make up the majority of farmers in places where men have moved to cities in search of work.
Why we should care about women's right to land
Why do you care about women’s land rights? Isn’t it enough for the household to have land? This article gives some anwers to these very important questions.
Four traits the world's poorest share, and what that tells us about addressing hunger
Most of the world’s poorest citizens share four traits:
•They live in rural areas.
•They depend on the land to survive.
•They don’t have legal control over the land.
•They are women.
From rhetoric to action: Reaping gains through enhanced women's land and property rights
Capacity building at national, local and community levels to enable women to contribute to the land reform agenda, law reform and the configuration of institutions; participate in and access land administration and management institutions; and redress grievances through formal and traditional dispute resolution forums.
Summary of the eleventh session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 11) of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
As CRIC 11 delegates gathered in Bonn at the halfway mark of the UNCCD’s 10-year strategic plan, expectations were high that the recommendations of the 2nd Scientific Conference the previous week would inject new life into parties’ efforts to implement the Convention. But it quickly became apparent that reaching agreement on the diagnosis, let alone a prescription to restore degraded lands, was proving elusive. Was the Convention “in need of major surgery,” as one delegate put it, to survive beyond its 20th birthday, or was this perhaps a classic case of hypochondria? This brief analysis highlights the challenges of diagnosing and treating the Convention’s ailments that CRIC delegates faced as they sought to identify the most cost-effective tools for monitoring progress on the ground.
Preparing for drought cheaper than waiting for it
U.N. agencies are calling on governments at a high-level meeting this week to start reacting more quickly to warnings of drought and put in place national policies to prepare for longer and worse droughts. "In the next decade to come, drought will continue escalating in severity, in occurrence and in duration," Luc Gnacadja, executive secretary of the U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), told AlertNet from the conference in Geneva. "Preparedness and risk management cost-wise are unbeatable compared to relief and crisis management."
Pastoralists need capacity building more than technology
Researchers worked with pastoralists in Ethiopia and focused on non-technical options in human capacity building. One result of this work is that the pastoralists were more resilient in the following drought.
Frankincense and Myrrh harvest may encourage sustainable livelihoods in Ethiopia
A new CIFOR study says that the sustainable production and marketing of oleo-gum resins such as frankincense and myrrh could provide both valuable income options for poverty stricken Ethiopian communities and opportunities for enhancing carbon sequestration.
Women’s Lingerie and Genetically Modified Organisms
In Burkina Faso, the lingerie company Victoria’s Secret and the agribusiness multinational Monsanto are working directly with farmers to increase their cotton production. After seeing both annual yields and prices for cotton decrease over the last few years, Burkina Faso producers began working with the Swiss NGO Helvetas to build capacity for organic production.
Indigenous knowledge meets science
For generations, the Nganyi people of western Kenya have served as rainmakers, helping local communities decide when best to prepare their land and sow their seeds. By observing subtle changes in nature that would be unnoticeable to most people - in air currents, the flowering and shedding of leaves of certain trees, the behaviour of ants, bird songs, even the croaking of frogs and toads - they have been able to interpret weather patterns and provide valuable advice. But even the Nganyi have been flummoxed by climate change and the alternating cycles of droughts and floods it is inflicting. A British-Canadian project aims to combine indigenous knowledge with modern science to build up climate change intelligence and disseminate it more widely in a community whose existence depends almost exclusively on farming.
Ecological Sciences for Sustainable Development - Training Materials
Education, communication, and public awareness are essential elements in ensuring improvements in the quality of life of all people and their environment, eradication of poverty, reducing inequalities and promoting sustainable development.
Environmental education is key for respecting nature and for achieving international agendas, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD); and the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UNDESD, 2005-2014).
Joint launch of Capacity Building Project on Drought Preparedness by UN agencies
The UNCCD, The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in cooperation with the UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC), on 12 March have jointly launched a project on capacity-building to support national drought management policies. The initiative kicked off on the sidelines of the High-level Meeting on National Drought Policies in Geneva.