Fundamental but still contentious: Right to Food at the CFS

Rural Sociology’s Jessica Duncan is currently at the 43rd Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). She and Nadia Lambek are live covering the meeting. Their previous contribution was an introduction to the CFS: ‘5 things you need to know about the CFS’.

Food Governance

This blog was originally posted here on the Event Blog of the Committee on World Food Security. It was written by Nadia Lambek and Jessica Duncan.

CFS in action (photo by X. Jiang) CFS42 (photo by X. Jiang)

When the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) reformed in 2009 it identified the promotion of the right to food as one of its goals. This was an important development, as recognizing human rights is fundamental to achieving food security.

Despite this development, however, the issue of human rights is still contentious within the CFS. Participants continue to clash over whether to include human rights in the CFS’s outputs and on whether or not to adopt a rights-based perspective in making policy recommendations.

Observers attending the first plenary session of the CFS might have been surprised to see that very few governments chose to mention human rights and the right to food in their opening addresses.  Indeed, these…

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Call for Papers: Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting Boston, April 5-9th 2017

Understanding challenges and opportunities for future food and nutrition Security

TRANSMANGO’s Dr. Brídín Carroll (University College Dublin, Ireland) is chairing this session at the Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting in Boston. Abstracts due the 25th of October!


Understanding challenges and opportunities for future food and nutrition security

Bridin Carroll

It is well established that the food system is globally integrated and that this system is subject to a wide range of drivers of change including climate, economic concentration and market structure, financial power, resource competition, marginalization, property rules, geo-political shifts, consumer preferences, consumption patterns and nutritional transition. These drivers of change affect how food flows through this system, at all stages from production to consumption (Yakovleva, 2007; Tansey, 1994). It is important to obtain a comprehensive picture of the effects of these drivers, as well as to systematically assess the vulnerabilities of the food system (pressures, hazards, shocks and stresses), in the context of socio-economic, behavioural, technological, institutional and agro-ecological change.

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5 things you need to know about the CFS

I am here at the CFS with 6 students from Wageningen, Don’t know what the CFS is? Check out this blog post.

Food Governance

This week I am teaming up with Nadia Lambek to research, reflect and write about the CFS. 

cfs43_150_enIn our conversations with people over the last few days (well actually, the last 6 years), we have been asked a lot of questions about the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS), and often, the questions are the same.

To save you, and us, some time, we have identified the top 5 questionswe get about the CFS and provided our answers below.

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Call for papers for special issue on ‘City region foodscapes’

This is a call for papers for a special issue about ‘City region foodscapes’ of the open access journal Sustainability – Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development.

There is increasing broad recognition that food is an integral part of the urban agenda. Cities in different parts of the world are developing policy and programme initiatives related to urban food provisioning. The 2007-2008 food price hikes, and climate-induced disruptions to food supply, have triggered a call for more resilient urban food systems. In addition, alarming increases in diet-related ill-health require cities to ensure access to sufficient, affordable, healthy and safe food to their population. Continue reading

Meet the WUR UN Food Security Bloggers

cfs43_150_enFor the next week, 6 WUR students will be participating in the UN’s Committee for World Food Security (CFS) annual meeting as part of the official Social Media Team, an initiative coordinated by the CFS and the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR).

Their contributions will be posted here as well as on this blog.

If you are on Twitter, follow the meeting and the  #CFS43 Social Media Team by following this list.

The CFS is the most inclusive international and intergovernmental platform for all stakeholders to work together to ensure food security and nutrition for all. The Committee reports to the UN General Assembly through the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and to FAO Conference.Using a multi-stakeholder, inclusive approach, CFS develops and endorses policy recommendations and guidance on a wide range of food security and nutrition topics.

Click here for more information about the 43rd session of the CFS. Continue reading

Nominate your greenest teachers!

green-officeThis week the Green Office of Wageningen is launching this year’s Green Teacher Award !

Last year the Green Office selected the teachers. This year they will do things differently.

Their aim is to let the members of the WUR community  nominate themselves, their colleagues and/or their teachers.  After this, the nominated teachers will get a questionnaire and a jury will use different criteria to select the ‘Green Teacher(s) of 2016’.

To nominate a Green Teacher, you can fill in this short form:

The objective is to celebrate green teachers and to encourage teachers to think (more) about sustainability and how to implement this in their lectures.


SCORAI Working Group on Community, Collective Action, and Alternative Pathways calls for new participants

By Flora Sonkin, Jordan Treakle and Robert Orzanna,

A diverse group of scholars participated past summer in a series of special sessions on the theme of “Re-embedding the Social: New Modes of Production, Critical Consumption, and Alternative Lifestyles” that was part of the annual conference of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics held at the University of California Berkeley. In the aftermath of the conference there was considerable interest in trying to maintain momentum and extend the circle of participation. Continue reading

Register now for RSO-55306 ‘A Global Sense of Place’


In period 2, from October 31 till December 19, we’ll be teaching again RSO-55306 A Global  Sense of Place: Place-based approaches to development.  Registration for the course is open until October 2, 2016.

A Global Sense of Place  is an optional interdisciplinary course on sustainable place-based development for students from various master programmes (e.g. MDR, MES, MID, MLP, MUE, MOA, MFN). The course builds on the BSc course RSO-56806 Sociology and Anthropology of Place-shaping providing an introduction to place-based approaches in development. Knowledge of this introductory course is an advantage, but is not assumed. The course aims to make students acquainted with an interdisciplinary and place-based approach to development.

A relational place-based approach is seen as key to the understanding of interrelated rural and urban transformation processes and ergo sustainable development. In a relational approach places are considered as contingent,but in time and space differentiated outcomes of three interrelated interdependent and unbounded transformative processes: political-economic, ecological and social-cultural. Places are time and space specific constructs, like their boundaries and connections.


Shaping resilient places. Source: Roep, D., Wellbrock, W, Horlings, I, 2015. Raising Self-Efficacy and Resilience in the Westerkwartier: The Spin-off from Collaborative Leadership, In: J. McDonagh, B. Nienaber, M. Woods (Eds.), Globalization and Europe’s Rural regions. Ashgate, Surrey, pp.41-58

By means of this course students will achieve profound understanding in key-concepts and methods on place-based sustainable development. Work from key thinkers in sustainable place-making will be critically discussed and examined on the basis of various cases. Guest speakers are invited to reflect on place-based approaches to sustainable development and illustrate these through case studies. Ultimately students will acquire a place-based perspective on development.

Language of instruction and examination is English. Classes are taught on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10.30 -12.30.

Key lecturers: Dr. ir. Joost Jongerden (RSO), Dr. Ir. Dirk Roep (RSO) and Martijn Duineveld (GEO)

For more information, please contact Anke de Vrieze,

Resistance in action in the Mayan region: “NO to GMO’s”

Mayan women in a concert of the Ma OGM campaign. Source Maria Boa

Mayan women in a concert of the Ma OGM campaign. Source maria Boa

August 18 María del Refugio Boa Alvarado successfully defended her MSc-thesis ‘Resistance in Action; Mobilization of Mayan beekeepers against GM soy: The case of the ‘Colectivo MA OGM‘ for the Master International Master in Rural Development. Below a post by Maria.

Are you interested on social movements? On Indigenous rights? On collectives and their practices? For years, many social scientists have been fascinated by the study of social movements and collective action. In my case, I am fascinated by the research of complex associations that frame and articulate their claims or grievances. Particularly, the processes of social transformation that have their grassroots within indigenous communities. Continue reading