By Maria Alice Mendonça, PhD-student Rural Development at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS, Brazil) and guest PhD at the Rural Sociology Group of Wageningen University
During the days 18 and 19th of September, the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations) hosted the International Symposium of Agroecology for Food Security and Nutrition, in Rome, Italy. See the FAO webpage for more information on participants, presentations, poster, videos and so on.
The conference was attended by over 400 people. Amongst them were academics and representatives from government and social movements from all over the world. The aim was to discuss agroecology in the context of global debates and strategies related to: food security, sustainable agriculture and local food systems. The symposium was divided in three parts. The first was a plenary session with presentations by experts at the forefront of scientific research and bystate officials involved in the construction and implementation of innovative policies on Agroecology and Food Security. This was followed by parallel sessions where social movements, such as La Via Campesina and the Articulation in Brazilian Semiarid – ASA, as well as academics and government representatives shared on the ground experiences with Agroecology in diverse countries. At the closing session, State’s ministries of France, Nigeria, Japan, Senegal, Costa Rica, Brazil (video message), the Commissioner of Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Union (video message) and the FAO’s general director, José Graziano da Silva made their statements and commitments to Agroecology and Food Security. Continue reading
The International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty (IPC) is an autonomous and self-organised global platform of small-scale food producers and rural workers organizations and grass root/community based social movements to advance the Food Sovereignty agenda at the global and regional level.
More than 800 organizations and 300 millions of small-scale food producers self organize themselves through the IPC, sharing the Food Sovereignty principles as outlined in the Nyeleni 2007 Declaration + 6 pillars of the synthesis report IPC facilitates dialogue and debate among actors from civil society, governments and others actors the field of Food Security and Nutrition, creating a space of discussion autonomous from political parties, institutions, governments and private sector.
The IPC recently published several declarations on food sovereignty for Europe, Asia and Africa. See the IPC weblog for more information or Facebook page IPC for Food Sovereignty
In May we start with a new course – Food Sociology: Emerging theories & themes.
This course addresses the dynamics of food provisioning – i.e. the range of activities from the production, acquisition and preparation to the consumption and disposal of food – from a sociological perspective. These activities are examined in their socio-cultural, political and physical context by specifying and clarifying which activities are carried out, how, why and by whom. Specifically this course focuses on newly emerging food provisioning practices and the networks and institutions shaping these practices as well as on the social theories to reflect on these dynamics, networks and institutions. The specific contents of the course will differ from year to year as it based upon current international scientific collaborative research programmes and PhD projects. The students will enjoy an interesting variety of learning activities. Continue reading