Agroecology has presence at Stockholm+40

Stockholm+40 international conference is hosted this week by the Swedish Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs to commemorate the UN Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm in 1972. As the “Partnership Forum on Sustainable Development”, it focuses on the themes of sustainable living, production, and innovations looking forward to Rio+20.

“How to promote Agroecology” read a large poster at one of the 25 roundtable working groups at Stockholm+40 today.

I was shocked. Agroecology rarely ever gets attention at large international conferences like this. Fortunately the Vi Agroforestry Programme was hosting one of the roundtables which was actively discussing this issue. They also had several experts from the IAASTD panel present, which was fantastic. It was great to have representation for this cause at the meeting today.

I also participated in two roundtable groups focusing on visions and solutions for sustainable agriculture. I was focusing specifically on human health issues related to agriculture, and was able to include the following specific points for adoption into the final outcome draft of Stockholm, most of which received general consensus:

  • Requesting governments to phase out the use of all non-therapeutic antibiotics and growth hormones
  • Eliminating all agricultural subsidies
  • Emphasizing the importance of local food production
  • Recognizing the special role of traditional agricultural knowledge
  • The importance of consumer awareness and engagement in food production and consumption

It was wonderful to be able to play an important role in these discussions. I look forward, with hope, to see how these suggestions will be incorporated into the outcome of the Stockholm+40 conference.

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