Ecumenical Group: Rio 20 Result Not a Step to Ending Hunger

(Photo Credit: Paul Jeffrey/Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance)Food price protest

Governments concluding a UN sustainability summit over the weekend have acknowledged and reaffirmed the right of everyone to adequate food but have fallen short of committing to a change needed to eradicate hunger, an ecumenical leader says.

Peter Prove, Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance Executive Director said in a released statement on Monday that a final conference outcome document at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, called Rio 20, "leaves the door open for greater intensification of industrial agriculture – a system that has proved unsuccessful in eradicating hunger sustainably and has led to near collapse of ecosystems and communities."

He referred also referred to seed-breeding company Monsanto.

"Instead of farming Monsanto's way," Prove said, "we need to be farming God's way."

Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance member organizations are calling on world leaders to realize the benefits of smallholder-based agro-ecological food production and commit to shifting their focus to supporting the scaling-up of sustainable food production using those methods.

Gisele Henriques, Food Officer for CIDSE, an EAA member organization called for governments to "support agriculture systems that enhance soil productivity, build community resilience in the face of climate change and contribute to the eradication of poverty and hunger."

"Such systems exist, they are agro-ecological models, which have been tried and tested the world over."
Christine Campeau, EAA's Food Campaign Coordinator said the document contains a part which notes the need to promote sustainable consumption patterns and references reducing food waste and post harvest losses. However she says that the document does not address the issue with sufficient priority and urgency, given that 1.3 billion tons of food – or one third of global food production – is wasted each year.

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