Champions in Supporting Agroecological Approaches: Shortlist of Future Policy Award 2018
Best policies promoting agroecological approaches shortlisted for international award include candidates from Brazil, Denmark, Ecuador, India, the Philippines, Senegal, the United States of America, as well as TEEBAgrifood.
Recognising that a transition to sustainable food and agriculture systems is crucial to achieve sustainable development and climate resilience, the 2018 Future Policy Award will celebrate policies that create enabling environments that advance such a transition. This year’s award is co-organised by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Future Council (WFC) and IFOAM - Organics International.
In 2018, the Future Policy Award (FPA) will commend proven policies that effectively scale up agroecological approaches at local, national and international levels. It will celebrate outstanding examples for accelerating the transformative change in the way we produce and consume our food. Since a big part of the current food systems are input and resource-intensive, our environment – soil, water, climate, air quality and biodiversity – continues to degrade. A transition towards sustainable food systems not only leads to healthy nutrition for all and contributes to social and economic equity, but it also tackles global warming as well as conserves biodiversity and the ecosystem services on which agriculture and human well-being depends.
In total, 51 policies from 25 countries were nominated. An international expert jury convened to deliberate on the top candidates. The following have been shortlisted as the world’s best policies in the support to scale up agroecological approaches:
- Brazil: National Policy for Agroecology and Organic Production (PNAPO, 2012)
- Denmark: Organic Action Plan for Denmark: Working together for more organics (2011-2020, updated in 2015)
- Ecuador: Quito's Participatory Urban Agriculture Programme (AGRUPAR, 2002)
- India: Sikkim's State Policy on Organic Farming (2004) and Sikkim Organic Mission (2010)
- Philippines: Kauswagan: From Arms to Farms Programme (2010)
- Senegal: Ndiob's vision to become a green and resilient municipality (2014) and its Agriculture Development Programme (2017)
- United States of America: Los Angeles' Good Food Purchasing Policy (2012)
- UN Environment: TEEBAgriFood – The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Agriculture and Food Evaluation Framework, 2018.
With their holistic approach and impressive impact, these eight legal frameworks and policies create enabling environments for the implementation of agroecology, help achieve the ambitions of the 2030 Agenda and contribute directly to multiple Sustainable Development Goals. They aim at protecting the life and livelihoods of smallholders and family farmers, ensuring sustainable and inclusive food systems, and implementing sustainable agricultural practices that help conserve and enhance natural resources and strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change and contribute to mitigation.
Winners of this year’s Future Policy Award will be announced on 12 October 2018 and celebrated during World Food Week in a ceremony on 15 October 2018 at FAO headquarters in Rome. You are warmly invited to join the Future Policy Award 2018 Ceremony in person. Please register at: https://bit.ly/2OV7JNY (by 7th October 2018). The event will be webcast live.
The Future Policy Award 2018 is co-organised by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Future Council and IFOAM – Organics International, with the support of Green Cross International, DO-IT – Dutch Organic International Trade and Sekem Group, Egypt.
Maria Helena Semedo, FAO Deputy Director-General, states: “Agroecology is a key pathway to support the transition towards healthier and more sustainable food systems. The selected policies are outstanding examples featuring important agroecological elements that support such transitions. Leadership and political will are key to achieve them. FAO encourages such leadership and is committed to join hands to accelerate the needed transformation.”
“Unsustainable land use threatens our environment and human well-being. We must act before it is too late. But there is hope: these eight policy solutions show how we can effectively transform our agriculture and food systems. The World Future Council is looking forward to celebrating the best policies advancing agroecology in the interest of future generations, and to sharing their success stories. We can – and should – learn from them how to shape food systems so that every human being can benefit without harming Mother Nature,’’ says Alexandra Wandel, Director of the World Future Council.
“The potential of agroecology to achieve healthy nutrition for all and to address social injustice, climate change and biodiversity loss has been internationally recognised”, notes Peggy Miars, World Board President of IFOAM – Organics International. “These shortlisted policies underline that policymakers in all corners of the world have heard the alarm bell ringing and took the urgently needed action. Let’s highlight and reward these impactful policies!”
Additional Information on the shortlist for Editors
Brazil: National Policy for Agroecology and Organic Production (PNAPO, 2012)
Developed as a result of intense civil society engagement and structured around seven comprehensive guidelines that encompass the most relevant aspects of sustainable food chains and systems, Brazil’s National Policy for Agroecology and Organic Production is a unique federal framework policy for the promotion of agroecology and organic production in Brazil. In its first cycle of activities it led to impressive quantitative results in terms of advancing the agroecological agenda in the country (budget and initiative-wise), investing over EUR 364 million, resulting in visible large-scale improvements for smallholders and vulnerable groups in Brazil. Amongst others, it constructed 143,000 cisterns; assisted 5,300 municipalities to spend 30 per cent or more of their school meal programme budget on purchases of organic and agroecological products from family farmers; assisted 393 rural family farming organizations; launched several public calls that enabled agroecological organizations to expand their staff on an unprecedented scale benefitting about 132,744 farming families; trained 7,722 technicians and 52,779 farmers; promoted 24 networks for agroecology; trained 960 professionals and political leaders on financing women in organic and agroecological agriculture, which benefitted 5,200 rural women in 20 different Brazilian States; financed nine projects for seeds for agroecology; and much more.
Denmark: Organic Action Plan for Denmark: Working together for more organics (2011-2020, updated in 2015)
Developed by involving a broad spectrum of stakeholders, Denmark’s Organic Action Plan (OAP) supports diversified agroecological farming and a holistic strategy to build long-term fertility, healthy agro-ecosystems and secure livelihoods, by increasing, on the one hand, the overall demand for organic agricultural products in Denmark and abroad, and hence stimulating farmers’ motivation to convert from conventional to organic food production, and on the other hand stimulating research and product innovation. The OAP is supported by substantial dedicated funding, has invested so far around EUR 192 million (2015 to 2018) and produced very clear positive outcomes: Today Denmark has the highest market share for organic food among all EU countries and the highest annual per capita spending on organic food. Amongst others, the OAP motivated municipalities through a national goal to achieve 60 per cent organic in all public kitchens, by earmarking funds to support the conversion process and primarily through the education of kitchen leaders and workers, and changes in supply chains and menus; thereby, for instance, the city of Copenhagen succeeded in developing one of the most ambitious public procurement programmes in Europe, which met the goal of 90 per cent organic food in 2015, without an increase in meal prices.
Ecuador: Quito's Participatory Urban Agriculture Programme (AGRUPAR, 2002)
Launched in the aftermath of a deep economic crisis and set up on the basis of a broad, largely women-led community consultation, Quito’s Participatory Urban Agriculture Programme promotes the production, processing, marketing and distribution of healthy organic food from urban and peri-urban gardens in the Metropolitan District of Quito. In its 16 years of existence, AGRUPAR has continuously expanded and considerably advanced food security, job creation, income generation, environmental management, gender equity, social inclusion of vulnerable groups such as women, elderly and migrants, and micro-entrepreneurship. Among AGRUPAR’s impressive results are: 4,500 participants that now produce more than 870,000 kg of food products per year for the city; more than 3,600 urban gardens that cover 32 hectares in total; more than 21,000 people – 84 per cent of whom are women – trained in organic production; more than 6,600 bio-fairs attended by about 170,000 consumers that have been organized so far; more than 170 micro-enterprises that created more than 330 jobs with an average income of USD 3,100; and much more.
India: Sikkim's State Policy on Organic Farming (2004) and Sikkim Organic Mission (2010)
Political commitment to support organic farming in Sikkim began in 2003 and was consolidated in 2010 with the design of the Sikkim Organic Mission, a road map that clearly detailed all the measures necessary to achieve the target of becoming a fully organic state by 2015 - the first such far-sighted and visionary policy commitment by a state in India or indeed the world. By setting the 100% organic goal and implementing this political strategy, Sikkim reveals itself as a ground-breaking policy that takes all necessary measures to reverse the prevailing economic logic, which favours forms of food production failing to preserve the biodiversity and ecosystem functions agriculture depends on. This action plan, together with its linked policies, is unique in its boldness and notable for the holistic approach adopted, tackling many aspects needed for the transition towards organic farming (input provision, capacity building, etc.) in combination with mandatory requirements, such as gradually banning chemical fertilizers and pesticides, with support and incentives, thus providing sustainable alternatives. As a result, in December 2015 Sikkim became the first organic state in the world with more than 66,000 farming families practicing organic farming state-wide, managing 75,000 ha organic certified, and tourism augmented considerably: between 2012 and 2016 the number of Indian tourists increased by 40 per cent, meaning more than 800,000 people per year, while the number of foreign visitors doubled.
Philippines: Kauswagan: From Arms to Farms Programme (2010)
Having experienced over three decades of Moro conflict, Kauswagan in the Philippines witnessed and suffered from the atrocities of war until 2010, when the local government introduced an outstanding policy that shows how conflict resolution can be achieved by tackling food security - the programme ‘From Arms to Farms: Walking through the Paths of Peace’ that addressed the root causes of the conflict, which were poverty, food insecurity and inequalities between population groups, notably Muslims and Christians. Based on a broad participation of different actors, led by the Local Government Units and other support groups, the programme proved very successful by helping over 600 former combatants to reintegrate into society through farming and thanks to strong leadership and well-conceived governance, Kauswagan turned from a territory disrupted by decades of war into a platform for innovation and sustainable agricultural development. As a result of this exemplary programme, no incidents of crime related to armed conflict between Muslims and Christians have been registered in the last four years in the area; the rate of poverty in the area decreased to 40 per cent in 2016, thus meeting the programme’s target in just five years; food production increased thanks to the fact that 300 ha of previously abandoned land are now cultivated by ex-fighters under organic and agroecological practices; and communities have been positively affected because they can send their children to school.
Senegal: Ndiob's vision to become a green and resilient municipality (2014) and its Agriculture Development Programme (2017)
Thanks to a very engaged Mayor and Municipal Council as well as local community, Ndiob became the first city in Senegal to embark on an agroecological transition. Designed in a large community consultation, citizens from 18 Ndiob’s villages formulated their Agriculture Development Programme, which includes five priorities: food security, management of natural resources, soil fertility, livestock breeding and farming, and agriculture. Investing a notable 23 per cent of its total budget into developing agroecology, Ndiob has undertaken a series of appropriate and adequate measures to sustainably manage its natural resources and to achieve food security, including: training 600 producers and strengthening their skills in good agricultural practices; achieving self-sufficiency in certified millet seeds (about 10 tonnes); planting 300 ha of millet in ecological agriculture (producing about 450 tonnes) to ensure food self-sufficiency to 300 families; generating 84 tonnes of peanut seeds, which resulted in each of the breeders gaining more than EUR 530 of income in just the2017 season; training 15 women group leaders on cereal processing techniques and the preparation of local, high quality cereal-based dishes; establishing an expanded public commission to ensure good land management, a farmers’ cooperative, a storage warehouse and a credit fund for financing agricultural and processing projects for young people and women; and much more.
UN Environment: TEEBAgriFood – The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Agriculture and Food Evaluation Framework, 2018
The TEEBAgriFood is a path-breaking, globally applicable food systems evaluation framework, which for the first time presents all wider benefits and costs associated with all relevant dimensions (environmental, health, social, cultural) of the eco-agri-food value chain in one single report. By evaluating the significant external costs and benefits inherent in different food systems, and making these costs transparent, decision-makers on farms, and in governments, institutions and businesses can make better-informed decisions that take into account the impacts of the available choices. This holistic approach of ‘true cost accounting’ allows the recognition, valuing and managing of the positive and negative externalities of all human behaviour and will lead to more agroecological and equitable food systems. The TEEBAgriFood Evaluation Framework will soon be applied at the country level across Africa and in Brazil, China, India and Mexico.
United States of America: Los Angeles’ Good Food Purchasing Policy (2012)
Adopted by Los Angeles city in 2012, the Good Food Purchasing Programme creates a transparent supply chain and helps institutions to measure and then make shifts in their food purchases. It is the first procurement model to support five food system values - local economies, environmental sustainability, valued workforce, animal welfare and nutrition - in equal measure. Within just six years, the Programme has achieved an impressive impact: since 2012, it has been mandatory for all city departments of Los Angeles and for the L.A. Unified School District (LAUSD), which together serve about 750,000 meals a day and have an annual budget of USD 185 million for food. For instance, it achieved that LAUSD has reduced its purchases of all industrially produced meat by 32 per cent, reducing its carbon and water footprint by 20 per cent and 20.5 per cent per meal respectively, that in just a few years the environmentally sustainable purchases of four institutions (including LAUSD) increased by 3.3 per cent and now an additional USD 4.3 million per year goes to environmentally sustainable producers, and that the same four institutions now purchase an additional USD 4.4 million annually from smallholders. The Programme has set off a nationwide movement to establish similar policies in localities small and large, and by now it has been adopted by 27 public institutions in 14 U.S. cities, which collectively spend nearly USD 895 million on food each year.
About the Future Policy Award 2018: More information about this year’s Future Policy Award is available at https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/2018-agroecology