Sustainable Agriculture as a Standalone Development Goal

One of the main outcomes of the Rio+20 Conference in 2012 was the launch of a process to develop Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which could then replace the Millennium Development Goals for the period 2015-2030. IFOAM is pushing for a Sustainable Development Goal to focus solely on sustainable agriculture and for Organic Agriculture to become one of the indicators to measure its achievements. The SDGs are formulated by an inter-governmental Open Working Group (OWG), which meets monthly, and will submit a final proposal to the 69th session of the UN General Assembly in September 2014. On the journey to a SDG dedicated to sustainable agriculture, IFOAM participated in two UN events ensuring that the interests of organic stakeholders were well represented and their opinions heard.

The first stop took us to Nairobi in late March for a subsidiary inter-sessional body called an “open-ended Committee of Permanent Representatives” (CPR) held in preparation for the first session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) the new governing body of the United Nations Environment Program. The Farmers’ Major Group in CPR co-chaired by James Cole, IFOAM World Board Member, defends the interests of small farmers most exposed to effects of climate change, land grabbing, and harmful GMOs. You can find the statement convened by all Major Groups here:
 statement_on_behalf_of_uneps_major_group_.pdf

Furthermore IFOAM highlighted the benefits agro-ecological farming systems can contribute to SDGs. You can read the Farmers Major Group’s statement on this here:
 farmers_major_group_intervention_on_sdg.pdf

The second stop took us to the OWG meeting held in New York in April. IFOAM, as part of the Food and Agriculture Cluster, again campaigned for a standalone goal on Sustainable Agriculture, Food Security and Nutrition. The statement submitted at the meeting outlining the rational and targets to be achieved can be found here:
statement_presented_at_the_owg_.pdf