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Keeping Food Security on the Table at UN Climate Talks


Keeping Food Security on the Table at UN Climate Talks

Denise Fontanilla, Chris Wright

GENEVA, Feb 13 2015 (IPS) - Food security has become a key issue of the U.N. climate negotiations this week in Geneva as a number of countries and observers raised concerns that recent advances in Lima are in jeopardy.

While food security is a core objective of the U.N. climate convention, it has traditionally been discussed in relation to adaptation.


There is a simple solution to food security in Africa: recognize that there is no rural land in sub-Saharan Africa that belongs to an individual or even to a country. It belongs, collectively, to the people who live there, who have lived on the land for millenia, growing crops with what we now call agro-ecology and conservation agriculture methods. Millions of people in small villages in sub-Saharan Africa still live this way as if they were meant to be there, as if they were part of nature rather than this slouching beast mankind has become that thinks there is a technological solution to our irresponsibility that has so disrupted the finely balanced system of immeasureable complexity that life on Earth is.

If we tried to learn from ancient people they might tell us (once again) that you cannot own land and you have no right to do anything to the land–grow crops, dig its gold, dam its rivers, unless you have walked in its forests and swam in its rivers and eaten its plants. If you don’t then you won’t understand what you have and what you are in danger of losing.

We need to leave Africa out of our geo or bio or any other engineering schemes. We can’t keep our butterflies alive and have nothing to teach.


And then there are those trade agreements which will make all this wonderful planning moot …


Hi Shiz,

i see that you have taken up heavy pushing of biochar as one of your “the answer” answers that you cling to.

Note that the critics referenced in this article see biochar as yet another mitigation “fix” that actually will serve to enable established colonialist and corporate powers to shunt off accountability by “accounting” for their carbon by “subtracting” biochar from their emissions. They also point out that it will serve to remove land from other uses including traditional low-impact agricultural practices:

"This, she fears, means that developed countries could supplement their mitigation goals with plans on purchasing land used for agriculture and turning it into biofuels or biochar. As Teresa added, if this was in fact to occur, it could affect poor and subsistence farmers, especially in developing countries.

“What we have learned from the biofuel land grab, it is always the hungriest, the poorest, the most marginalised who suffer the most. In the end, they get pushed off their land and thrown into poverty as they can’t afford the price of food.”"