The G8 Summit is being held in Canada from June 25-27th. Among the topics outlined by Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada are:
- Economy - Due in large part to the Global Financial Crisis
- Climate - Clean energy will be covered
- Democracy - The goal is to help counter global terrorism by assisting poorer nations govern themselves
- Development - This area will focus on global health issues like malaria and AIDS. This is also where the group with discuss global food security.
I would like to bring added focus on the food security aspect of the conference.
We all remember well the Food Crisis of 2008. In response to this many initiatives have been launched; globally, regionally, and locally. These initiatives are still needed today; however, it is critical that effective policy gets enacted to allow for these initiatives to gain momentum and the support required to deliver on their goals.
In preparation for the upcoming Summit, Farming First developed this excellent interactive map on global food security that provides information on the current initiatives, organizations running the initiatives, and their deliverables/goals. I suggest you visit the site and take a long hard look at what initiatives are in place.
As well as developing the interactive map, Farming First is also urging policy makers to:
- promote a clear joint focus on a common goal for food security at the global level through policy and operational coherence
- encourage increased transparency on how much of pledged funding has been committed and to what types of programmes
- engage a wide range of stakeholders to ensure that efforts are coordinated, clear, collaborative and ultimately successful.
"Returning farmers to the centre of policy decisions is fundamental to sustainable development. Governments, businesses, scientists and civil society groups must focus attention on the source of our food security."Focus on the source indeed. I concur with Farming First; policy makers would do well to remember that food policy should, first and foremost, provide an environment that allows farmers to remain farmers. No farmers, no food!
Lastly, and most importantly we need to maintain a strong focus on women in agriculture. Increasingly, from a global perspective, women are the food producer and procurer. As Farming First states:
"Women farmers should become specially targeted recipients because of their vital roles in the agricultural workforce, household food procurement and preparation, and family unit support."