In Canada, we can bite into an apple that travelled around the world, while apple orchards and good storehouses abound within kilometres of our homes. This is the sad irony of our current industrial, global food system, which increases profits for multinational food corporations at the cost of our climate and our environment. Development and Peace is committed to putting the planet and people before profit, and this is why we are promoting a transition to a more sustainable food system.
Today’s food and farm systems have succeeded in supplying large volumes of foods to markets around the world. Yet, this system is degrading land, destroying ecosystems and waters, and causing biodiversity loss. While our environment suffers, hunger and malnutrition persist in alarming numbers, with obesity and diet-related diseases also on the rise.
Meanwhile, ecological agriculture approaches around the world have proven that they can increase biodiversity, strengthen ecosystem resilience, reduce and sequester carbon, and improve both food security and farm livelihoods.
A global shift is urgently needed in our food system for it to remain viable, feed and employ people, and respond to climate change. Canada must be part of this transition to sustainable and biodiverse agriculture, and our international policies must support this transition.
In collaboration with the Food Security Policy Group, which is made up of Canadian organizations that are promoting agro-ecology as a solution, Development and Peace has invited Emile Frison to Canada. Dr. Frison is the former Director General of Bioversity International, and is a member of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems.
He is the also the lead author of the recent report From Uniformity to Diversity, which outlines the path for a transition to diverse agroecological systems. Dr. Frison will share his perspective on why this shift is needed and the modest steps and policy changes that are needed to get there. A panel featuring Emile Frison, accompanied by other food security experts, will take place in Montreal on June 5, and in Ottawa on June 6, 2017. The events are posted on our Facebook page.
Youth Forum: Rooted in Justice
Development and Peace is also hosting another important event focussed on this shift to a more sustainable food system. In celebration of our 50th anniversary, Development and Peace is organizing a youth forum on food sovereignty called Rooted in Justice. Guest speakers, experts, activists and youth from Development and Peace international partner organizations in Bolivia, Ecuador, Indonesia, and Burundi will share their experiences in the transition to food sovereignty.