Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Europe, Africa and food security: European policies, biofuels and land grabbing conference

28 February 2012. This conference was co-organised by EuropAfrica-toward food sovereignty and CONCORD. Supported by European Union-funded project “Awareness raising on the on the relations between European policies and agricultural development in Africa”.

It covered following topics:
Mamadou Goita of ROPPA
  • The Right to Food and Biofuels – Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur for the Right to Food. This intervention by the Special Rapporteur drew on the briefing on this topic that he will be releasing in early March and his reading of the EuropAfrica report.
  • Policy coherence targeting food security in Africa – EuropAfrica: Nora McKeon, Terra Nuova. This intervention illustrated the objectives and methodology of EuropAfrica’s policy coherence monitoring, which takes as its reference points the promotion of food security and sustainable small-scale production.
  • Food Security and Rural development in Africa - Rural Development, Food Security and Nutrition Unit, Directorate General Development and Cooperation. A presentation by Chantal Symoens of the EU’s strategy and policy guidelines for promoting food security and sustainable small-holder food production in Africa.
  • The EU and biofuels – Directorate General Energy and Transport. A presentation by Ruta Baltause of the Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC (RED) and plans for its assessment during 2012.
  • European energy policies and land grabbing in Africa – Roman Herre and Sylvain Aubry, Food First Information and Action Network (FIAN). Presentation of the main findings of the EuropAfrica 2011 report.
  • African small-scale farmers’ concerns regarding land grabbing and biofuels – Mamadou Goita, Executive Secretary of ROPPA
  • Land grabbing in East Africa – Annick Sezibera, CAPAD, Burundi and EAFF
  • Land grabbing and biofuels in Senegal – Marius Dia, CNCR, Senegal
        The report referred to and the launch event are part of the project “Awareness raising on the relations between European policies and agricultural development in Africa”, co-funded by the European policies and agricultural development in Africa”, co-funded by the European Commission | DCI – NSAED/2010/240-529. (Bio)Fueling Injustice? [1.6MB]
        The report presented at the launch event on Februrary 28 is co-sponsored by the EuropAfrica platform, composed of European NGOs and the regional farmers' platforms of West, Central and East Africa (ROPPA, PROPAC and EAFF), and by CONCORD, the European confederation of relief and development NGOs.
        What is EuropAfrica? EuropAfrica - Towards Food Sovereignty, is a campaign that connects African farmers' platforms of West, Central and East Africa (ROPPA, PROPAC and EAFF) and European NGOs (Terra Nuova, Centro Internazionale Crocevia, Collectif Stratégies Alimentaires/CSA, Vredeseilanden, Practical Action, Glopolis). It supports the attainment of food sovereignty, both in Africa and in Europe, without impeding the food sovereignty of others. 
        What is FIAN ? FIAN (FoodFirst Information and Action Network) is an international human right organisation organization that has advocated for the realization of the human right to food for more than 25 years.  
        What is Policy Coherence for Development (PCD)? Policy Coherence for Development is about ensuring that the aims and objectives of EU development co-operation policy are not undermined by other EU policies.

      Press coverage: FIAN (FoodFirst Information and Action Network) 28/02/2012 EU must stop bio-fuelling injustice and hunger in Africa
      Africa Online 28/02/2012 EU must stop bio-fuelling injustice and hunger in Africa

      Related: 28 February 2012 Danish EU Presidency to push for development friendly CAP
      Europe's farm policy should take into account its impact on developing countries and be more coherent with anti-poverty efforts announced the Danish Presidency of the European Union.

      Speaking at a conference on Trade, Development and Agriculture on 28/02 organised by CONCORD Denmark and the Danish Agriculture Council in Copenhagen, Friis Bach, Minister for Development Cooperation declared:
      "Denmark will strive to promote the Policy Coherence for Development agenda during our EU Presidency. PCD is not just another ingredient of the alphabet soup, but all about making our development efforts more effective, transparent and inclusive. With clear consequences for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable groups."

      Welcoming the positive approach of the Danish Presidency, Olivier Consolo, Director of CONCORD, the European NGO confederation for Relief and Development said:
      "Today the Danish Presidency has stood up for a major improvement in the CAP reform that can reduce the policies negative impacts in poor countries. More EU member states should go Danish when it comes to pushing for the CAP to be more coherent with development objectives. To improve the CAP, the EU Commission needs to establish impact and monitoring mechanisms so that overseas impacts can be fully assessed.”
      Pekka Pesonen, secretary-general of EU umbrella farming body Copa-Cogeca said over a billion people in the world remain in hunger today. He said international efforts should focus on ensuring a ‘substantial increase’ in agricultural investment.
      Related: Rising Global Interest in FarmlandReleased in draft form in September 2010 and in hard copy in January 2011, the study Rising Global Interest in Farmland --Can it yield sustainable and equitable benefits? compiles country inventories of large land transfers during 2004-09 in 14 countries, identifies global drivers of land supply and demand and highlights how country policies affect land use, household welfare and distributional outcomes at the local level. It establishes a typology, classifying countries by the size of suitable available land and yield gaps and proposes paths for responsible agricultural investments that would contribute to positive social, economic and environmental outcomes.


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