Hivos International

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By Natalie Lartey (in photo above) and Bill Vorley, IIED

Food policies that are based on evidence and advocacy delivered by citizens are more likely to benefit the people most affected by these policies. At this week’s City University Food Policy Symposium, we heard how connecting people to policy can help secure healthy and more sustainable diets for everyone.

The current dominant agricultural model has run out of steam. It’s high time to replace it with one that is not only sustainable, but also efficient, inclusive and respectful of the planet and the people who produce and consume food.

During the week of 8 March - International Women's Day - Hivos is sharing stories of some of the amazing and powerful women we support worldwide. This year's theme is: “Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives”.

(Photo by Tamara Kaunda for our partner IIED.)

We invest in a world where entrepreneurial local people are developing new solutions for some of the most challenging problems of our time. There are many other options for sustainably increasing food production and improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers that we should look at first before considering investing in GM technology.

While acknowledging the lack of international consensus on the risks and benefits of using genetic modification (GM) technology, Hivos has strong reasons to be very cautious about the use and promotion of genetically modified crops.

Health is unfair. This was the conclusion that Sterhen “Saska” Akbar, Project Coordinator of Riset Indie, came to at the end of the Knowledge Café discussion at the Bandung Food Change Lab talk show and exhibition, held from 23 to 24 November 2017 in Bandung, Indonesia.

On the surface at least, modern foods systems appear to be astonishingly diverse. A person walking into a supermarket almost anywhere in the world can be overwhelmed by the profusion of choices. The productivity of our food systems is also impressive: between 1961 and 2001, crop yields more than doubled in all regions of the developing world except Africa

The Cayapas Mataje reserve in northwest Ecuador is home to the tallest mangroves in the world and to 26 Afro-descendant communities. Its 35 thousand hectares were declared a natural reserve in the mid-nineties to avoid ecosystem depletion by the shrimp industry.

 

Poisonous frogs are one of the planet’s most brightly colored animals. Depending on the species, they can be yellow, copper, gold, red, blue, green, black or a combination of those colors. More than enough choice for the designers of the new Rainforest Alliance seal, although a red frog might be the obvious choice as a tribute to the colour of UTZ’s original logo.

I made my way through the small alley that leads to their new office and workshop in Beirut. Clean white marble tiles, sparkling white walls and the smell of paint everywhere showed the place was clearly still under construction.

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