lunes, abril 27, 2009

Invitation to a global video conference on
Global Food Sufficiency
Towards sustainable food production and consumption

Dear Friends,

The world food crisis is a major threat and one of the main political challenges for the coming decades. Famines and subtle hunger are spreadingon a local and regional level, in rural as well as in urban areas. But thecauses for the crisis are globally connected and solutions must be found onthe local as well as on the global level.

With the upcoming conference on global food sufficiency we wish to raise thequestion how local, regional, national and global food systems can providesufficient and wholesome food for all. We wish to see how the currentconcepts of self sufficiency, food security, and food sovereignty cancontribute to political and practical solutions in the fight against hungeras well as reduce wasteful food consumption.

On 29 April the videoconference will simultaneously connect civil society and decision-makers from Asia (regional conference in Manila), Africa(regional conference in Dakar), Latin America (regional conference inBrasilia), and North America (regional conference in Washington, DC) with aregional conference in the European Parliament in Brussels.

Each regional conference will provide an analysis of proposals on the keyfood problems of the region, possible solutions to existing food insecurityand suggestions for common global action. Each region will have a one hourslot to make its points clear with question and answer time from the otherregions. If technically possible, the conference will be streamed on internet.

The format: The global video conference experiment

This conference is an experiment which uses video conferencing in order to connect simultaneous regional conferences dealing with the same issue: Howto achieve global food sufficiency. The format will allow avoiding large distance travel. Participants may not be able to communicate as if they were in the same room. But they may better grasp the dimension of the food crisis and agree on possible common action.

With just short time slots for contributions of each region, the conferenceformat demands a high focus on key messages and strict discipline of the participants to respect time limits of their presentations.The conference will be moderated from the European Parliament in Brussels, but it will offer to the parallel regional conferences in Asia (Manila, Philippines), West Africa (Dakar, Senegal), Latin America (Brasilia, Brazil), and the USA (Washington DC) to manage their one hour inputindependently.

The one hour slots include 30 minutes for short presentations or internal debates on reasons for food insecurity, possible solutions and suggestions for common global action between the regions.
Themes to be shared

The perspective of the Philippines may focus on the question of goodgovernance in the field of food security, the empowerment of small farmersand on the demand for a local and regional stock-keeping system in order tostabilize farm gate prices and agricultural markets.

The West African perspective may demand for the appreciation of alternativefood cultures such as family farms, local and regional markets and discussstrategies to make food production systems more sustainable regardingenvironmental threats.

The European perspective may focus on the negative impact of competitivenessand export oriented EU farm policy and the negative impact of feed imports,as well as on failures in the internal food system - the constant decreaseof farm revenues, increased market power of retailers and increased waste offood.

The Brazilian perspective may focus on contradictions and complementaritiesbetween family farming based food production and export oriented productionof commodities. The assembly of CONSEA on Zero Hunger programme of thegovernment may allow participants to analyse the options for farmers'organisations and consumers to achieve a fair deal.

The North American perspective may wish to discuss internal and externalfood aid and the role of the US farming sector in a global food sufficiencysystem. The impacts of the current financial crisis as well as thespeculation on food commodities on global food security will also be mainpoints.The conference will end in common conclusions and proposals for globalactions.

Looking forward to your participation and contribution,
With kind regards
On behalf of the organising team: Marek Poznanski and Hannes Lorenzen
The conference will be webstreamed on


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