LAC Countries Take Action Towards Ending Hunger by 2025

3 March 2016: The 34th Session of the Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) adopted a number of measures to achieve the region's goal to eradicate hunger by 2025, five years ahead of the deadline agreed in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Goal 2 is End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture, and the Goal's first target calls to, “by 2030, end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round.”

The LAC conference focused on three priorities: consolidating regional efforts towards eradicating hunger and malnutrition; promoting family farming, inclusive food systems and sustainable rural development; and the sustainable use of natural resources in the context of adaptation to climate change and disaster risk management.


In his address to the Conference, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva commended the region's advances in combating hunger, and said LAC countries have an opportunity to be the first region to achieve SDG 2. He said FAO will continue supporting key activities such as the Hunger Free Latin America and the Caribbean initiative, and the Food Security, Nutrition and Hunger Eradication Plan of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).


Conference delegates decided to develop a priority regional initiative on the sustainable use of natural resources in the context of climate change adaptation and disaster risk management, which will focus on climate change adaptation in Latin America's Dry Corridor, a region experiencing more frequent and erratic droughts caused by climate change. Other outcomes include: agreement with the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) to support implementation of the second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), which took place in 2014; agreement with Consumers International on strengthening action to reduce obesity in the region; and a new initiative to support family agriculture, inclusive food systems and sustainable rural development.


The FAO Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean takes place every two years to coordinate efforts in eradicating hunger and establishing FAO's regional priorities. The 34th session took place from 29 February to 3 March 2016, in Mexico City, Mexico. [FAO Press Release, 25 Feb] [FAO Press Release, 1 Mar] [FAO Press Release, 3 Mar] [Conference Website] [Video Coverage (in Spanish)] [Hunger Free LAC Initiative] [CELAC Plan for Food and Nutrition Security and Eradication of Hunger 2025] [IISD RS Story on 2016 CELAC Summit]



read more: http://larc.iisd.org/news/lac-countries-take-action-towards-ending-hunger-by-2025/


 

Turning Yards into Gardens & Neighborhoods into Communities by Food Not Lawns & Heather Jo Flores

Bring the author & founder of Food Not Lawns to your town to teach workshops, plant gardens & build community.

Lawns are the Worst!

Americans spend over $30 billion every year to maintain over 40 million acres of lawn. Yet over 40 million people live below the poverty level. Even if only ⅓ of every lawn was converted to a food-producing garden, we could eliminate hunger in this country.

Lawns use more equipment, labor, fuel, and agricultural chemicals than industrial farming, making lawns the largest (and most toxic) agricultural sector in the United States. Lawnmowers burn more fuel every year than all industrial oils spills of the last twenty years, combined. Growing Food Not Lawns is a beautiful, responsible and empowering step towards finding real solutions to the major problems we face as a global society.

Grow Food, Not Lawns!

When the original chapter of Food Not Lawns started in 1999, in a tiny space behind a park in Eugene, Oregon, our vision was to share seeds and plants with our neighborhood, to promote local awareness about food security, and to learn about permaculture, sustainability and organic gardening.

Our project blossomed. We received a Neighborhood Improvement Grant from the City of Eugene, and conducted a low-cost permaculture design course for the neighborhood. We transformed most of the neighborhood lawns into lush organic gardens. We hosted annual seed swaps. Soon, we started to get mail from people around the country who were starting up local Food Not Lawns chapters of their own, and a movement had been born.

In 2006, co-founder Heather Flores published Food Not Lawns, How to Turn Your Yard into a Garden and Your Neighborhood into a Community (Chelsea Green.) The first half of the book is about gardening in the city, with no budget and on shared land. The second half is about working with people to build community around shared food and resources.

The book sold over 25,000 copies, and now there are more than 50 affiliated Food Not Lawns groups in the United States, Canada, and the U.K.. The original Food Not Lawns collective just hosted its 16th annual seed swap, and the meme, “Food Not Lawns,” has taken root in the mainstreamconsciousness.

We need your Support!

Stickers, T-shirts and Yard Signs help spread the message

This campaign is a tool to raise funds for outreach and education, and every donation comes with a Reward that helps everyone.

Starter kits help you establish and expand your local Food Not Lawns project.

Website sponsorships connect people to your work (we place your logo on our website) and support the expansion of the long-standing website, www.foodnotlawns.org, into a user-generated network for sharing skills, knowledge, photos, events and other resources.

Consultations with Heather Flores help you get creative with your garden design and/or community project.

“50 ways to Grow Food Not Lawns,” a new audio handbook from Heather Flores, gives a fun overview of urban permaculture and lawn-transformation techniques.

Workshops in your community will help jump-start new gardens and strengthen local networks by bringing people together to share seeds, resources, tools and knowledge about permaculture, sustainability and organic food.

Food Not Lawns Workshop Tour

This is the main focus of this campaign, and if funding is successful, Heather Jo Flores will travel all over, teaching workshops and helping people turn lawns into gardens and neighborhoods into communities. Please note that all events on this tour will be booked through this Kickstarter campaign, as premium rewards. If you want your town to be on the tour, pledge $500 or more. You can sponsor the event yourself, collaborate with a local nonprofit or university, or sell advance tickets to workshop participants. Funding deadline is March 21 and at that time tour schedule will be confirmed and announced.

Hosting Heather Jo Flores in your community means so much more than just hearing her talk. Heather literally wrote the book on Food Not Lawns, and as one of the founding members, she has had her thumb on the pulse of this movement since the beginning. She emphasizes friendship-based learning, and her events always incorporate a heavy dose of community interaction and team-building play. Specific curriculum will be tailored to meet the needs of your community.To learn more about workshop details, visit foodnotlawns.org/events.html.

It’s Not Just About Gardening!

Food not Lawns is not just about gardening. It’s not just about food. And it is certainly not just about social media. We are about building neighborhood-based, friendship-driven communities, on the ground, in person, and for real.

FNL has always maintained a very simple approachWe help each other turn yards into gardens;

We host events to share seeds, plants, skills, tools, land and information;

And we educate and advocate for communities that want to take back control of their food from the corporate profiteers.

These actions, when combined, build empowered local networks, and help foster a strong sense of community-wide security, stability and sustainability.

Remember, if we don’t reach our goal of $10,000 by March 21, we don’t get any of the funding!

This means no tour, no t-shirts and no audiobook! We really want to share all of this with you, so please help us make it happen.

We Love you! See You Soon! More

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raise the Roof for Marda Farm Teaching Center

Salam (Peace) from Palestine!

The Marda Permaculture Farm is a working farm and demonstration site for permaculture principles, techniques and strategies in Palestine. Based in the picturesque ancient village of Marda, the project promotes food sovereignty, health, self-reliance and empowerment. This is accomplished through modeling water harvesting, recycling, energy conservation and home-scale garden production with readily available and locally-appropriate materials.

Farm Founder and Director Murad AlKhufash has long dreamed of a Teaching Building using natural materials and techniques such as earth bag construction, cobb, adobe, and local building technologies. The building, which would maximize space at two stories would provide a much needed office, indoor space for workshops, and lodging for interns and volunteers.

We are ready to begin this process, with your help! $4000 will support Murad in launching the project by working with students at nearby Birzeit University to complete renderings for the building, begin the permitting process, and initiate a Natural Building Workshop April 2015 to jumpstart the project!

This Teaching Building will integrate passive and active solar power, rainwater catchment and graywater recycling, thus enabling the farm to go “off grid” and so reduce dependence on Israeli-controlled and high cost energy and water supplies.

Over the past eight years the farm has become a destination for international visitors as well local farmers and backyard gardeners. The farm has thrived despite continual challenges posed by the occupation ranging from destructive hogs unleashed by settlers that destroyed crops and fences, high costs of materials, food, and water.

Murad and his neighbors have endured ongoing curfews, harassment by the Israeli military, difficulty leaving and returning. Thanks to Murad's dedication and strong partners the Farm has survived, on a shoestring.

We are grateful for you contribution and our farm has bounties to offer to send a warm thank you for believing in our cause. Olive oil, organic soap and honey from Palestine as well as fantastic donations from our international allies Starhawk, Albert Bates, and Brad Lancaster are our small thank you for your generous support, with an open invitation to visit us in the Marda Permaculture Farm and Palestine anytime.

Please specify “Marda Teaching Building ” in comments sections when submitting the donation.

Please share widely with friends and colleagues who are passionate about the environment, farming, sustainable agriculture and Palestine. Just spreading the word about the work we do will be very much appreciated.

Our next Permaculture Design Course with instructors Klaudia Van Gool and Leslie Buerk will take place from March 25 to April 10, 2015. April Natural Building Course to be announced soon!

Please consider joining us!

Shukran (Thank you) from the Marda Permaculture Team! Click Here for the IndeGoGo Site

 

China Experiment in Permaculture Offers World Hope

China is the most populous and possibly one of the most diverse nations on the planet, with a population of over 1.3 billion people and 56 ethnic groups.

What each one of those people shares with the rest of the world, regardless of political, linguistic, economic, and existential differences, is the complete and utter dependence on the ability to find food. In China’s Loess Plateau, sustained generational farming had depleted the soil, leaving in its wake a textured landscape of dust. When winds came, the dust blew into cities, compromising air quality. In the rains, it washed down the valley, depositing more of the silt that gives the Yellow River its name. In 1995, scientists and engineers surveyed the land of the Loess Plateau in an attempt to determine what was causing the once fertile belt to be a thorn in the country’s. The results of their study led to an experiment in permaculture in China that offers hope to the world.

John D. Liu, Chinese American ecologist and documentary film-maker, documented the project in an award-winning film called Hope in a Changing Climate. In the film that Liu narrates, he reports that the first thing that the scientists discovered was a causal relationship between ecosystem destruction and human poverty. Where environmental degradation is severe, the population becomes trapped in a downward spiral. Because they needed to eat to survive, generational subsistence farming had stripped the land bare in the Loess Plateau. In search of food for themselves and their flocks, farmers and their families continued to deplete the fertility of the surrounding ecosystem, further impoverishing themselves.

When scientists developed the plan to restore the ecosystem in China’s Loess Plateau, generational farmers had to be convinced that not farming was critical for their families’ long-term survival. To get buy in from the locals who did not understand how their families would eat if they were not allowed to farm, the government subsidized them and taught them how to do the work that would restore their land from a scarce dirt pit to a thriving ecosystem.

Around the world, populations are living a scarce subsistence lifestyle similar to the one that the citizens of China’s Loess Plateau used to live. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) states that besides fleeing for personal safety, the basic need for food and shelter is the primary motivation for people leaving their homes and becoming displaced. If there were a stable food supply and supportive ecosystem, then the motivation for the world’s most vulnerable populations to move, would decrease. The UNHCR reports that competition for scarce resources triggers violence. If there were a way to restore resources so that people had food and a sense of power in their lives, the fuel for much of the world’s violence would be spent.

The permaculture experiment in China indeed offers hope to the world. Working with scientists, the local population terraced slopes, they planted trees, and they penned their herds so that the trees could grow without being eaten. Soon they found that their hillsides were green. Instead of letting the rains sheet off the mountains, the terraces collected the water and fed the delicate new roots systems, transforming the arid land into a booming garden. Liu reports that since he first visited the area in 1995, the people have seen a threefold increase in income and a profound sense of hope and empowerment. More