In collaboration with African Population and Health Research Centre (Nairobi) and Just Food (USA), Fian Norway organized a session at the alternative food summit FoodSystems4People, on July 27th. The activity was called
“Universal Food Access: Reclaiming Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems and Community Supported Agriculture“
Moderators: Qiana Mickie, CSM Coordinating Committee, #Urgenci and
Arvid Solheim, FIAN Norway
Speakers/Panellists: Elizabeth (Liz) Kimani-Murage, APHRC; Liv Elin Torheim, OsloMet; Sia Pickett, Just Food; Tania Martinez Cruz and Yon Fernandez de Larrinoa, Global Hub; Christina Behrendt, ILO on behalf of USP2030.
The goal of the session was to clarify the new narrative of Universal Food Access (UFA) and make clear the connection to indigenous food systems.
Furthermore, to present Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) implemented by Just Food in New York, a concrete on-the-ground example of the principles of UFA, and finally explore the linkages with the Global Partnership for Universal Social Protection.
UFA as concept redefines food away from today’s dominant view of food first and foremost as a commodity to be traded. It recognizes that food is a basic human right, that it is a common good that should be provided through self-organized collective actions; and that food is a public good, whose provision should be the responsibility of the State, as part of the social contract between the government and its citizens. This will lead to a needed paradigm shift, that might contribute to reverse the last years’ negative trends of increasing food insecurity and malnutrition in all its forms globally.
The normative foundation of UFA in the instruments of human rights is explained, in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), the General Comment #12 and the 3 levels of obligation: to respect, to protect and to provide, through facilitating access and providing when needed. Through this, UFA will contribute to the enactment of the core mandate of the United Nations itself.
Just Food work to strengthen the power, wealth and health of marginalized communities in New York, by promoting community-driven solutions to the inequities. They use community gardens and -chefs, in a system of direct collaboration between producers and consumers. 120 CSA sites reach approx. 108 000 community members in NY, mainly Black, Indigenous, and People of Color
Indigenous food systems, amply described in the recently published White/Whipala report of FAO, have been largely underestimated, marginalized and dismantled by decision-makers all over the world. These systems consider food as a shared resource, where community solidarity and circularity assures food security, through sophisticated systems.
The Global Hub on Indigenous Food Systems, hosted by FAO, brings together indigenous and non-indigenous experts and researchers, facilitates dialogue and provide evidence-based contributions to inform policymaking and agenda setting.
-Indigenous people (Ips) are not vulnerable, they are made vulnerable. Their food systems are sustainable and resilient and provide high-quality nutritious foods. IPs protect 25% of the land, and 80% of terrestrial biodiversity globally.
The Global Partnership on Universal Social Protection (USP2030) is an initiative to promote universal social protection systems that are key for poverty reduction, food security and nutrition, health, education and decent work. Members are governments, institutions, UN organizations and other multilateral and bilateral development partners, trade unions and civil society organisations worldwide. Social protection systems provide for example cash benefits and food to the less privileged and income-generating schemes, and unemployment benefits that are important tools. Research on the impact of cash transfers on rural communities in several African countries shows that the economic value of such benefits largely surpasses its costs – in many countries the output/benefit to society is doubled Social protection is also essential for farm labourers and their families. It also has significant importance for gender equality.
The diversity and cultural values of traditional crops contribute heavily to the resilience of these farming systems, which are highly valued by most smallholder farmers.
This online event had approximately 50 participants on Zoom. The recording of the entire session can be found here: https://who.zoom.us/…/KbjLdPiQCWpLCM9FD0wllI7bctI52IFpL…
The powerpoint presentations will be made available shortly, on a link here.
For more information see: Elizabeth Kimani-Murage APHRC