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CGRFA 14: Reactions to SEARICE Interventions

3 May 2013

Statement by Maryam Rahmanian, CENESTA

I am Maryam Rahmanian, representing the Centre for Sustainable Development and Environment, an Iranian NGO. My participation here today is facilitated by the International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty.

I would like to support the comments of SEARICE.

The SoW-BFA is badly needed, long overdue and a very important initiative. We are glad to see broad support by governments for the initiative. The concerns expressed seem to more on finances and budget and we hope that by the end of this week governments will come to some agreement in order not to miss this important opportunity.


As I have said before, the most important contribution of the SoW-BFA is the holistic and integrative approach that it will take. We know this is not easy and therefore it is very important for FAO to articulate the methodology that it will use to elaborate the report.


Methodologies for understanding complexity recognise the importance of the participation of all knowledge holders, including in this case the countless farmers, fisherfolk, pastoralists and forest dwellers who are important knowledge holders.


Taking a lesson from the HLPE, it is important to note – as we saw on Saturday – that some issues can be very controversial and it is more helpful for moving forward on policy to articulate the controversies that exist, and look at the evidence behind all sides, rather than ignoring them.


We would support the suggestion of Ecuador to include one thematic study on climate change and biodiversity.


Lastly, we are puzzled by the comment of the United States that a chapter on sustainable use would be overly ambitious. A lot of information already exists on sustainable use, we have to take stock of it. One of the stated objectives of the SoW-BFA is to contribute to sustainable use of biodiversity for food and agriculture.


Statement by Gine Zwart, OXFAM Novib


Thank you. We would like to congratulate the commission to take the initiative of this important report, and we would like to support the statement of Searice about the importance to ensure the interests of small-scale producers (agriculturalists, livestock keepers and fisherfolk) are duly addressed.

We see the report as a great opportuity to look at agricultural biodiversity from an integrated, holistc ad systems point of view. As Maryam also just pointed out, surely not an easy task. We do trust the FAO will be able to do a great job and break through the various silos that exist at the moment on this subject and produce a truly cross-sectoral analysis. We trust the report will not be as people free as the current logo of the commission suggests, as it are people that are at the heart of agricultural biodiversity and food and the complexity of all the linkages.


Thank you.


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