Sustainable Agriculture

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Einladung/ invitation: “Beyond the Crossroads- linking food security and sustainability” 9.-10. November; Berlin

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Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,
liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen,

Dear Sir or Madam,
dear colleagues,
(for English see further down)

wir möchten Sie und Euch herzlich einladen zu der internationalen Konferenz:

Beyond the Crossroads:
New Issues, Persistent Problems.
Linking food security, sustainability science and sustainability politics

in Berlin, vom 9.-10. November 2011. Konferenzsprache ist Englisch, das Programm befindet sich im Anhang.

Anmeldung und Informationen unter: oder:
Teilnahmebeitrag: 20€/ 5€ (voll/erm.)

We would like to heartily invite you to the international conference:

Beyond the Crossroads:
New Issues, Persistent Problems.
Linking food security, sustainability science and sustainability politics
in Berlin; November 9th and 10th 2011. Kindly find the program attached, conference language is English.

Registration and information, please contact: or
Participation fee: 20€/ 5€ (full/reduced)

Persistent Problems
Since in April 2008 the final Intergovernmental Panel in Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa, has accepted the reports and summaries of the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), its core questions and issues have become even more urgent. How to: – reduce hunger and poverty,

– improve rural livelihoods and human health, and

– reach equitable, socially, environmentally and economically sustainable development?

While many international political summits and conferences on hunger and international aid have been taken place and pleasant final communiqués been aired, real politics in most countries turned out to do business as usual. Just the same pattern we’ve seen following the I. Assessment Report (AR) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1990. But at the time when the IV. AR of the IPCC has been published in 2007, national and global politics finally noticed, taking the findings and conclusions seriously and indicating that it is of utmost importance to deliver complex assessments to decision makers not once but time and again.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDG), especially MDG 1 might not be accomplished until 2015, other MDG show also a very mixed balance. In 2011, as in 2010, nearly one billion people are suffering from hunger.

New Issues
Additionally, some drivers and issues turn out to contribute to economic, social and institutional results, which might counteract MDG and the findings of IAASTD, such as:
• – policies subsidizing fuels from biomass for export into the EU and other countries, resulting in conflicts and competition on land also in food-insecure countries,
• – rapid growth of foreign and domestic investments in land, foremost in countries of the South, for industrial and food export purposes, exacerbating conflicts on land especially for the most vulnerable peoples,
• – expansion of global, vertical integrated agro-food corporations in many not and newly industrialized countries, such not only building an overwhelming power with regard to producers but also shaping a consumers culture which heavily relies on fat, sugars and processed food,
• – global agro-food corporations also use and promote industrialized forms of poultry-, pork- and cattle-farming, such maximising environmental and health impacts.

On the other hand, many signs of an agriculture, which sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people all over the world, give hope and evidence that agriculture is essential for socially fair and ecologically sustainable development and for poverty eradication.

Linking food security, sustainability science and sustainability politics
The time is right to convene an initiative to analyse the impact of IAASTD, to look at emerging issues and to strengthen endeavours for a permanent assessment on agriculture within a broad, participatory, and transparent global network in which UN-organisations like UNEP and FAO play a key role as much as civil society organisations, scientists and interested national governments from the South and the North.
We are inviting international key scientists – especially those, who participated in the creation of IAASTD- and policymakers to support the national initiative in Germany inspiring an international project towards the institutionalisation of IAASTD. We therefore intend to finish the conference with a commonly accepted statement, which should declare core issues, next steps and responsibilities of the parties.


Author: C. Whitney

I am an Independent consultant working with Organic farmers, wild collectors and conservation oriented communities in SE Asia. - Organic Consultant and Researcher, PhD candidate, Couchsurfing Ambassador, MOFGA Member, IFOAM Member, Organic Group Manager...

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