Food &amp; land rights http://www.actionaid.org/tags/429/11 en NGO recommendations on Sustainable Agriculture, Rural Entrepreneurs and Agribusiness Investment Window http://www.actionaid.org/publications/ngo-recommendations-sustainable-agriculture-rural-entrepreneurs-and-agribusiness <div class="field field-publication-cover-image"> <a href="/publications/ngo-recommendations-sustainable-agriculture-rural-entrepreneurs-and-agribusiness" class="imagecache imagecache-image_heading_right imagecache-linked imagecache-image_heading_right_linked"><img src="http://www.actionaid.org/sites/files/actionaid/imagecache/image_heading_right/cso_response_eip_agriculture_window_final_-_march_2018-1.png" alt="" title="" width="240" height="333" class="imagecache imagecache-image_heading_right"/></a> </div> <div class="field field-publication-full"> <a href="http://www.actionaid.org/sites/files/actionaid/cso_response_eip_agriculture_window_final_-_march_2018.pdf"><img alt="application/pdf icon" src="http://www.actionaid.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/application-pdf.png" /><span>cso_response_eip_agriculture_window_final_-_march_2018.pdf</span></a> </div> <div class="field field-publication-date-published"> <span class="date-display-single"><time datetime="2018-04-06T00:00:00+01:00">Friday, April 6, 2018</time></span> </div> <div class="field field-publication-overview"> <p>We welcome the publication of the European Commission document explaining the rationale, operation and possible policy actions in the field of agriculture under the European External Investment Plan (EIP). The below reactions and recommendations are formulated with the objective of strengthening the human rights-based approach of this investment window, and ensuring it is pro-poor and effectively contributes to smallholders’ and women’s economic empowerment, in line with the EFSD regulation.</p> </div> Europe Food & land rights Governance International Fri, 06 Apr 2018 11:48:21 +0000 Rob Safar 717019 at http://www.actionaid.org Agroecology: Scaling-up, scaling-out http://www.actionaid.org/publications/agroecology-scaling-scaling-out <div class="field field-publication-cover-image"> <a href="/publications/agroecology-scaling-scaling-out" class="imagecache imagecache-image_heading_right imagecache-linked imagecache-image_heading_right_linked"><img src="http://www.actionaid.org/sites/files/actionaid/imagecache/image_heading_right/agroecology_def_web-1.png" alt="" title="" width="240" height="320" class="imagecache imagecache-image_heading_right"/></a> </div> <div class="field field-publication-author"> ActionAid </div> <div class="field field-publication-full"> <a href="http://www.actionaid.org/sites/files/actionaid/agroecology_def_web.pdf"><img alt="application/pdf icon" src="http://www.actionaid.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/application-pdf.png" /><span>agroecology_def_web.pdf</span></a> </div> <div class="field field-publication-date-published"> <span class="date-display-single"><time datetime="2018-04-03T00:00:00+01:00">Tuesday, April 3, 2018</time></span> </div> <div class="field field-publication-overview"> <p>ActionAid joins growing global calls to ‘scale-up’ and ‘scale-out’ agroecology. As governments and donors meet at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) 2nd International Symposium on Agroecology we urge them to join forces to support agroecology on a large scale. At least 500 million family farms produce about 80 percent of the world’s food. Comprised of smallholders, pastoralists, landless, fisher folk, forest dwellers and tribal and indigenous peoples, about half of them are women. Peasant agriculture plays a multifunctional role, providing food, fiber and other goods, as well as employment, culture, and a way of life. There is now extensive evidence that peasant-based agroecological systems are superior to high external input industrial agriculture and are highly productive, highly sustainable, empower women, create jobs, engage youth, provide greater autonomy, climate resilience, and multiple social, cultural and environmental benefits for women and men in rural and urban communities. Key benefits of agroecology include:</p><ul><li>Year-round access to healthy, fresh, diverse and culturally-appropriate food for local populations;</li><li>Reduced poverty and a key contribution to the realization of the right to adequate food and nutrition;</li><li>Increased climate resilience and reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions;</li><li>Empowerment of women and reduced workload burdens;</li><li>Diversified livelihoods and valued local, tribal and indigenous cultures;</li><li>Improved health through reduced exposure to harmful agrochemicals;</li><li>More resilient ecosystems, healthier soils and improved water management;</li><li>Lower costs, less debt and greater autonomy;</li><li>Enhanced stewardship of seeds, crops, biodiversity, forests and natural resources.</li></ul><p>A science, a set of farming practices and a social movement, agroecology promotes food sovereignty and can also significantly contribute to achieving multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda. Based on our positive experiences of agroecology in 25 countries1 and the wider body of evidence, we urge decision makers to cast aside any ideological bias or skepticism and embrace agroecology as a key policy priority. Seeking a major transformation in agricultural and food systems, we call for increased public investment and adoption of public policies, strategies, programs and incentives to scale-out agroecology. We highlight six key barriers that need to be challenged and seven key steps required to achieve agroecology at scale. We also highlight ActionAid case studies from Brazil, Ghana, India, Kenya, Rwanda and Senegal. The six key barriers we identify are: ideological barriers, international trade and export orientation, marginalization of women, monopoly seed laws, lack of agricultural Research and Development (R&amp;D) on agroecology and concentration of power amongst agribusiness TNCs. The seven key steps required to achieve agroecology at scale are:</p><h3>Support peasant social movements to ‘scale- out’ agroecology</h3><p>Decision makers should support broad-based peasant social movements and rural women’s movements to help ‘scale-out’ agroecology at the grassroots level.</p><h3>Prioritize implementation of CEDAW commitments on the rights of women living in rural areas</h3><p>Governments should prioritize implementation of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) General Recommendation 34 (2016) on the rights of women living in rural areas. It includes rights to participate and benefit from rural development, rights to health, education, employment, economic, social and public life, protection from violence, and rights to land and natural resources.</p><h3>Adopt public policies that support agroecology</h3><p>Decision makers should adopt public policies that encourage the transition to agroecology at scale, such as framework right to food and nutrition laws, national plans that encourage agroecological production and consumption, and public procurement schemes.</p><h3>Include agroecology as a key tool for climate adaption</h3><p>Decision makers should ensure agroecology plays a central role in national climate adaption plans and strategies.</p><h3>Prioritize local food systems and territorial markets</h3><p>Decision makers should prioritize and support broad- based peasant social movements, women’s groups and smallholder food producers to re-localize food systems and foster short food supply chains.</p><h3>Increase public finance and prioritize agroecology in agricultural R&amp;D and extension services</h3><p>Donors, governments, multilaterals and philanthropists should significantly increase finance for agroecology and prioritize agroecology in their Overseas Development Aid (ODA), agricultural R&amp;D and rural extension portfolios.</p><h3>Repeal IPRs on seeds, protect resource rights and break up monopoly power of agribusiness TNCs</h3><p>Governments and decision makers should repeal intellectual property right rules (IPRs) on seeds, secure women and peasants’ access and control over natural resources and other productive resources, and act to break up the monopoly power of agribusiness TNCs.</p> </div> Food & land rights International Tue, 03 Apr 2018 14:02:05 +0000 Rob Safar 716239 at http://www.actionaid.org No Place To Go: How unregulated investments are worsening land, gender and food security inequalities in South East Asia http://www.actionaid.org/publications/no-place-go-how-unregulated-investments-are-worsening-land-gender-and-food-security <div class="field field-publication-cover-image"> <a href="/publications/no-place-go-how-unregulated-investments-are-worsening-land-gender-and-food-security" class="imagecache imagecache-image_heading_right imagecache-linked imagecache-image_heading_right_linked"><img src="http://www.actionaid.org/sites/files/actionaid/imagecache/image_heading_right/policy_brief_layout_hires_11_27_17_final.png" alt="" title="" width="240" height="332" class="imagecache imagecache-image_heading_right"/></a> </div> <div class="field field-publication-author"> ActionAid, AsiaDHRRA, Oxfam </div> <div class="field field-publication-full"> <a href="http://www.actionaid.org/sites/files/actionaid/policy_brief_layout_hires_11_27_17_final.pdf"><img alt="application/pdf icon" src="http://www.actionaid.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/application-pdf.png" /><span>policy_brief_layout_hires_11_27_17_final.pdf</span></a> </div> <div class="field field-publication-date-published"> <span class="date-display-single"><time datetime="2017-12-06T00:00:00+00:00">Wednesday, December 6, 2017</time></span> </div> <div class="field field-publication-overview"> <p>Leaders from Southeast Asia are meeting in Manila in November 2017 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). ASEAN leaders will have the chance to reflect on the region's economic development plan - central to the creation of the ASEAN Economic Community - and consider its impact on peoples across the region. They have an opportunity to redefine the idea of regional economic cooperation as less about trade, investment, and liberalization, and more about creating a regional economy where women enjoy the same economic rights&nbsp; and opportunities as men, where everyone-not only the rich-gains from economic progress, and where economic growth is not achieved at the expense of the environment.</p><p>Like many regional blocs, ASEAN aspires to be an economic powerhouse by becoming a vital link in the glob al supply chain. In line with this, ASEAN began implementing a host of policies as early as the 1990s to facilitate trade and to attract foreign direct investments (FDI) into the region, with some success. ASEAN trade with the world rose from USD 1.61 trillion in 2007 to USD 2.53 trillion in 2014.1 FDI flows to the region increased from USD 10 8.1 billion in 2010 to USD 1 29.9 billion in 2014.</p><p>Although these high rates have since dropped, what remains is the impact of this economic model on women and marginalised groups living in the region. Unregulated private sector investment affects women, peoples' access and right to land, and the climate and the environment. Without safeguards, private sector&nbsp; investments tend to perpetuate&nbsp; gender&nbsp; wage gaps and lead to &nbsp;disinvestment&nbsp; in public services, which increases women's unpaid care work burden . This, in turn, limits women's life choices and exacerbates gender inequality.&nbsp; Unregulated investments chip away at communities' access to land, and the drive for increased economic output uses up natural resources.&nbsp; Investment s affect segments of society differently; it is marginalised groups living in precarious&nbsp; contexts that are the&nbsp; worst affected. Inequality is no longer just about disparities in income and wealth. It also pertains to the very lack of economic opportunities and the inability of marginalised people to influence and participate in decisions affecting them.</p><p>This policy brief summarises the impact of the ASEAN's economic model on gender inequality, land rights, and climate; and offers recommendations for ASEAN to help it eradicate poverty and inequality, in keeping with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and with other human rights agreements.</p> </div> Asia Food & land rights Womens Rights International Wed, 06 Dec 2017 13:57:10 +0000 Rob Safar 713169 at http://www.actionaid.org Responsible governance of tenure must be gender sensitive http://www.actionaid.org/2017/11/responsible-governance-tenure-must-be-gender-sensitive <div class="field field-image-nid"> <div class="buildmode-embedded_image"> <div class="node node-type-image clear-block"> <div class="nd-region-middle-wrapper nd-no-sidebars" ><div class="nd-region-middle"><div class="field field-image-file"> <a href="/2017/11/responsible-governance-tenure-must-be-gender-sensitive" class="imagecache imagecache-thumb_large imagecache-linked imagecache-thumb_large_linked"><img src="http://www.actionaid.org/sites/files/actionaid/imagecache/thumb_large/image/190936.jpg" alt="" title="" width="140" height="140" class="imagecache imagecache-thumb_large"/></a> </div> </div></div> </div> <!-- /node --> </div> <!-- /buildmode --> </div> <div class="field field-body"> <p>The livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people, particularly the rural poor, are heavily dependent on secure and equitable access to and control over land and natural resources which are in turn the source of food and shelter, the basis for social, cultural and religious practices, and a central factor in economic growth.</p><p>While each country’s unique tenure system and challenges require tailored responses, there is a need common across most countries, for substantial investments in land governance, management and administration, as well as more focused work to address those sections of society whose tenure rights are the weakest. This particularly applies to marginalized communities- women, small-scale food producers and indigenous groups.</p><p>The Voluntary Guidelines on the responsible Governance of Tenure of land, forest and fisheries- VGGTs, together with the AU Framework and Guidelines for land policy in Africa- AU F&amp;G, both provide progressive internationally accepted principles and norms for defining policies and practice for governance of tenure that particularly safeguard the interests of the poor and marginalized land dependent sections of society.&nbsp; To give effect to these guidelines, ActionAid developed <em>a </em><em>Toolkit for assessing gender-sensitive implementation of the VGGTs and the AU F&amp;G at country-level</em>. The toolkit was piloted in four countries- Senegal, the Gambia, Netherlands and Australia, with key lessons emerging and captured in this report.</p><p>At ActionAid, we believe that strategies aimed at achieving the following principle are key to achieving the right governance of tenure that can be termed as responsible</p><h3>1: Inclusive multi-stakeholder platforms</h3><p>Multi-stakeholder platforms are encouraged in the VGGTs as the recommended approach to the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Guidelines, in order to ensure participation, collaboration, transparency and accountability in these efforts. Multi-stakeholder platforms may be established at multiple levels and should be gender-sensitive and particularly involve representatives of marginalized and vulnerable groups. The AU F&amp;G recommends participatory process in the “design of land policy&nbsp; formulation and implementation strategies” <strong></strong></p><h3>2: Recognition of customary rights and informal tenure</h3><p>One of the principal tenets of the VGGTs is the recognition of all existing legitimate forms of tenure, both formal and informal, very key for indigenous peoples and marginalized&nbsp; communities. The VGGTs call on states to provide <em>appropriate recognition and protection of the legitimate tenure rights of indigenous peoples and other communities with customary tenure systems</em> and to adapt their policy, legal, and organizational frameworks to recognize such tenure systems. Similarly, the AU F&amp;G advocates for the recognition of the “legitimacy of indigenous land rights’’ and calls for consultation and participation in policy processes, by those who have legitimate tenure rights that could be affected by policy decisions.&nbsp;</p><h3>3: Gender Equality</h3><p>The VGGTs include Gender Equality as one of the principles essential to responsible governance of tenure, and calls on States to ensure that women and girls have equal tenure rights independent of their civil and marital status. The AU F&amp;G recognizes that “gender discrimination” is pervasive in Africa and that there is need for women’s land rights to be strengthened, regardless of their marital status.</p><h3>4: Protection from land grabs</h3><p>The VGGTs offer several recommendations on measures that States can take to prevent loss of legitimate tenure rights resulting from large-scale land acquisitions, as per the human rights principles. <em>State should provide safeguards to protect legitimate tenure rights, human rights, livelihoods, food security and the environment </em>from risks associated with large-scale land acquisitions. Similarly, the AU F&amp;G note that enhanced agricultural exports could lead to increased state revenue, implying a bias towards large-scale commercial agriculture. As a safeguard, the Guiding Principles for Large Scale Land Acquisition also adopted by the AU&nbsp; stress the need for all land-based investment decisions to respect human rights, including customary rights and the rights of women.</p><h3>5: Effective Land Administration</h3><p>A continuing challenge in many countries is the absence of effective institutions, land registries and community action for land management. The VGGTs provide multiple recommendations about land administration to increase land tenure security of small-scale food producers. <em>“States should provide systems… to record individual and collective tenure rights in order to improve security of tenure rights.” </em>For effective land administration, both the VGGTs and the F&amp;G advocate for policy implementing agencies to ensure that policies and laws are effective and gender sensitive manner.</p><h3>6: Conflict resolution mechanisms</h3><p>Independent, reliable and effective conflict resolution mechanisms are key to ensuring justice and land tenure security of the poor, particularly women. The VGGTs promote the development of appropriate and effective alternative forms of dispute resolution, while the F&amp;G advocates for the “prevention of conflict” and “resolution through mutually acceptable dispute processing mechanisms” and strengthening conflict resolution methods.</p><p>We now have an excellent toolkit to help CSOs and communities assess how these key principles are being implemented at country and local levels. In this toolkit are 3 interrelated, yet independent tools focusing on:</p><ul><li><strong>Tool 1</strong> looks at records the policy and legal framework currently in place.&nbsp;</li><li><strong>Tool 2</strong> to assess how the legal and regulatory frameworks are operational and implemented at the local level; and</li><li><strong>Tool 3</strong> Assesses implementation of the VGGTs in foreign policy and donor relations for OECD countries</li></ul><p>In piloting these tools, some interesting lessons emerged from Senegal, the Gambia, Netherlands and Australia. It emerged that prior training is really useful in helping the communities do the analysis and have an understanding of their rights to participate in land governance. The assessment<strong> </strong>provided communities with an opportunity to learn on the use of the tool at the same help them to understand tenure systems and how it affects them. For this, translation of the guidelines and the tools in languages appropriate for communities is key.</p><p>Similarly, the systems and institutions in place had problems implementing the two guidelines and the training and analysis helps these institutions to understand their duties (based on commitments they have made internationally towards these guidelines). &nbsp;The Gambia Government for example recognized the challenges inherent in the traditional land tenure regimes, which does not give space for women to fully participate in decision making regarding land administration.&nbsp; However, the tool provides great potential for women to engage government to demand for their rights.</p><p>Sharing findings with CSO appreciated as the tools can be used to enhance the relationship with the state and the communities in order to improve land governance. &nbsp;</p><p>The policy level assessment helps to make concrete recommendations on what these policies should contain. As such, It was useful to engage with the government to clarify issues related to such policies, and respond to concerns for example why we are very particular about customary tenure as well as gender</p><p>The nexus between international trade and land rights also emerged . Trade has a potential effect on land laws, particularly where there are Investment State Dispute Settlement provisions in trade agreements.&nbsp; Similarly, extractive activities have potential to lead to loss of tenure rights for women and communities,although, both guidelines do not cover the governance of mines and mineral.</p><p>It was also clear that we have to address the close link between land and natural resource rights (the complexity of it all).</p><p><a href="http://www.actionaid.org/publications/VGGT-toolkit-2017">Find the toolkit here</a>, and <a href="http://www.actionaid.org/publications/VGGT-report-2017">the assessment report here.</a></p> </div> http://www.actionaid.org/2017/11/responsible-governance-tenure-must-be-gender-sensitive#comments Food & land rights Governance Womens Rights International Thu, 16 Nov 2017 22:00:00 +0000 catherine.gatundu 711688 at http://www.actionaid.org Assessment Toolkit: Assessing gender-sensitive implementation and country-level monitoring of the Tenure Governance and Africa Land Policy Guidelines http://www.actionaid.org/publications/VGGT-toolkit-2017 <div class="field field-publication-cover-image"> <a href="/publications/VGGT-toolkit-2017" class="imagecache imagecache-image_heading_right imagecache-linked imagecache-image_heading_right_linked"><img src="http://www.actionaid.org/sites/files/actionaid/imagecache/image_heading_right/aa_vggt_toolkit_single_pages.png" alt="" title="" width="240" height="340" class="imagecache imagecache-image_heading_right"/></a> </div> <div class="field field-publication-author"> ActionAid </div> <div class="field field-publication-full"> <a href="http://www.actionaid.org/sites/files/actionaid/aa_vggt_toolkit_single_pages.pdf"><img alt="application/pdf icon" src="http://www.actionaid.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/application-pdf.png" /><span>aa_vggt_toolkit_single_pages.pdf</span></a> </div> <div class="field field-publication-date-published"> <span class="date-display-single"><time datetime="2017-11-08T00:00:00+00:00">Wednesday, November 8, 2017</time></span> </div> <div class="field field-publication-overview"> <p>Secure tenure over land, fisheries and forests is central to global efforts to end poverty and hunger in local communities (and in particular among indigenous peoples and women), and to ensure sustainable management of the environment. Tenure security has also been affirmed as a great contributor to ending poverty and hunger in the world under the Sustainable Development Goal. The livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people, particularly the rural poor, indigenous peoples and women, depend on secure and equitable rights to natural resources, which are their primary sources of food and shelter; the basis for social, cultural and religious practices; and a core economic asset. Yet often, indigenous peoples and women are excluded from the governance of these resources.</p><p>ActionAid International has been working over the last few years with women and rural communities to challenge commercialization of land, which leads to loss of their rights to and control over land and other resources. The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of tenure of land, forest and Fisheries - VGGTs, together with the AU Framework and Guidelines for land policy in Africa - AU F&amp;G, both provide progressive internationally accepted principles and norms for defining policies and practice for governance of tenure that particularly safeguard the interests of the poor and marginalized land dependent sections of society.</p><p>To contribute to the push for their comprehensive implementation, ActionAid developed a Toolkit for assessing gender-sensitive implementation of the VGGTs and the AU F&amp;G at country-level. This Toolkit aims to:</p><ul><li>monitor country implementation of the VGGT and AU F&amp;G, with a focus on women and small-scale food producers and rural, agricultural communities;</li><li>incorporate community empowerment and capacity-building to enhance communities’ understanding of the VGGT and AU F&amp;G (and related land frameworks), and build their capacity to advocate for VGGT implementation;</li><li>build understanding of how Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries support and align their actions with the VGGT as they relate to foreign aid, trade and investment programmes that impact on tenure governance in other countries;</li><li>enable concise presentation of results of VGGT implementation as a basis for cross-country comparison, and for tracking changes over time.</li></ul><p>This gender-sensitive toolkit enables civil society organisations (CSOs), women and communities, as well as other actors to assess each country’s current legal framework and tenure governance arrangements in line with the provisions of the VGGTS and the AU F&amp;G.</p><p>Where it has been piloted, the Toolkit has also proved to be valuable in building communities and other stakeholders’ capacity and understanding and internalization of the VGGTs towards responsible land tenure governance. We therefore hope you will also find the toolkit useful.</p> </div> Food & land rights International Wed, 08 Nov 2017 12:56:46 +0000 Rob Safar 711629 at http://www.actionaid.org Assessing implementation of the Voluntary Tenure Guidelines and the AU Framework and Guidelines for Land Policy: A toolkit approach http://www.actionaid.org/publications/VGGT-report-2017 <div class="field field-publication-cover-image"> <a href="/publications/VGGT-report-2017" class="imagecache imagecache-image_heading_right imagecache-linked imagecache-image_heading_right_linked"><img src="http://www.actionaid.org/sites/files/actionaid/imagecache/image_heading_right/aa_vggt_report_single_pages.png" alt="" title="" width="240" height="340" class="imagecache imagecache-image_heading_right"/></a> </div> <div class="field field-publication-author"> ActionAid </div> <div class="field field-publication-full"> <a href="http://www.actionaid.org/sites/files/actionaid/aa_vggt_report_single_pages.pdf"><img alt="application/pdf icon" src="http://www.actionaid.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/application-pdf.png" /><span>aa_vggt_report_single_pages.pdf</span></a> </div> <div class="field field-publication-date-published"> <span class="date-display-single"><time datetime="2017-11-08T00:00:00+00:00">Wednesday, November 8, 2017</time></span> </div> <div class="field field-publication-overview"> <p>Access to and control over land and natural resources is crucial to people’s livelihoods and to ensuring secure livelihoods, their rights to food, water, work, housing and a healthy environment. Governments and donor institutions have the opportunity and responsibility to ensure that their policies and actions contribute to the recognition and respect of these rights.</p><p>ActionAid International has been working over the last few years with women and rural communities to challenge commercialization of land, which leads to loss of their rights to land. The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of tenure of land, forest and Fisheries - VGGTs, together with the AU Framework and Guidelines for land policy in Africa - AU F&amp;G, both provide progressive internationally accepted principles and norms for defining policies and practice for governance of tenure that particularly safeguard the interests of the poor and marginalized land dependent sections of society.</p><p>To give effect to these guidelines, ActionAid developed a Toolkit for assessing gender-sensitive implementation of the VGGTs and the AU F&amp;G at country-level. The toolkit was piloted in four countries: Senegal, the Gambia, Netherlands and Australia, with key lessons emerging and captured in this report.</p><p>We hope that this report and lessons herein will encourage greater participatory policy and practice changes that will support women’s and communities’ secure access to and control over land across land tenure regimes. It is only if governments and their agencies embrace and demonstrate political will for stakeholder participation in responsible governance of tenure through policy and practice, and if they champion and take a feminist perspective on land issues, that the Sustainable Development Goals call that no one is to be left behind shall be realized.</p> </div> Food & land rights International Wed, 08 Nov 2017 12:51:41 +0000 Rob Safar 711627 at http://www.actionaid.org Agroecology, Empowerment and Resilience: Lessons from ActionAid's Agroecology and Resilience project http://www.actionaid.org/publications/agroecology-empowerment-and-resilience-lessons-actionaids-agroecology-and-resilience-pr <div class="field field-publication-cover-image"> <a href="/publications/agroecology-empowerment-and-resilience-lessons-actionaids-agroecology-and-resilience-pr" class="imagecache imagecache-image_heading_right imagecache-linked imagecache-image_heading_right_linked"><img src="http://www.actionaid.org/sites/files/actionaid/imagecache/image_heading_right/agroecologyempowermentresilience-lessons_from_aer.png" alt="" title="" width="240" height="340" class="imagecache imagecache-image_heading_right"/></a> </div> <div class="field field-publication-author"> ActionAid </div> <div class="field field-publication-full"> <a href="http://www.actionaid.org/sites/files/actionaid/agroecologyempowermentresilience-lessons_from_aer.pdf"><img alt="application/pdf icon" src="http://www.actionaid.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/application-pdf.png" /><span>agroecologyempowermentresilience-lessons_from_aer.pdf</span></a> </div> <div class="field field-publication-date-published"> <span class="date-display-single"><time datetime="2017-10-05T00:00:00+01:00">Thursday, October 5, 2017</time></span> </div> <div class="field field-publication-overview"> <p>West Africa is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts. Following a severe drought in the region in 2012, ActionAid initiated the Agroecology and Resilience (AER) project in Senegal and The Gambia, with funding from the US-based MAC Foundation. With an emphasis on women’s empowerment, agroecology and disaster risk reduction strategies, the project works to strengthen communities’ own capacity to analyse the challenges they face and to create change.</p><p>The project began in 2013. Since then, the region has continued to face the escalating impacts of climate change including drought, late rains, flooding, as well as rising sea levels and increased salinity in coastal, island and river estuary areas. These challenges have tested the project, showing its many achievements, and providing lessons on areas that can be further strengthened.</p><p>A mid-term review of the AER project provides key lessons for the wider ActionAid federation and other actors seeking to build resilience to climate change.</p> </div> Climate Change Food & land rights International Thu, 05 Oct 2017 13:10:16 +0000 Rob Safar 709185 at http://www.actionaid.org Agroecology and Resilience Project Stories of Change (ActionAid Senegal) http://www.actionaid.org/publications/agroecology-and-resilience-project-stories-change-actionaid-senegal <div class="field field-publication-cover-image"> <a href="/publications/agroecology-and-resilience-project-stories-change-actionaid-senegal" class="imagecache imagecache-image_heading_right imagecache-linked imagecache-image_heading_right_linked"><img src="http://www.actionaid.org/sites/files/actionaid/imagecache/image_heading_right/aerstoriesofchange.png" alt="" title="" width="240" height="114" class="imagecache imagecache-image_heading_right"/></a> </div> <div class="field field-publication-author"> ActionAid Senegal </div> <div class="field field-publication-full"> <a href="http://www.actionaid.org/sites/files/actionaid/aerstoriesofchange.pdf"><img alt="application/pdf icon" src="http://www.actionaid.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/application-pdf.png" /><span>aerstoriesofchange.pdf</span></a> </div> <div class="field field-publication-date-published"> <span class="date-display-single"><time datetime="2017-09-21T00:00:00+01:00">Thursday, September 21, 2017</time></span> </div> <div class="field field-publication-overview"> <p><div class="ibimage-with-caption null" style="width:555px;"><img src="http://www.actionaid.org/sites/files/actionaid/imagecache/image_content_fullwidth/image/dsc00091.jpg" alt="File 38293" title="" width="555" height="369" class="ibimage"/><span class="ibimage-caption">Weather Information System Helps Avoid Farming Losses in Bakho. Photo: Jenna Farineau, ActionAid USA</span></div></p> </div> Africa Senegal Food & land rights International Thu, 21 Sep 2017 09:42:30 +0000 Rob Safar 708723 at http://www.actionaid.org Agroecology and Resilience Project Brochure (ActionAid Senegal) http://www.actionaid.org/publications/agroecology-and-resilience-project-brochure-actionaid-senegal <div class="field field-publication-cover-image"> <a href="/publications/agroecology-and-resilience-project-brochure-actionaid-senegal" class="imagecache imagecache-image_heading_right imagecache-linked imagecache-image_heading_right_linked"><img src="http://www.actionaid.org/sites/files/actionaid/imagecache/image_heading_right/aerbrochure.png" alt="" title="" width="240" height="185" class="imagecache imagecache-image_heading_right"/></a> </div> <div class="field field-publication-author"> ActionAid Senegal </div> <div class="field field-publication-full"> <a href="http://www.actionaid.org/sites/files/actionaid/aerbrochure.pdf"><img alt="application/pdf icon" src="http://www.actionaid.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/application-pdf.png" /><span>aerbrochure.pdf</span></a> </div> <div class="field field-publication-date-published"> <span class="date-display-single"><time datetime="2017-09-21T00:00:00+01:00">Thursday, September 21, 2017</time></span> </div> <div class="field field-publication-overview"> <p><div class="ibimage-with-caption null" style="width:555px;"><img src="http://www.actionaid.org/sites/files/actionaid/imagecache/image_content_fullwidth/image/dsc00432.jpg" alt="File 38292" title="" width="555" height="416" class="ibimage"/><span class="ibimage-caption">Improving the food security of vulnerable communities. Photo: Djiby Sow, ActionAid Senegal</span></div></p> </div> Africa Senegal Food & land rights International Thu, 21 Sep 2017 09:41:26 +0000 Rob Safar 708722 at http://www.actionaid.org What can we learn from Ecofeminism? http://www.actionaid.org/2017/07/what-can-we-learn-ecofeminism <div class="field field-image-nid"> <div class="buildmode-embedded_image"> <div class="node node-type-image clear-block"> <div class="nd-region-middle-wrapper nd-no-sidebars" ><div class="nd-region-middle"><div class="field field-image-file"> <a href="/2017/07/what-can-we-learn-ecofeminism" class="imagecache imagecache-thumb_large imagecache-linked imagecache-thumb_large_linked"><img src="http://www.actionaid.org/sites/files/actionaid/imagecache/thumb_large/image/photo_17_solange_at_her_plantation.jpg" alt="" title="" width="140" height="140" class="imagecache imagecache-thumb_large"/></a> </div> </div></div> </div> <!-- /node --> </div> <!-- /buildmode --> </div> <div class="field field-body"> <p><em>by Ana Paula, Bratindi Jena, &amp; Ruchi Tripathi</em></p><p>Is there a more symbiotic way for human beings to interact with nature? And, perhaps just as important, how can we progress towards it together?</p><p>There is almost little need to illustrate&nbsp;<em>that</em>&nbsp;we are falling short of such an aim across the world. But in such illustrations we can begin to see&nbsp;<em>how</em>, and how some of the underlying or accompanying systems are functioning.&nbsp;</p><p>Recent battles around&nbsp;<a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-north-dakota-pipeline-idUSKBN13S09W">oil pipelines in the USA</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/02/thousands-to-march-protest-coal-plant-threat-bangladeshs-sundarbans-forest">coal power plants in Bangladesh</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/22/brazil-amazon-dam-project-suspended-indigenous-munduruku-sao-luiz-do-tapajos">hydroelectric in Brazil</a>&nbsp;demonstrate a clash of values. The prevalence of indigenous people at the forefront of these struggles shows that the violations of colonialism are still ongoing. Pope Francis, in a meeting with indigenous leaders in Rome, highlighted&nbsp;<a href="https://www.ifad.org/newsroom/press_release/tags/p16/y2017/39967919">the need to reconcile development with the protection of indigenous peoples and their territories</a>, “especially when planning economic activities that may interfere with their cultures and their ancestral relationship to the earth”.</p><p>Ecofeminism is one school of thought that has been guiding environmental and feminist movements since the 1970s in various parts of the world, looking at the intersections and relationships between the domination of nature and the domination of women.&nbsp;<strong>The ideological separation of humanity and nature, itself influenced by patriarchal and colonial ideals, has enabled a model of society and development where women and nature both are subjects of objectification and domination.</strong></p><h2>Ecofeminism in practice</h2><p>Author and environmental activist Vandana Shiva points out that women in subsistence economies, who produce “wealth in partnership with nature, have been experts in their own right of holistic and ecological knowledge of nature’s processes” (<em>Staying Alive: Women, ecology and development</em>, 1988). However, “these alternative modes of knowing, which are oriented to the social benefits and sustenance needs are not recognized by the capitalist reductionist paradigm, because it fails to perceive the interconnectedness of nature, or the connection of women’s lives, work and knowledge with the creation of wealth” (<em>Ibid.</em>).</p><p>Nobel prize winner and leading ecofeminist Wangari Maathai&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2004/maathai-lecture-text.html">credits the start of the Green Belt Movement</a>&nbsp;to responding to the needs of rural women; needs including firewood, clean drinking water, balanced diets, shelter and income; and also as a confrontation with development policies that marginalise women. Prof. Maathai, like Dr. Shiva, recognises the role of women in Africa as primary caretakers who hold significant responsibility for tilling the land and feeding their families. Tree planting, a core strategy for the Green Belt Movement, addressed some of the initial basic needs identified by women. Tree planting is also simple, attainable and guarantees successful results within a reasonable amount time. This sustains interest and commitment.</p><p>Equally significantly, Prof. Maathai helped show to Africa and the world that patriarchal systems push this responsibility on women, and that this role is devalued and invisible despite it being so fundamental. It is necessary to value this important work of women, and to value that today women hold the answers to many new challenges. An important contribution is to make Africa and the South in general rethink ways of development by taking into account the knowledge and practices of women.</p><p>An example of this approach working in practice is the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ecoindia.com/education/chipko-movement.html">Chipko movement in India</a>, which succeeded due to the commitment and involvement of rural women. These women were being impacted by decisions to fell trees in the forest where they made their livelihoods, and became instrumental in the campaign to save the trees. Another exemplary movement is the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.navdanya.org/diverse-women-for-diversity">Diverse Women for Diversity</a>, an international movement started in the mid–90s with RFSTE/Navdanya that defends diversity, peace and democracy from the growing threats of monoculture, war, totalitarianism and fundamentalism.</p><p><a href="http://actionaid.org.br">ActionAid Brazil</a>&nbsp;has also supported rural women to come together to recognise their knowledge on agroecology, and show to environmentalists and society why&nbsp;<strong>without feminism we will not have agroecology</strong>. In the book&nbsp;<em>Women and Agroecology</em>&nbsp;(2010), researched and written by ActionAid, the Working Group of the Women’s National Agroecology Coalition, and our local partners in Brazil, we presented several oppressive situations of men over women related to the management of agro-ecosystems. Different groups of peasant women contributed and structured their own experiences in agroecology to this research.</p><p>These experiences were varied but shared some disturbingly common narratives, for example:&nbsp;</p><ul><li>situations where men prevent women from developing their agro-ecological experiences, either by contaminating their crops or prevent them from accessing credit;</li><li>cases where women have no right to choose for diversification of crops rather than monocultures;</li><li>circumstances where their crops are removed and/or burnt to open space for other cultures that men consider most profitable, such as grass;</li><li>situations where women cannot choose to not use poisons and chemical fertilizers;</li><li>cases where the woman, even when they are “responsible” for water management, cannot make decisions on water use, or cannot use water to irrigate their medicinal and/or ornamental plants.</li></ul><p>The book points out that these cases, although they are different from physical violence, are cases of violence that also leave marks:</p><blockquote><p>There is the view that women in agroecology would be immune to situations of oppression, due to its principles that value a more harmonious coexistence with nature and humans. But it appears that the living spaces do not fully reflect these principles of harmony, bringing to these spaces the same challenges that are present in the society as a whole. Given the inconsistency between violence and agroecological principles, the various forms of violence against women must be considered unacceptable in agroecology. It is impossible to strengthen agroecology and the struggle for sustainability, without thinking of new relations between men and women, based on equality, solidarity, appreciation of the work, the appreciation of the life and the integrity of women.</p></blockquote><p>-&nbsp;<em>Women and Agroecology</em>, 2010</p><p>The experiences presented indicate that, when they started working on an agroecological perspective, women frequently face the kinds of challenges listed above. However many have been able to change the productive matrix through their empowerment as political subjects and through self-organization. In this way they not only modify common agro-ecological management relationships but also increase the diversity of their disciplines and communities.</p><p>This approach has enabled these women to achieve some autonomy, and to open up the possibility to speak and be heard on issues where they never had the opportunity to decide - such as which species to plant. Encouraged by agroecological innovations and by the positive results of their experiments, these women have been recognised for their work and their knowledge by their relatives and neighbours. Their self-confidence had also been strengthened. In some cases their ongoing struggles, such as participation in women’s and/or black movements, helped to facilitate their identification with agroecology and further strengthened themselves, contributing to their processes of empowerment.</p><h2>Criticism of ecofeminism</h2><p>Ecofeminism has had its fair share of criticisms: of maintaining the gender binary of male/female, and of often confining women to their traditional caring role. It is perhaps fair to say that there are lines of ecofeminism that are essentialist and constructivist. Ecologists have also criticised some forms of feminism that do not critique the economic model that leads to environmental degradation.</p><h2>Conclusion</h2><p>ActionAid is looking at a situation where we can draw upon principles of both ecology and feminism to find some solutions to the myriad of challenges we are facing in today’s world. We do not believe in binaries, as we do not support reducing women’s lives to their care roles or to be in servitude.&nbsp;<strong>We believe that the knowledge and practices of nature management exercised by women in Latin America, Africa, Asia, etc. can point to other possible developments and to challenge patriarchal practices.</strong></p><p>We believe it’s crucial today more than ever before to look at strategies that help advance women’s rights – including economic and social, without undermining our ecology - and at the same time looking at sustainable ecological solutions that do not reinforce patriarchal systems. We hope this blog will encourage conversations to help identify key principles and practices that can be part of our sustainable future.</p><p><img src="http://www.actionaid.org/sites/files/actionaid/imagecache/image_content_fullwidth/image/img_8742_0.jpg" alt="File 37911" title="" width="555" height="833" class="ibimage null"/></p><p><em>Photo: Felipe Kusnitzki/ActionAid Brazil</em></p> </div> http://www.actionaid.org/2017/07/what-can-we-learn-ecofeminism#comments Food & land rights Womens Rights International Fri, 28 Jul 2017 09:21:42 +0000 ruchi.tripathi 704934 at http://www.actionaid.org