Tuesday, 19 June 2012
18 June: Women march holding a banner that reads in Portuguese; 'Women's World March' in a rally for women's rights. Foto: Felipe Dana/AP
The International Institute for Sustainable Development’s Global Subsidies Initiative has published a report entitled ‘State of Play on Biofuel Subsidies: Are policies ready to shift?’ The paper summarises and discusses policy literature on the over US$ 20 billion in subsidies for biofuel production and consumption globally. It tackles questions such as Why are governments subsidising biofuels? What are the actual impacts? Is there a need for change?
The UN News Centre spoke with Carlos Sere, who is the Chief Development Strategist at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). They disccussed the role of small farmers in ensuring food security. According to Carlos Sere, smallholder farmers are central in this debate. He said that 'it is absolutely essential to think of this big resource when you’re thinking about food. Many people frequently forget that and consider smallholder farmers just as a social issue'.
Biovision published a blog discussing the current state of the world's agriculture and suggesting what in their view would be desired outcomes of the Rio+20 conference.
The Women Leaders’ Forum took place in the Rio conference centre. Among the speakers was Gro Harlem Brundtland, the “mother” of the concept of sustainable development, Eleonora Menicucci de Oliveira, the Brazilian Minister of Policies for Women and Verónica Michelle Bachelet, former president of Chile. The latter noted that 'twenty years after the Rio Declaration, women continue to face inequality in rights, opportunities and participation'.
In response to the Women Leader's Forum, a blog post on The Guardian's website asks whether Rio+20 can bring change for women. Apparently, there is no clear answer: some experts say only cultural transformation will effect gender equality, others say change will occur differently.
Simultaneously, the Women's Major Group held a silent demonstration under the provocative title: 'Governments sell women out!'
Another event, jointly organised by FAO, IFAD, WFP and Bioversity International, discussed the future of agriculture and food security.
Meanwhile, negotiations on the outcome document concluded at 2:18 AM and the text has been finalised. The new 'Future We Want' text was introduced today at the plenary session by Brazilian government in the early afternoon.
However, in another part of Rio de Janeiro, the People’s Summit hosted actors who believe in the power of grassroots initiatives rather than political negotiations.
Text: Marta Dabrowska