Press Release: Solutions for scaling up agroecology exist, report renowned global experts at Heliopolis University in Cairo

“Ethical markets welcomes the World Future Council’s focus on agroecology.  We hope they will also look beyond our current food system’s perilous  reliance on the planet’s 3% of freshwater,  We cover the new promise of saltwater agriculture, using all the overlooked salt-loving, halophyte food plants now expanding our choices, e.g. quinoa, at last in supermarkets, and many other, in our “Capturing CO2 While Improving Human Nutrition & Health“. 

~Hazel Henderson, Editor“

Press Release 
Solutions for scaling up agroecology exist, report renowned global experts at Heliopolis University in Cairo

Cairo, September 12th, 2019: The World Future Council and Heliopolis University convene today an inspiring event showcasing impactful solutions that scale up agroecology. Among the distinguished speakers are Prof. Dr. Mohamed Soliman, Egypt’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture; Helmy Abouleish, CEO of the SEKEM Initiative; Dr. Jean Marc Faurès, Regional Programme Leader, FAO Regional Office for the Near East and North Africa; Prof. Dr. Franz-Theo Gottwald, CEO, Schweisfurth Foundation; Uwe Gehlen, First Counsellor, Head of German Development Cooperation; prominent members of the World Future Council, such as Dr. Hans Rudolf Herren, Founder of the Biovision Foundation, Dr. Auma Obama, Founder of the Sauti Kuu Foundation, and Thais Corrall, Co-founder, Women’s Environment and Development Organization; as well as renowned agroecology experts, such as the Australian agronomist Tony Rinaudo and the Nepalese community activist Shrikrishna Upadhyay, who both received the Right Livelihood Award for their work.

At the event renowned award-winning speakers, decision makers and international experts will highlight exemplary solutions for scaling up agroecology from Africa and beyond. These solutions enhance fertile landscapes and improve farmers’ incomes. They include global champions, such as winners of the UN-backed Future Policy Award 2018 from India, Ecuador and Senegal. Among them the Indian state of Sikkim that set an ambitious vision and achieved it: It is the first state in the world to become fully organic, all of its farmland is certified organic and the transition has benefitted more than 66,000 farming families, reaching far beyond organic farming production and proving to be truly transformational. For its achievements it received the Future Policy Gold Award in 2018 from FAO, World Future Council and IFOAM – Organics international.

In addition, the event will highlight recipients of the “Outstanding Practices in Agroecology 2019” recognition. Recognized practices empower small-scale food producers, nurture sustainable food systems and promote resilient agricultural practices that help maintain ecosystems and strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change. Among the recipients of this recognition is the Farmer-Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) technique, which was developed in Niger by Tony Rinaudo, an Australian agronomist that was awarded with the Right Livelihood Award (Alternative Nobel Prize) in 2018. The SEKEM Initiative in Egypt also received this recognition as a leading social business worldwide. It reclaimed hundreds of hectares of desert land using biodynamic agriculture methods and its products respect highest possible ethical, ecological and social standards. Helmy Abouleish, Sekem’s CEO, will present their experience.

Agroecology is a key pathway to transition to sustainable food and agriculture systems and plays a critical role in tackling malnutrition, social injustice, land degradation, water scarcity, climate change and the loss of biodiversity. If executed at scale, agroecology is creating immediate and real impacts on both our life and the life of future generations. Globally, scientists and experts urge to go 100% for agroecology and organic agriculture, in order to secure drinking water and food for all, ensuring a sustainable future. By showcasing practical, effective and low cost solutions, this event hopes to inspire decision-makers to step up political action to create enabling environments for agroecology and organic agriculture.

Hosted by Heliopolis University and the World Future Council, and accompanied by SEKEM Musicians, the public event “Solutions for Scaling up Agroecology” is held today, Thursday 12th September 2019, 10:30 – 16:00 at Heliopolis University in Cairo, Egypt, with the support of DO-IT – Dutch Organic International Trade, Robert Bosch GmbH Startup Technology for Agroecology in the Global South (TAGS) and Schweisfurth Foundation. Supporter representatives at the event include the CEO of Schweisfurth Foundation from Germany, the Founder of DO-IT Dutch Organic International Trade from the Netherlands and the Co-Founder of the Robert Bosch GmbH Startup Technology for Agroecology in the Global South (TAGS) from Germany.

“The transition to sustainable food and agriculture systems is critical to enhance soil fertility, increase biodiversity, strengthen climate resilience and ensure a decent living for farming families. These exemplary solutions show that such a transition is possible. The Heliopolis University is proud to showcase, along with the World Future Council, such leadership. Policymakers and practitioners across the globe should follow these example and step up similar exemplary political action,” says Helmy Abouleish, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Heliopolis University.

“By scaling up agroecology, it is possible to tackle malnutrition, social injustice, climate change, and loss of biodiversity. Through effective, holistic policymaking and exemplary practices, we can transform our food and agriculture systems so that they respect people and the planet. Sikkim, Ecuador, Senegal, the SEKEM Initiative and Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration prove that it is feasible – and how. They are just few of the solutions we highlighted with the Future Policy Award 2018 and as Outstanding Practices in Agroecology 2019 and they are part of a growing movement pursuing organic farming and agroecology as an effective pathway for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Achieving triple impact – social, economic and ecological sustainability – is no longer a pipe dream but can become reality,“ says Alexandra Wandel, Executive Director of the World Future Council.

Visit our website to learn more about the event and its programme: https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/solutions-for-scaling-up-agroecology/

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