UNO-Exper­te: Bio­land­bau über­trifft indus­tri­el­le Land­wirt­schaft

Der UN-Son­der­be­richt­erstat­ter für das Recht auf Nah­rung, Oli­vi­er De Schutter, erklär­te wäh­rend der Vor­stel­lung ent­pre­chen­der Ergeb­nis­se auf einer Inter­na­tio­na­len Agro­öko­lo­gie-Tagung in Brüs­sel am 21./22. Juni 2010, „die Regie­run­gen und inter­na­tio­na­len Orga­ni­sa­tio­nen müs­sen sich drin­gend zu einer mas­si­ven För­de­rung bio­lo­gi­scher Anbaut­rech­ni­ken ent­schlie­ßen, um die Nah­rungs­mit­tel­pro­duk­ti­on zu erhö­hen und das Kli­ma zu schüt­zen.“

Zusam­men mit 25 füh­ren­den Agro­öko­lo­gie-Exper­ten dräng­te der UNO-Exper­te die inter­na­tio­na­le Gemein­schaft, „die gegen­wär­ti­ge Land­wirt­schafts­po­li­tik zu über­den­ken“ und das Poten­ti­al des Bio­land­baus zu nut­zen.

Mein Kom­men­tar: Dies wäre ein not­wen­di­ger, aber kein hin­rei­chen­der Schritt, um den bei­den Kri­sen (Ernäh­rung, Kli­ma) bei­zu­kom­men – „ein­fach nur“ mit Bio­land­bau, ohne grund­le­gen­den gesell­schaft­li­chen Umbau, wer­den wir auf hal­bem Wege ste­cken blei­ben.

Nach­ste­hend der vol­le Wort­laut der Mel­dung auf Eng­lisch, die auf der Web­site des Gen­fer UNO-Büros publi­ziert ist

BRUSSELS – „Govern­ments and inter­na­tio­nal agen­ci­es urgen­tly need to boost eco­lo­gi­cal far­ming tech­ni­ques to increase food pro­duc­tion and save the cli­ma­te,“ said UN Spe­cial Rap­por­teur on the right to food, Oli­vi­er De Schutter, while pre­sen­ting the fin­dings at an inter­na­tio­nal mee­ting on agroe­co­lo­gy held in Brussels on 21 and 22 June.

Along with 25 of the world’s most renow­ned experts on agroe­co­lo­gy, the UN expert urged the inter­na­tio­nal com­mu­ni­ty to re-think cur­rent agri­cul­tu­ral poli­ci­es and build on the poten­ti­al of agroe­co­lo­gy.

„One year ago, Heads of Sta­tes at the G20 gathe­ring in Ita­ly com­mit­ted to mobi­li­zing $22 bil­li­on over a peri­od of three years to impro­ve glo­bal food secu­ri­ty. This was wel­co­me news, but the most pres­sing issue regar­ding reinvest­ment in agri­cul­tu­re is not how much, but how,“ Mr. De Schutter said.

„Today, most efforts are made towards lar­ge-sca­le invest­ments in land – inclu­ding many ins­tances of land grab­bing – and towards a ‚Green Revo­lu­ti­on‘ model to boost food pro­duc­tion: impro­ved seeds, che­mi­cal fer­ti­li­sers and machi­nes,“ the Spe­cial Rap­por­teur remark­ed. „But scant atten­ti­on has been paid to agroe­co­lo­gi­cal methods that have been shown to impro­ve food pro­duc­tion and far­mers‘ inco­mes, while at the same time pro­tec­ting the soil, water, and cli­ma­te.“

The widest stu­dy ever con­duc­ted on agroe­co­lo­gi­cal approa­ches (Jules Pret­ty, Essex Uni­ver­si­ty, UK) cover­ed 286 pro­jects in 57 deve­lo­ping count­ries, repre­sen­ting a total sur­face of 37 mil­li­on hec­ta­res: the avera­ge crop yield gain was 79 per cent. Con­cre­te examp­les of ‚agroe­co­lo­gi­cal suc­cess sto­ries‘ abound in Afri­ca.

In Tan­z­a­nia, the Wes­tern pro­vin­ces of Shi­n­yan­ga and Tabo­ra used to be known as the ‚Desert of Tan­z­a­nia‘. Howe­ver, the use of agro­fo­restry tech­ni­ques and par­ti­ci­pa­to­ry pro­ces­ses allo­wed some 350,000 hec­ta­res of land to be reha­bi­li­ta­ted in two deca­des. Pro­fits per house­hold rose by as much as USD 500 a year. Simi­lar tech­ni­ques are used in Mala­wi, whe­re some 100,000 small­hol­ders in 2005 bene­fi­ted to some degree from the use of fer­ti­li­zer trees.

„With more than a bil­li­on hun­gry peo­p­le on the pla­net, and the cli­ma­te dis­rup­ti­ons ahead of us, we must rapidly sca­le up the­se sus­tainable tech­ni­ques,“ Mr. De Schutter said. „Even if it makes the task more com­plex, we have to find a way of addres­sing glo­bal hun­ger, cli­ma­te chan­ge, and the deple­ti­on of natu­ral resour­ces, all at the same time. Any­thing short of this would be an exer­cise in futi­li­ty.“

The experts gathe­ring in Brussels iden­ti­fied the poli­ci­es that could deve­lop agroe­co­lo­gi­cal approa­ches to the sca­le nee­ded to feed the world in 2050. They based their work on the expe­ri­en­ces of count­ries that have pro-agroe­co­lo­gy poli­ci­es – such as Cuba or Bra­zil – as well as on the suc­cessful expe­ri­en­ces from inter­na­tio­nal rese­arch cen­tres such as the World Agro­fo­restry Cen­ter in Nai­ro­bi, and on the pro­gram­mes of La Via Cam­pe­si­na, the trans­na­tio­nal peasant move­ment, which runs agroe­co­lo­gy trai­ning pro­gram­mes.

„We can sca­le up the­se sus­tainable models of agri­cul­tu­re, and ensu­re that they work for the bene­fit of the poo­rest far­mers. What is nee­ded now is poli­ti­cal will to move from suc­cessful pilot pro­jects to nati­on-wide poli­ci­es,“ the UN Spe­cial Rap­por­teur said. In con­clu­si­on, he announ­ced that he would ask the Com­mit­tee on World Food Secu­ri­ty – what should beco­me in time the ‚Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil‘ for food secu­ri­ty – to work during its Octo­ber ses­si­on on the poli­cy levers to sca­le up agroe­co­lo­gy. „This is the best opti­on we have today. We can’t afford not to use it.


– The inter­na­tio­nal semi­nar „The con­tri­bu­ti­on of agroe­co­lo­gi­cal approa­ches to meet 2050 glo­bal food needs“ was held in Brussels on 21 and 22 June. Con­ve­ned under the auspi­ces of the man­da­te of the UN Spe­cial Rap­por­teur on the right to food, Prof. Oli­vi­er De Schutter, it brought tog­e­ther agroe­co­lo­gy experts, decis­i­on makers at natio­nal and inter­na­tio­nal levels, and repre­sen­ta­ti­ves of far­mer orga­niza­ti­ons.

– Modern agri­cul­tu­re is a huge con­tri­bu­tor to green­house gas emis­si­ons, accoun­ting for 14% of total annu­al emis­si­ons, with chan­ge in land-use (inclu­ding defo­re­sta­ti­on for agri­cul­tu­ral expan­si­on) con­tri­bu­ting ano­ther 19%. Of the direct agri­cul­tu­ral emis­si­ons, fer­ti­li­zers account for 38%, and live­stock for 31%. The Inter­go­vern­men­tal Panel on Cli­ma­te Chan­ge has esti­ma­ted that in Sou­thern Afri­ca, yields from rain­fed agri­cul­tu­re could be redu­ced by up to 50 per­cent bet­ween 2000 and 2020, and that arid and semi-arid are­as could increase by 60-90 mil­li­on hec­ta­res befo­re 2080.

– Accor­ding to a UNEP report, the agri­cul­tu­ral sec­tor could be lar­ge­ly car­bon neu­tral by 2030 and pro­du­ce enough food for a popu­la­ti­on esti­ma­ted to grow to nine bil­li­on by 2050, if sys­tems pro­ven to redu­ce emis­si­ons from agri­cul­tu­re were wide­ly adopted today. Den­nis Gar­ri­ty, the Direc­tor of the World Agro­fo­restry Cent­re in Nai­ro­bi asses­sed in July 2009 that a glo­bal imple­men­ta­ti­on of agro­fo­restry methods could also result in 50 bil­li­on tons of car­bon dioxi­de being remo­ved from the atmo­sphe­re – about a third of the world’s total car­bon reduc­tion tar­get.

– Agroe­co­lo­gi­cal far­ming approa­ches include agro­fo­restry (inter­plan­ting trees and crops on the same par­cel), bio­lo­gi­cal con­trol (con­trol­ling pests and dise­a­ses with natu­ral pre­da­tors), water har­ve­s­t­ing methods, inter­crop­ping, green manu­re cover crops, mixed crop and live­stock manage­ment, and many other prac­ti­ces. One fea­ture uniting all of the abo­ve advan­ces is the low use of exter­nal inputs.

Oli­vi­er De Schutter was appoin­ted the Spe­cial Rap­por­teur on the right to food in May 2008 by the United Nati­ons Human Rights Coun­cil. He is inde­pen­dent from any govern­ment or orga­niza­ti­on.

For more infor­ma­ti­on on the man­da­te and work of the Spe­cial Rap­por­teur, visit:

Press cont­acts: – Oli­vi­er De Schutter (Tel. +32 488 48 20 04) – Bea­tri­ce Qua­dran­ti (Tel: +41 22 917 9615) or Elai­ne Ryan (Tel: +41 22 917 9697) or wri­te to