Open statement: Call of G7 Civil Society Organizations to their Governments on the New Alliance

Thursday, 18 September, 2014

Call of G7/G8 Civil Society Organizations to their Governments on the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Africa

More than two years after the launch of the G8 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, what we have seen of its ‘progress’ does not change our assessment that the New Alliance actually undermines food security, nutrition and the progressive realization of the right to food in Africa. First on-the-ground research suggests a dramatic gap between development rhetoric and impacts. There is no sign that the New Alliance is lifting African people out of poverty, but the promise to “unleash the power of the private sector” is very visibly being fulfilled. Although the New Alliance rhetorically refers to the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP), we clearly see that the processes and components of CAADP targeted to the benefits small-scale food producers are ;sidelined.

When the New Alliance was inaugurated in the US in Camp David in 2012, it immediately became obvious that this initiative essentially served to enable private corporations to influence agricultural policy to advance their own interests. It is pressuring African governments to adopt domestic policy reforms that will facilitate large corporations’ investments in agriculture and discriminate against those who actually make the bulk of the investments, namely small-scale producers themselves.

Such profound legislative and policy changes threaten small-scale farmers control over land and seeds, marginalize local markets and cause loss of biodiversity and soil fertility, to the detriment of the livelihoods of local communities. They will exacerbate future climate and economic shocks for

small-scale farmers, instead of building their resilience to cope with such shocks. They are being made without national debate, thereby undermining democratic structures.

Lack of transparency in the New Alliance - where donor and corporate commitments and implementation are, as in the Progress Report 2013-14, only reported at summary level - makes it extremely difficult for civil society to get a full picture of the New Alliance implementation. However, first concrete cases indicate that the New Alliance is far from serving as an effective tool to support small-scale farmers.

For instance:

This evidence supports our analysis that the New Alliance sidelines the diverse and sustainable food systems of small-scale farmers which offer the real potential for food security and nutrition in Africa. Instead, it promotes environmentally damaging approaches to agriculture that entrench corporate power. 

We therefore urge you to review your engagement in the New Alliance, and take the following steps:

  1. Stop any legal and policy changes that facilitate large-scale land investments and that impede small-scale farmers ability to save, exchange and sell their seeds.
  2. Stop any further expansion of the New Alliance. No further cooperation framework agreements should be developed.
  3. Review existing projects and policy reform indicators with the meaningful involvement of the populations most affected, and withdraw from those that fail to promote the right to food and the legitimate tenure rights of women and communities, or that prioritize business interests over vulnerable people and the environment.
  4. Make the letters of intent of the companies participating in the New Alliance public immediately in order to enable a legitimate public debate about likely impacts and assessment of the New Alliance.
  5. Support small-scale producers’ own investments as advised by the Committee on World Food Security, by putting women, small-scale farmers and other marginalised groups at the center of any future strategy and project for food security and nutrition in Africa; making sure that human rights and environmental impact assessments are carried out to ensure that projects only move forward if they are found not to have negative impacts on human rights and the environment.
  6. Support adoption of agroecological practices by small-scale farmers to build resilience through: participatory research in agroecology; dissemination of ecological farming knowledge via farmer-to-farmer networks; and capacity-building of extension services to advise farmers on how to practice ecological farming.

Signatories

GERMANY

Misereor

Pesticide Action Network

FIAN Germany

INKOTA-Netzwerk

Agrar Koordination

Global Policy Forum

Seeds Action Network

Germanwatch

German NGO Forum Environment & Development

Brot für die Welt - Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst

UK

UK Food Group

The Permaculture Association

World Development Movement

Find Your Feet

Farms Not Factories

War on Want

FIAN group UK

Concern Universal

Pesticide Action Network

Send a Cow

ITALY

Terra Nuova

FIRAB (Fondazione Italiana per la RIcerca in Agricoltura Biologica e Biodinamica)

Crocevia

Con.Pro.Bio

SOLIDARIETA' E COOPERAZIONE CIPSI.

Comitato Italiano per la Sovranità Alimentare

La Gabbianella Coordinamento per il Sostegno a distanza onlus

CEFA – Il seme della solidarietà

SOLIDAUNIA ONLUS-LA DAUNIA PER IL MONDO

Centro Mondialità Sviluppo Reciproco (CMSR)

Forum Permanente delle Associazioni di sostegno a distanza (ForumSad)

CNCA

M.A.I.S

COSPE

ACU-Associazione Consumatori Utenti

Focsiv

Rete Cibopertutti -Kumida

COCIS - Coordinamento delle Organizzazioni non governative per la Cooperazione

Internazionale allo Sviluppo

Fondazione Slow Food per la Biodiversità Onlus

FORUM DEL TERZO SETTORE DEL LAZIO E RETE DELLE FATTORIE SOCIALI

FRANCE

CCFD-Terre Solidaire

Action contre la faim France

Peuples Solidaires - Action Aid France

Avocats et vétérinaires sans frontières (AVSF)

Survie

Collectif pour la défense des terres malgaches - TANY

Artisans du monde - France

Centre de Recherches et d'Appui pour les Alternatives de Developpement - Ocean

Indien

Solidarité

FIAN France

USA

Oakland Institute

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

PLANT

The Second Chance Fd

Global Policy Forum

Food First

CAGJ

CANADA

Union Paysanne

National Farmers Union

JAPAN Africa Japan Forum

No to land grab

GCAP

JAPAN

Japan International Volunteer Center (JVC)

Mura-Machi Net", Network between Village and Town"

EU

EuropAfrica

Corporate Europe Observatory

Africa Europe Faith & Justice Network

NETHERLANDS

Transnational Institute

AUSTRIA

FIAN Austria

Arche Noa

BELGIUM

Entraide et Fraternité

Broederlijk Delen

Pan-Africanist International

SOS Faim

FIAN Belgium

CNCD-11.11.11

NORWAY

FIAN Norway

SWEDEN

Afrikagrupperna

FIAN Sweden

SWITZERLAND

Fastenopfer

PORTUGAL

FEC - Fundação Fé e Cooperação

AIDGLOBAL - Action and Integration for Global Development

FUNDAÇÃO GONÇALO DA SILVEIRA

SPAIN

Manos Unidas

INTERNATIONAL

ActionAid International

Greenpeace international

FIMARC

FIAN International

CIDSE

ACF International

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