Written by Maria Hartl, Senior Technical Specialist - Gender and Social Equity, IFAD/PTA
IFAD's Director for Environment and Climate Margarita Astralaga spoke at the biomovies award screening at the UN's Biodiversity Conference in Cancun (CBD COP13), where the finalists in the IFAD-sponsored Family Farmers category were announced.
For six years TVE has been connecting with YouTube users around the world through. Its a global competition that engages with young (and sometimes not so young) filmakers worldwide on key environment and development challenges and then it showcases the best film entries to a global online audience.
Since the competition was first launched, biomovies films have received more than 3.6 million views on You Tube with films covering a range of issues including climate change, sustainable energy, biodiversity, food waste and marine pollution.
There were entries from 17 countries for the Family Farmers category, with four films being commissioned: South Africa, Kenya, Kosovo and China. Three of these are short documentaries giving a first-hand account of life as a small family farmer in the developing world.
The quality of entrants was impressive considering that they were tacking what can be seen as one of the less glamourous areas of environmental communications– i.e. sustainable farming.
The guidelines for films in the family farming category had to address these or similar questions for smallholder farmers in developing countries:
- Protecting biodiversity and feeding your family
- Climate change and family farmers
- Water scarcity and family farmers
- The fight for fuel and family farmers
- The role of women in family farming
“This is the first-time IFAD has taken such a proactive role in CBD's COP," said Astralaga. "And with that in mind we wanted to make sure you noticed that we were here in Cancun – so we partnered TVE sponsoring The IFAD Prize for Family Farmers."
IFAD’s investments, including the Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP), help farmers in a variety of ways, from installing weather forecast systems, to introducing new drought resistant crop varieties, as well as setting up farmer field schools where knowledge and new climate smart agriculture techniques can be demonstrated and disseminated.
The Biodiversity Advantage: Global benefits from smallholder actions shows how IFAD-supported projects are working with smallholder farmers to protect biodiversity contributing to the well-being of communities as well as to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by helping to eradicate poverty, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agricultural practices.
“Necessity is the mother of invention and creativity. And we have seen some incredible entries in this section of the awards,” added Astralaga
Whassup with Agriculture: AgTalks session focused on young innovators and how to engage young people in agriculture
|The speakers at the AgTalks session that focused on youth in agriculture. ©IFAD/M. Pentorieri|
Josine, a medical and veterinary entomologist, explained the dangers of promoting the use of chemical products to fight pests. If the pests survive the first application of a chemical substance, they become resistant to it, forcing farmers to use other ones. This leads to an increasing use of chemical products in agriculture. In order to avoid this, Josine invented a Mechanical Pest Removal System: a low-cost machine that helps to kill and remove pests from rice, corns and other similar products. The machine is based on three principle: mechanic, organic and manual. Innovation in agriculture does not need to be expensive or hi-tech.
Alpha never thought about being a farmer when he was young. Agriculture seemed really boring to him and it was not considered as an activity for young people at all. After travelling to Jamaica with his university, he realised agriculture could be promoted in a different way. His mission became to show young people that agriculture is not what they think it is. He founded WHYFARM (We Help Youth Farm), a non-governmental organisation aimed at increasing awareness among young people about food and food systems. He also created "Agriman", a superhero whose mission is to educate children about issues like food security and food waste.
Nawsheen lives in Burkina Faso. According to her, only young people have the tools and the capacities to stimulate other young people to engage in agriculture. So she founded a web TV called "Agribusiness TV" with a twofold aim. The first one is to show people the positive sides of agriculture, since media never do. The second one is to give visibility to stories that can stimulate young people to see agriculture in a positive way.
The last speaker, Rahul Antao from India, currently works at IFAD as a consultant. He studied at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy. He also worked with young chefs and indigenous rural communities in North Eastern India, focusing on the linkages between culture, man and ecology. He realised young people were moving away from local indigenous traditions, so he worked to create recipes that could be attractive for young people while using traditional products such as millet. "Children are often disenchanted about agriculture, so we created school gardens to stimulate their curiosity" said Rahul, who also worked with Slow Food Italy.
After the presentations, the audience had the opportunity to ask questions to the speakers or to simply share their impressions. The President of IFAD Kanayo F. Nwanze thanked the four young innovators for having shared their stories, inviting them to also focus on the efficiency of the value chains. Perin Saint Ange, IFAD's associate Vice-President, underlined some of the key points that for him were crucial for the speakers' success. Among others, their passion their proactivity, and their capacity of thinking outside the box.
Some interesting questions focused on the role of social media for the young farmers' success and what international organisations such as IFAD, FAO and WFP can do to promote young people's projects in agriculture. The speakers agreed that social media had a great impact on their projects. Alpha underlined they were crucial to share his idea, Josine got project feedback from all over the world about and Nawsheen recognised the use of social media as a constituent part of the strategy to spread her Agribusiness TV. With regard to the second question, Rahul invited the organisations to listen to young people's ideas and Nawsheen wished for a more efficient collaboration between organisations and young people in order to identify relevant issues, a wish shared by Alpha too.
In closing, the four speakers were invited to leave the audience and young people in general with an inspirational sentence or thought. Nawsheen focused on passion, inviting everyone to "love what you do." Josine tried to motivated people to take the first step, the first step is usually the hardest one to take. Rahul encouraged people to link things together, trying to combine different aspects of the same issue one is focusing on. "Allow your ideas to change the world, don't let the world change your ideas" said Alpha.
On 3-4 December 2016 a round table dialogue on consultation for indigenous peoples and local communities was co-hosted by IFAD Country Office in Tanzania, the Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance, and the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs, in Dar es Salaam. Representatives of the Government of Tanzania, IFAD partners, and members of the different indigenous communities, discussed the central role of consultation in the promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples.
|Left to right: Hon. Augustine Mahinga, Ministry of Foreign Affairs |
of the United Republic of Tanzania, and Ms. Antonella Cordone,
FAD Senior Specialist on Indigenous Peoples.
The Government of Tanzania and the rights of Indigenous PeoplesIt is important to demystify the fear connected with recognizing indigenous peoples and their right to self-determination, stressed Hon. Augustine Mahiga, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Republic of Tanzania. The Government needs to accept, he added, that the definition of Indigenous Peoples, as provided in International and Regional instruments, applies to some groups living in Tanzania. The Government of Tanzania, he recalled, is fighting against marginalization, embracing the process of consultation and talking about indigenous peoples in the context of development and unity. Tanzania, concluded the Minister, is a champion in tolerance and multi-ethnic coexistence; it is paramount to build on this diversity as a major cultural asset, which will foster development and social inclusion.
Cultural diversity is an asset for development
|In the centre: Mr. Adam Ole Mwarabu, a member of the Masai community |
from the PAICODEO indigenous forum, who participated in the
Indigenous Forum organized in IFAD HQ in 2015.
|The intervention of Mr Shani Msafiri, representative of one of |
the hunter-gatherers’ communities that participated
in the round table discussion.
The impact of consultation on the policies of the Government of TanzaniaThe policies of the Ministry of Agriculture are adopted after a dialogue with stakeholders, said Mr. Victor Mwita, from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. A clear example of the impact of consultation on the policy-making process, he added, is represented by the Grazing Land and Animal Feed Act. The idea of linking land management and livestock, he noted, was brought to the Parliament as a result of the consultation process held with the pastoralists. These indigenous communities, Mr. Mwita concluded, are not following an outdated system, on the contrary they are good scientist, who know where and when to move their cattle.
Indigenous peoples, land titles and the struggle for better lawsThe formal recognition of the customary rights of occupancy of indigenous peoples, noted Mr. Edward Lekaita of the Ujamaa Resource Community Trust, is upscaling the level of protection offered to indigenous communities. The collective land title obtained by the Hadzabe hunters/gatherers communities, he added, is a clear evidence of the importance of supporting those legal instruments that can protect indigenous peoples from those phenomena of land grabbing and land degradation, which are affecting their livelihood. The importance of adopting laws that recognize the rights of indigenous peoples, was further emphasized by different speakers representing the respective indigenous forums. Mr. Joseph Parsambei, of the Tanzania Pastoralist Community Forum, noted that despite the important role of indigenous peoples, there is no specific law in place that recognizes them. The lack of recognition, he emphasized, is limiting the rights of indigenous peoples. To overcome this situation, Mr Pasambei stressed, it is crucial to promote consultation with the Government and with other stakeholders, promote the involvement of the media, and act on the basis of the international instruments adopted by the Government of Tanzania. The words of Mr Parsambei were echoed by Mr. Edward Porokwa, Executive Director of PINGO’s Forum, who highlighted the importance of the proposed Constitution, which has been under discussion since 2011. The new constitution, he noted, recognized specific human rights to the minorities [Makudi Madogo Madogo in Kiswahili], who are identified with those people who depend on biodiversity for their livelihood. This constitution, he concluded, is benefiting from the direct contribution of indigenous communities, who have 10 seats in the Constituent Assembly and are drafting entire sections of this crucial legal instrument
A united front to tackle challenges and deliver on achievable milestones
|Left to right: Hon Bahame Tom Nyanduga, Chairman of the Commission for |
Human Rights and Good Governance; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the
United Republic of Tanzania; and Mr Francisco Pichon,
IFAD Country Director Tanzania.
The Tanzanian Country Programme and the rights of indigenous peoples
The importance of global engagement for the rights of Indigenous Peoples
|The participants of the round table dialogue came from the Government of Tanzania, IFAD representatives from both HQ and the ICO, IFAD development partners, and representatives of different indigenous groups.|