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11/10/2013 11.11.00

Civil Society Intervention after CFS Biofuels Decision Box Adoption

10 October, 2013 - ROME


The CSM would like to recall that the mandate and spirit of the reformed CFS are to create a body that includes all countries and stakeholders. The CFS serves as the place where action can be taken to respond to food crises, increase policy coherence, and secure the right to food for all. Additionally, we would like to remind governments that the Global Strategic Framework is at the heart of the reformed CFS, This framework represents an overarching global consensus that provides clear guidance to coordinate actions on food security and nutrition, with the HLPE providing scientific and knowledge-based analysis to inform governments on priority issues.

Therefore we are deeply concerned that

  • The evidence and the recommendations of the HLPE on biofuels have not been reflected in the decision box, its recommendations, nor in the negotiations.
  • The Friends of the Rapporteur negotiations failed to reflect the views of countries whose right to food is affected by biofuels policies. The text overwhelmingly reflects the opinion of countries defending the interests of their own biofuels industry.

  • The current decision box fails to address the impacts of biofuels on the right to food, as agreed in the GSF, nor the responsibility to achieve policy coherence.

We are confronted every day as biofuel crops compete with our food production, with the land we till, and with the water that sustains us. For many years now, we have confronted unpredictable prices, not from natural causes but imposed from afar. We watch as our productive assets are signed over to foreign biofuel investors.

The text before us acknowledges that biofuels policies should not compromise food security. The introduction acknowledges that the production and consumption of biofuels influences commodity prices, as well as that current biofuel production creates competition between biofuel crops and food crops. Finally it also acknowledges the significant guidance to address these issues given by the GSF the VGGT and the VGRtF.

This was for us a minimal reflection of the evidence given by the HLPE and of the concerns raised by us and by different member states .

However these elements are not reflected in any substantial recommendation for action.

Therefore, this assembly must strengthen the decision box to respond to the mandate of the CFS and – at the least – to be consistant with its introduction. To do this, the CSM demands to CFS to integrate two important principles. The first one is the need to phase out developed countries’ policies that have negative effects on food security, notably by driving land and water grabbing, by increasing food import costs and by impacting staple food prices in developing countries

The second principle is to undertake multistakeholder assessments of biofuels policies, investments, and operations on the right to food. They should be carried out ex-ante and ex-post and include direct and indirect impacts in third countries.

It is incumbent on this plenary to change this decision box. This assembly must address these two requirements to fulfill the mandate to mitigate any negative effects of biofuels on the right to food, and to be compliant with the mandate of the reformed CFS.