CSM submission to the e-consultation for the HLPE Report on Food Systems & Nutrition

CSM submission to the e-consultation for the HLPE Report on Food Systems & Nutrition This document conveys the collective input of the Civil Society Mechanism of the CFS regarding the e-consultation on the Issue Note proposed by the HLPE Steering Committee with respect to the upcoming HLPE Report on Food Systems and Nutrition. The document is based on the ongoing work of the CSM Nutrition Working Group. Preamble The CSM welcomes the initiation of the preparatory process for the HLPE Report on “Food Systems and Nutrition” as it will be the cornerstone of CFS’s engagement with nutrition. The past years have witnessed a growing disconnect between food and nutrition, as counterintuitive as this may be. While the imperatives of nutritional emergencies may have contributed to this situation, fact remains that nutrition policy, where existing, has been characterized by significant fragmentation, excessive “technicalization” and, often, overwhelming “medicalization”. Most recently, the scientific debate and the policy discourse shifted towards malnutrition in all its forms (this also being the key focus of the ICN2 framework), though significant asynchrony persists between such a narrative and the reality of most nutrition programmes, particularly at the level of international development cooperation. On the contrary, understanding the challenge of malnutrition in all its forms requires a holistic and multidisciplinary analysis, one that combines political, socio-cultural and technical perspectives. Above all, it also requires full appreciation for diversity and the values of human dignity, equity, sustainability and sovereignty, while recognizing the need for urgency and justice. The first fundamental step is the firm re-connection of nutrition with food, with the understanding that food is the expression of values, cultures, social relations and people’s self-determination, and that the act of feeding oneself and others embodies our sovereignty, ownership and empowerment. When breastfeeding, nourishing oneself and eating with one’s family, friends, and community, we reaffirm our cultural identities, our ownership over our life course and our human dignity. The CSM therefore expects that such a holistic understanding of food and nutrition will provide inspiration and guidance to the HLPE Report. Should this happen, the Report will greatly contribute to a new phase of nutrition research and policy that can address past fragmentation and re-build a new comprehensive narrative and practise on this critical dimension of human life. Substantive considerations 1.     Contextualization of the Report within the CFS: The Report on Food Systems and Nutrition should be a foundational report for

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Preliminary CSM Comments on the HLPE Zero Draft on SADL

Preliminary CSM Comments on the HLPE Zero Draft Report on “Sustainable Agricultural Development for Food Security and Nutrition, including the Role of Livestock” October 2015 This document conveys the preliminary comments of the CSM on the Zero Draft of the HLPE Report. Given the short deadline for comments, the language restriction (text only in English) and the time needed to adequately consult within social movements, including alliances of nomadic peoples, peasants, women in agriculture, indigenous peoples, landless, migrants, agriculture workers and those representing the workers in the meat processing chain, this document features short and concise comments, which will be followed by more detailed feedback later in November. 1. Overarching comments While acknowledging the significant work for the preparation of the Zero Draft, the CSM is deeply concerned by the narrative exposed by the current version and strongly believes that the next draft would require a significant re-orientation if it is to fulfil the mandate of the HLPE: 1. Lack of contextualization in the CFS mandate and human rights framework: Despite the title, the report fails to adequately locate sustainable agriculture, including livestock, within the context of the mandate of the CFS. First, the report appear to  be much more driven by the self-serving conventional development of the sector rather than by the sincere desire to explore how such development can become a critical pillar to address Food Security and Nutrition (FSN). Secondly, when referred to, FSN is addressed as a need to be met by the market rather than as a fundamental right. Indeed, there is no mention, in the entire document, of the Right to Adequate Food and Nutrition, nor other human rights, despite these being one of the central pillars of the Global Strategic Framework (GSF) of the CFS. Thirdly, smallholders, another central pillar of the CFS and its GSF, are portrayed as a marginal and unproductive category. Lastly, both the lack of reference to rights and the non-centrality of smallholders contribute to the profound mischaracterization of Food Sovereignty, which is merely introduced as an intellectual debate in a box; 2. False narrative on the grand challenge of feeding the planet and focus on Yield Gaps: The report reiterates the grand narrative of feeding a growing planet and constructs the myth of the pressing demand for food that urgently requires a “productivity” revolution. This narrative is false and misleading. The reality is that there is no shortage

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