PreparationThe Farmers Major Group is committed to:
? Conducting a policy process (begun) across 112 countries to get input on our draft paper on the Green Economy and agriculture
? Outreach to Member States by their domestic farm organisations
? Development of shared positions among a coalition of farmers, scientists, engineers, business and development NGOs
? Planning for communications to begin in Fall 2011
? Planning for special events on-site in Rio
ChallengesKey challenges for the participation of the Farmers Major Group in the RIO +20 process include:
? Being top of mind in consultations on the agriculture stream of Rio +20 discussions
? Parallel UNDP and UNEP processes creating additional challenges and demands to cover the topic and it is difficult to resource both
? The federation of farmers groups is undergoing major internal change with the roll up of its prior structure and reconstitution with a stronger policy focus
? Getting timely information and support for travel. Getting travel arrangements that are sensitive to the realities of farmers in remote communities, including the time it takes for them to attend visa interviews and travel to international airports. Farmers generally do not live in cities and have great distances to travel domestically prior to departure for another country.
? Seeking funding sources for our work and special events related to the Summit
ParticipationThe Farmers Major Group is committed to attending all Prep Comms and Intersessionals, as well as the Summit itself. It may be a challenge to attend all regional meetings, but efforts will be made.
Expectation of outcomeThe Farmers Major Group advocates for the following items in the outcomes document:
? Renewed commitment to Agenda 21 and the three pillars of sustainable development
? Acknowledgement of the importance of agriculture as a sector, and farmers as a group, to achieving progress in the three areas of sustainable development: social, economic, and environmental.
? To protect biodiversity through productivity gains that minimize the need to encroach forests, jungles, and other eco-systems while still meeting global requirements for food
? To use a knowledge-based approach of best practices that sustain production and minimize the ecological footprint of agriculture
? To find ways to reward farmers for eco-system services that foster biodiversity and enable smallholder famers to break the subsistence cycle
Beyond Rio+20Clearly the overarching goals of Agenda 21 remain of primary importance and the implementation gap must be closed. As farmers, and in an environment where there is much progress to be made on MDG 1; we believe the outcomes of CSD-17 need particular attention, action and implementation.
On a go forward basis, farmers would like to see CSD be more effective, better integrating policy work with the actions of implementing agencies.