The Seventeenth Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development Provides Excellent Opportunities to Network with Professionals in the Areas of Food Security, Water Management and Sustainable Production and Consumption

May 22, 2009
While attending the Seventeenth Session of the United Nations’ Commission on Sustainable Development, May 4-15, 2009 at UN Headquarters in New York City, Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) and Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (FUNGLODE) were able to attend a number of side events on issues related to food security, water
management and sustainable production and consumption.  Participation in these events provided excellent opportunities for GFDD and FUNGLODE staff to network with professionals in these fields.
GFDD and FUNGLODE attend seminars
and conferences about issues impacting the global community in order to remain at the forefront of academic debate and network with renowned experts, as part of their mission to bring world-class programs concerning social and economic development and democratization to the Dominican Republic.
CSD-17 Side
May 4: Defining and Practicing Sustainable Consumption and Production: Food and AgricultureOrganized by Citizens Network for Sustainable Development and ENERGIA
This event focused on sustainable consumption and production, systems-based approaches and the benefits and challenges associated with biofuel production in Africa. Panelists asserted that since the Earth Summit in Rio de Janiero in 1992, sustainable production and consumption has been on the decline. They argued in favor of a new
sustainable production framework that emphasizes improvements in quality of life in a way that minimizes the use of natural resources and toxic materials and reduces emissions of waste and pollutants.
Presenters emphasized the important role of household consumption on the larger system of
production and consumption. They advocated for a systems-based production and consumptions framework that: considers relationships, connections and patterns; engages all stakeholders; anticipates unanticipated consequences; monitors and adapts; and creates a system of feedback that improves governance of production and consumption. Panelists also acknowledged that patterns of consumption are not governed by individual choice alone, but that the choices available also impact consumer
decisions. Solutions suggested for the improvement of sustainable consumption and in turn production included: higher taxes for food with higher CO2 footprints; local and seasonal produce targets for stores; food labels that include food systems information.
As it relates to biofuel
production in Africa, presenters strongly emphasized the relationship between biofuels and women’s empowerment. They asserted that biofuel production can create new enterprises, increase income generation amongst women and encourage the participation of women in decision making processes. They highlighted displacement of small-scale farmers, food insecurity and environmental preservation as c