Towards Food Sustainability: Reshaping the Coexistence of Different Food Systems in South America and Africa

Started in February 2015

The convergence of the effects of the 2007–2008 global financial crisis, climate change and the growing demand for food and biofuels led to a sharp increase in global food prices. These have remaine high ever since in a context where about 800 million people around the world suffer from hunger, and about 2 billion people lack the essential micronutrients they need to live healthy and active lives.

The reflexive response to increased demand for food and higher prices is to increase the productivity of food systems. However, there is growing consensus among agricultural scientists, economists, policy-makers and civil society groups that, on its own, greater production is not the solution to food crises.

The Project

This six-year project, funded by the Research for Development Programme (r4d) of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, aims to provide evidence-based knowledge, based on case studies in Bolivia, Brazil and Kenya, for the formulation and promotion of innovative strategies and policy options that improve food sustainability. This is composed of five interconnected pillars: food security, the right to food, the reduction of poverty and inequality, environmental integrity and social-ecological resilience.

Coordinating the Legal Aspects of the Research

As a co-coordinator of this project – along with the Centre for Development and Environment at the University of Bern, Centre for Training and Integrated Research in Kenya and Comunidad Pluricultural Andino Amazónica para la Sustentabilidad (COMPAS) in Bolivia – the Geneva Academy supervises its legal aspects . This includes the identification of treaties, laws and policies that have influenced food systems over the last 10–15 years, and their likely future impact.

NEWS AND UPCOMING EVENTS

Woman holding a candelnut News

The Recognition of the Right to Seeds is Key to Ensure Sustainable Food Systems

31 August 2020

Our new Research Brief identifies international legal standards that should be taken into account by law- and policy-makers when developing normative and policy frameworks governing seeds and food systems.

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Portrait of Adriana Bessa News

Meet our Researchers: Adriana Bessa

12 March 2020

Dr Adriana Bessa is a Senior Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy. She is involved in research projects dealing with the right to food and the sustainability of food systems, and the rights of peasants. She also coordinates a training course on the protection of human rights and the environment.

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Ou Senior Research Fellow Dr Adriana Bessa with women smallholders in Kenya. News

Field Trips to Kenya and Brazil to Improve Food Sustainability and Food Systems on the Ground

4 February 2019

In the context of our research project on food sustainability and food systems, our Senior Research Fellow Dr Adriana Bessa carried out fieldwork in Kenya and Brazil to discuss the implementation of transformative pilot actions with local rural communities.

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RESEARCHERS

Picture of Christophe Golay

Christophe Golay

Senior Research Fellow and Strategic Adviser on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Dr Christophe Golay's expertise relates to economic, social and cultural rights, the right to food and the rights of peasants.

Publications

A new understanding and evaluation of food sustainability in six different food systems in Kenya and Bolivia

November 2020

Johanna Jacobi1, Stellah Mukhovi, Aymara Llanque, Markus Giger, Adriana Bessa, Christophe Golay, Chinwe Ifejika Speranza, Veronica Mwangi, Horacio Augstburger, Elisabeth Buergi‑Bonanomi, Tobias Haller, Boniface P. Kiteme, José M. F. Delgado Burgoa, Theresa Tribaldos, Stephan Rist

Nature

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Cover of the publication

THE RIGHT TO SEEDS AND FOOD SYSTEMS

August 2020

Adriana Bessa and Katyussa Veiga

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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The Normative Dimension of Food Sustainability

2019

Adriana Bessa

Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern

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Cover of the article

Human Rights and Food Sustainability

November 2018

Adriana Bessa

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Peasant in in Yangambi, DRC. News

The Geneva Academy Participates in a Major Project on Implementing the Rights of Peasants

8 March 2022

The project aims at implementing the rights of peasants in 10 countries of the Global South: Philippines, India Nepal, Kenya, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, South Africa, Bolivia and Mexico.

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News

Our New Visiting Fellow: Dominique Giselle Luchsinger Faret

2 May 2022

Dominique Luchsinger Faret, a lawyer in Chile and doctoral student at the University of Valencia just started as Visiting Fellow at the Geneva Academy and will stay with us until July 2022.

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Food distribution line in Bangkok Training

Building Back Better: A Focus on the Right to Health and the Right to Food

6-10 June 2022

This training course builds on a series of training delivered during the last years around different ESCR and their links to the SDGs. The 2022 edition will focus on the topical question of the COVID impact, including backlashes in the progress towards the SDGs, with a focus on the rights to health and food.

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Wheat field Project

The Right to Seeds in Europe

Started in January 2018

The project will notably identify the main opportunities and obstacles to protect the right to seeds in Europe. It will also discuss how to promote changes in European laws, policies and trade agreements to ensure that they do not infringe, but facilitate the realization of peasants’ right to seeds.

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Senegal, Ziguinchor area, Bignona Department, Kataba 1 municipality, Kouram village. A woman works in a vegetable garden as part of an economic security programme. Project

Towards Food Sustainability: Reshaping the Coexistence of Different Food Systems in South America and Africa

Started in February 2015

This six-year project aims to provide evidence-based knowledge for the formulation and promotion of innovative strategies and policy options that improve food sustainability.

Read more

Cover page of the policy brief Publication

Women Are Peasants Too: Gender Equality and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants

published on December 2021

Joanna Bourke Martignoni

Read more

Cover page of the Briefing Publication

Practical Manual on the Right to Seeds in Europe

published on February 2021

Fulya Batur, Christophe Golay

Read more