On Tuesday, Olivier de Schutter, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food, presented his new report, “Agro-Ecology and the Right to Food,” before the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. The report, which is based on an extensive review of recent scientific literature, calls for a shift in policy towards promoting agro-ecology in order to increase food production, mitigate the effects of climate change and improve the lives of the poorest.
“Agro-ecology” is the application of ecological science to the design of agricultural systems. It seeks ways to enhance these systems by mimicking natural processes, which includes organic and sustainable farming practices. Amid rising uncertainty about food prices and food availability, de Schutter urged countries to adopt “the most efficient farming techniques available,” including organic farming practices, the recycling of biomaterials instead of the introduction of external inputs, and the supporting of small-scale farmers.