Proposals for Language On Sustainable Agriculture In Agenda 21 | 1992


Prepared for the Fourth Session of the Preparatory Committee for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development

Working Group I – Land Resources
2 March – 3 April 1992
New York, USA

Proposed Language:

PROGRAMME A: Sector Policy Review, Planning and Programming with Emphasis on Food Security

Under “Objectives”:

“Direct resources to the research and development of technologies and systems to improve the harvesting, storage, processing and distribution of food products in an environmentally sound and equitable manner.”

“Develop operational sectoral plans and programmes to achieve these.”

Under “Activities”, paragraph no. 12, add the following new sections:

National governments should:

“Introduce policies and programmes to reduce post-harvest wastage in the food system by improving the harvesting, storage, processing and distribution of food products in an environmentally sound and equitable manner.”

“Introduce policies and programmes which ensure equitable access to the food system and supply, especially for vulnerable populations.” “End the current subsidy and price support systems that encourage environmentally damaging systems of production and distribution, and cause social and economic disparity”

“Formulate, introduce and monitor policies, laws, and regulations leading to sustainable agriculture and rural development and improved food security”

“Introduce support programmes, incentives and economic measures to encourage and enable farmers to convert to ecological production”


Programme A (continued):

“Redirect substantial resources to national and international research, development, and extension programmes in ecological agriculture”

“Give preferential market access and develop a system of trade advantages for agricultural products produced by ecologically sound methods; and give these systems recognised status through international agreements”

“Develop international standards for ecologically produced products in cooperation with the organic agriculture movement, consumers and environmental NGOs”

“Recognize that new resources to feed the world’s growing population and to grow biomass can come from lands currently growing feed grains for livestock.”

“Eliminate all subsidies to intensive animal agriculture.”

“Provide subsidies to transition to and maintenance of low input sustainable agriculture.”

“Support worldwide nutritional education that reflects current nutritional knowledge and promotes health through a predominantly plant-based diet.”

Change no. 12 “e” to read:

“Develop and implement policies and programmes to extensify production through alternative, ecological and sustainable methods of arable farming and livestock management.”

Under “Data and Information”, no. 13, add a new section “c”:

“Provide resources to local farmers’ organisation and indigenous producer groups to assess needs and impacts of traditional and new methodologies for food and agriculture production”

PROGRAMME B: Ensuring Peoples’ Participation and Promoting Human Resources Development

Add the following objectives:

“Establish advisory bodies with adequate with adequate farmer (women and men), consumer and environmental representation in relevant agencies at local, national and international levels to help formulate and monitor policies, laws and regulations designed to promote sustainable agriculture and rural development.”


Programm B (continued)

“Establish an International Ecological Agriculture Network to undertake, amongst other tasks, the following:

a. Create the mechanisms, procedures and channels for farmers (women and
men), citizens and NGOs to participate in the search for ecological
solutions and decisions on modes of implementation.

b. Redirect resources to research, training and extension services whicl
value and build on appropriate local knowledge in developing
ecological agriculture.

c. Develop effective communication channels between farmers (women and
men), extension staff and researchers to ensure that farmers, become
key actors in the planning and development of practical on-farm,
farmer-based research.

d. Maintain inventories of successful ecological agricultural practices,
including those identified and implemented by farmers groups and NGOs
and disseminate this information in a form that is appropriate and
readily accessible.

e. Maintain inventories of organizations which are researching,
developing and disseminating information on ecological agriculture,
recogniziong NGOs and farmer organisations as key resource groups.

PROGRAMME I: Integrated Pest Management in Agriculture: Under “Activities”, add the following sections: National Governments should:

“Adopt the precautionary principle to pesticide inputs.”

“Implement policies and programmes to put ecological farming practices within the reach of farmers (women and men), through farmer networks, extension services and research institutions, with the goal of ultimately phasing out pesticide use.”

“By 2000, phase out the use of all chemical pesticides that are toxic, persisent or bioaccumulative.”