Reflections from the Social Pre-COP

Guest blog written by Maruška Mileta from Young Friends of the Earth Europe; contributions by the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice.

A four day gathering of civil society and social movements (Social Pre-COP) on Margarita Island in Venezuela concluded on November 7th, after having given communities affected by climate change a voice in the run up to December’s UN climate talks in Lima (COP 20). Afrida Alam and Maruška Mileta from the Young Friends of the Earth as well as a Julian Velez, Klever Descarpontriez and Nathan Thanki assisted and participated in this important international gathering of society.

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Reform, Resistance, Resiliance


By Eric Accardi //

“Distinguished ministers, honorable delegates and observers, excellencies, ladies and gentlemen” announced Gerda Verburg, CFS chair, as the commencement of the forty first Plenary Session of the Committee on World Food Security began at the FAO here in Rome, Italy 2014. I was sitting in the middle of an international meeting, and became overwhelmed with the representation of power in the room. This is, after all, the essence of these meetings – power struggles and representation. Read more…


Lessons from Language: CFS41 in Hindsight

by Khristian Méndez //

Two weeks ago, Chairperson Gerda Verburg was wrapping up CFS41 in a room that had perhaps a third of the people who were there on opening day. An exhausting experience, this plenary session of the CFS planted several ideas in me about language. If you like numbers, ghosts, or interpretation, keep reading.

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The Hidden Value of Words

by Grace Burchard //

When I first walked into the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, I was unsure of what to expect. I had never been to a formal policy debate, so my nerves were high, my heart frantically pounding blood through my system to allow my brain to take in the surroundings. The first thing I noticed about the Food and Agriculture Organization building was the complexity of it. Each room had the name of a different country, and the hallways seemed like a maze, making footsteps frantic to find the room that you intended to be in.

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Sustainability: A First World Problem

Due to my old-school version of note taking—by hand and chronologically, in a little notebook—I unfortunately cannot recall the full context in which session staffer Stephanie Hanson of the One Acre Fund talked about sustainability, but I’ll give it the good old college try.  Ms. Hanson stated that the question of sustainability – with regard to agricultural development in developing countries – is a “First World question.”  She stated that it is unethical for us “First Worlders” to debate the sustainability of agricultural practices in countries where people are hungry and suffer from poverty. Read more…