28 Jul 2022
Posted28 Jul 2022
Walk into any grocery store and you’d be forgiven for overlooking the complicated journey from crop to shelf that many products have taken. But around the world, the pandemic and natural disasters have led to empty shelves and unreliable supply issues, reminding us of all the intricacies of the world’s food systems.
Large-scale land investments across Africa and Asia have often caused repercussions to food security and supply issues. They have often compromised the livelihoods of smallholder farmers, exacerbated land tenure conflicts and caused environmental degradation. Addressing investment practices – through inclusive business and sustainable agroecology – has the potential to achieve more sustainable food systems and is the core focus of the recently launched Transformative Land Involvement (TLI) project.
Launched globally on 22 July 2022, TLI is funded by SDC under the Global Food Security Program and led by a consortium of Centre for International Forestry Research and World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF), the Centre for People and Forests (RECOFTC), SNV Netherlands Development Organization, Land Equity International (LEI) and a variety of research and business development practitioners across Ethiopia, Mozambique, Ghana, Laos, and Myanmar. The initiative will work closely with investors and key stakeholders to support the adoption of inclusive business and agroecology practices, food and nutritional security, and tenure security, benefiting the livelihoods of approximately 300,000 rural people.
Anne Larson, Project Co-Lead and Head of CIFOR- ICRAF Research Team on Governance Equity and Wellbeing, gave the opening remarks at the launch, commenting the lack of private sector adoption of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Governance of Tenure, and the importance of addressing the power imbalances that underly land and agri-system governance. George Schoneveld, Senior Scientist, Value Chains, Finance and Investment at CIFOR-ICRAF introduced the primary objective and scope of TLI, being to:
He noted that being ‘green’ and ‘responsible’ does not necessarily mean a net positive contribution – a point that Kate Rickersey, LEI’s Managing Director, echoed: “Failure to take a holistic food systems perspective, implies that trade-offs might emerge. For example, zero deforestation commitments and initiatives may compete with and lead to an exclusion of small holder farmers since these are comparatively difficult to monitor.”
Annalisa Mauro, Network and Systems Change Coordinator, International Land Coalition (ILC) highlighted that: “Although there are existing frameworks… they are not very much translated into practice”. We still have some way to go to ensure investments are responsible.
Concluding the launch, Marylaure Crettaz Corredor, Co-Head Global Programme Food Security, Swiss Development Agency and Corporation affirmed that: What has been important is to have a systematic and food system approach which is a strategy for the coming years to contribute to sustainable food systems. This entails that, issues of use, women, small producers and urban consumers are put at the centre.
We look forward to sharing the progress and results of TLI’s Phase 1 over the coming three years! For more information, take a look at the website: https://tli.cifor-icraf.org/
Lao PDR, Myanmar
In spirit of reconciliation, Land Equity International acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea, and community. We pay respects to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.