More than 100 lawmakers from Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and Spain highlighted the imperative need to act against the effects of climate change through legislation, at the opening of the VII Forum of the Parliamentary Front against Hunger.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAO, the Parliamentary Fronts against Hunger are key to enforcing the commitments of the Paris Agreements and the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22), especially those closely related to the fight against hunger and malnutrition.
“Parliaments can make an important contribution to the fight against climate change by adjusting national laws to international standards and facilitating the implementation of global agreements,” said Tito Diaz, FAO’s Coordinator for Mesoamerica.
In addition, parliamentarians can establish the institutional frameworks and budgets that mitigation and adaptation to climate change require, linking these efforts to anti-hunger policies.
Currently, the Latin American and Caribbean Parliament is working to create a Model Law on Climate Change and Food and Nutrition Security, while the Central American Parliament is supporting a framework law to guide the countries of Central America in these matters.
Parliamentary fronts can also have a strong influence in supporting governance for the sustainable use of natural resources and the strengthening of livelihoods, two critical factors for countries facing climate change.
“It is necessary to work for a new agri-food model that feeds our whole population in a healthy and sustainable way, contributing also to the adaptation to climate change and its mitigation”, said the general coordinator of the Parliamentary Front against Hunger in LAC, María Augusta Calle, at the opening of the Forum, which runs from today until November 11, in Mexico City.
Eradicate hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean
7 years after the first Forum of Parliamentarians Against Hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean, this network has placed the human right to food at the top of the regional political agenda.
Recently, Honduras and the Dominican Republic approved their respective food security and right to food laws, while El Salvador, Mexico, Peru, Costa Rica and Colombia advanced the discussions of draft laws on the same subject.
The president of the Latin American and Caribbean Parliament (PARLATINO), Blanca Alcalá, stressed that this organism is on the verge of adopting a regional model law on family farming, already approved by its Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.
In addition, she stressed that the parliamentary fronts are developing a conceptual proposal to define food sovereignty, based on the legislative experiences of fifteen countries in the region.
National laws serve as legal frameworks to give sustainability to the fight against hunger and malnutrition, and support the main regional political commitment of this nature: the Plan of Food Security, Nutrition and Hunger Eradication of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, CELAC, which has set the year 2025 as the goal to achieve the complete eradication of malnutrition in the region.
Parliamentarians from various regions join forces
In recent years, the Spanish courts, the new Alliance in the European Parliament on Combating Hunger and the Pan-African Parliamentary Alliance for Food and Nutrition Security have become strategic partners of Latin America and the Caribbean’s Parliamentary Front Against Hunger.
The President of the Pan-African Parliament, Bernadette Lahai, said that the anti-hunger fronts represent “a route of inspiration, learning and new challenges.”
Legumes against hunger and climate change
During the VII Forum, parliamentarians announced their intention to promote the production and consumption of legumes in the region.
The FAO Special Ambassador for the International Year of Pulses, Patricia Juárez, presented to the forum the positive effects of legumes in the fight against climate change and hunger.
According to the Ambassador, legumes fix nitrogen in the soil, improving their health and allowing for less use of fertilizers and agrochemicals. In 2014, 85 million hectares of legumes were planted worldwide, which set 3 to 6 tons of nitrogen. As a result, legumes contribute to the rational use of fertilizers, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions.