Towards Food Sustainability: Reshaping the Coexistence of Different Food Systems in South America and Africa

Completed in October 2022

The convergence of the effects of the 2007–2008 global financial crisis, climate change and the growing demand for food and biofuels led to a sharp increase in global food prices. These have remaine high ever since in a context where about 800 million people around the world suffer from hunger, and about 2 billion people lack the essential micronutrients they need to live healthy and active lives.

The reflexive response to increased demand for food and higher prices is to increase the productivity of food systems. However, there is growing consensus among agricultural scientists, economists, policy-makers and civil society groups that, on its own, greater production is not the solution to food crises.

The Project

This six-year project, funded by the Research for Development Programme (r4d) of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, aimed at providing evidence-based knowledge, based on case studies in Bolivia, Brazil and Kenya, for the formulation and promotion of innovative strategies and policy options that improve food sustainability. This is composed of five interconnected pillars: food security, the right to food, the reduction of poverty and inequality, environmental integrity and social-ecological resilience.

As a co-coordinator of this project – along with the Centre for Development and Environment at the University of Bern, Centre for Training and Integrated Research in Kenya and Comunidad Pluricultural Andino Amazónica para la Sustentabilidad (COMPAS) in Bolivia – the Geneva Academy supervised its legal aspects with two researchers involved in this project, Dr Christophe Golay and Dr Adriana Bessa.

NEWS

Woman holding a candelnut News

The Recognition of the Right to Seeds is Key to Ensure Sustainable Food Systems

31 August 2020

Our new Research Brief identifies international legal standards that should be taken into account by law- and policy-makers when developing normative and policy frameworks governing seeds and food systems.

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Portrait of Adriana Bessa News

Meet our Researchers: Adriana Bessa

12 March 2020

Dr Adriana Bessa is a Senior Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy. She is involved in research projects dealing with the right to food and the sustainability of food systems, and the rights of peasants. She also coordinates a training course on the protection of human rights and the environment.

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Ou Senior Research Fellow Dr Adriana Bessa with women smallholders in Kenya. News

Field Trips to Kenya and Brazil to Improve Food Sustainability and Food Systems on the Ground

4 February 2019

In the context of our research project on food sustainability and food systems, our Senior Research Fellow Dr Adriana Bessa carried out fieldwork in Kenya and Brazil to discuss the implementation of transformative pilot actions with local rural communities.

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OUTPUT

Publications

Cover of the publication

Manual for Participatory Food System Sustainability Assessments and Transformation (FoodSAT) – Steps towards Food Democracy

May 2021

Stephan Rist, Freddy Delgado, Stellah Mukhovi, Markus Giger, Aymara Llanque, Elisabeth Bonanomi Bürgi, Adriana Bessa, Chinwe Speranza Ifejika, Johanna Jacobi

Centre for Development and Environment

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A new understanding and evaluation of food sustainability in six different food systems in Kenya and Bolivia

November 2020

Johanna Jacobi1, Stellah Mukhovi, Aymara Llanque, Markus Giger, Adriana Bessa, Christophe Golay, Chinwe Ifejika Speranza, Veronica Mwangi, Horacio Augstburger, Elisabeth Buergi‑Bonanomi, Tobias Haller, Boniface P. Kiteme, José M. F. Delgado Burgoa, Theresa Tribaldos, Stephan Rist

Nature

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Cover of the publication

THE RIGHT TO SEEDS AND FOOD SYSTEMS

August 2020

Adriana Bessa and Katyussa Veiga

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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The Normative Dimension of Food Sustainability

2019

Adriana Bessa

Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern

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Cover of the article

Human Rights and Food Sustainability

November 2018

Adriana Bessa

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Plastic pollution on an Italian shore Project

Unpacking the Human Right to a Healthy Environment: Definition, Implementation and Impact

Started in January 2022

This research aims at mainstreaming the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment and the protection it affords in the work of the UN Human Rights Council, its Special Procedures and Universal Periodic Review, as well as in the work of the UN General Assembly and UN treaty bodies.

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Wheat field Project

The Right to Seeds in Europe

Started in January 2018

The project will notably identify the main opportunities and obstacles to protect the right to seeds in Europe. It will also discuss how to promote changes in European laws, policies and trade agreements to ensure that they do not infringe, but facilitate the realization of peasants’ right to seeds.

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Cover page of the research brief Publication

Le Droit aux Semences en Afrique

published on June 2023

Christophe Golay, Karine Peschard

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Cover page of the research brief Publication

The Right to Seeds in Africa

published on June 2023

Christophe Golay, Karine Peschard

Read more