We are looking forward to discussing with our five keynote speakers on pressing questions of justice and food security.
Networked climate sovereignties: Linking agroecology, food sovereignty, and climate justice
Agroecology, organic agriculture, and food sovereignty are often regarded as well-intentioned but unrealistic niches that are ultimately unable to transform food systems. As a result, they are discounted as unfeasible options for meeting global food demand for a growing population in the face of climate change. Yet wide-scale support for agroecology and supporting structures for food and seed sovereignty have rarely, if ever, been implemented.read more
Rather, practitioners of agroecology, organic farming, and food sovereignty are marginalized through strict regulations and free trade agreements, as well as ongoing trends towards technological fixes, unjust subsidies for large-scale conventional commodity production, and the financialization of agriculture. In this paper I extrapolate what we might learn from how small farmers in small countries have adapted to global changes for how we may move towards more environmentally sound, socially just, and climate resilient ways of feeding the world. Drawing upon experiences working with organic farmers in Latvia and Costa Rica for over a decade, particularly surrounding issues of agrobiodiversity conservation and seed sovereignty, I argue that adaptation of our food systems to climate change must happen through nested and mutually interdependent networks across scales. This will require supportive rather than restrictive governance structures that recognize and build upon farmer knowledge systems, connections to place, and networks of diversity, while forging spaces where innovative practices and transformative values may restructure productive activities, markets, and supply chains. Lack of attention to these elements creates a set of injustices across scales that result in frustrated and fractured movements and restricted farmer, community, and state sovereignties. The current interlinked global crises will require the involvement of nested actors, knowledge systems, and networks of organic sovereignties working across scales to connect agroecology, food sovereignty, and climate justice.
Guntra Aistara is Associate Professor at the Central European University, Vienna, Austria.
The most-affected principle: Representation and justice in the food sovereignty movement
It has been argued that the involvement of scholars in a politics of constructive collective action is key to meeting grand challenges and other complex problems facing agriculture and food systems in the 21st century. Yet, how scholars organize and manage collective action can have implications for the existing movements working towards food systems transformations.read more
In this talk, I outline diverse governance structures that have been developed by food sovereignty movements to prioritize the voices of those most affected by food insecurity with a focus on mechanisms for mutual accountability between various parts of the movement. Building on over decade of participant observation, I reflect on possible relations between scholars and movements by asking: could or should scholars be considered and recognized as a movement constituency (i.e. as political actors within movements that seek to prioritize the voices of those most-affected)? I conclude with reflections on the implications of advancing collective action as scholars inside and outside existing movements, with a view towards food system transformation and movement politics.
Jessica Duncan is Associate Professor in Rural Sociology at Wageningen University, the Netherlands.
The Climate Emergency: Elements of a Repair of the Future
In recent years, the climate crisis has developed dramatically. Some cities have already called the crisis an "emergency case". This contribution explains the meaning of a climate emergency. It argues that the climate scenario differs in many respects from more usual "emergency case". According to a well-reasoned argument of Walzer in the context of war ethics, emergency claims for an ethical reassessment of a situation. The first half of the talk tries to apply this insight to the climate crisis. The second part focuses on some tools for a "repair of the future". I shall try to outline some insights that focus on the food sector.
Angela Kallhoff is University Professor of Ethics with special emphasis on Applied Ethics at the University of Vienna, Austria.
Geoengineering, food security, and justice
Geoengineering refers to intentional, large-scale interventions to counteract the harmful impacts of climate change by managing solar radiation impacts or the atmosphere composition of the earth. The insufficiency of global climate action has increased interest in geoengineering as a tool alongside climate mitigation and adaptation attempts, or as the last resort, to tackle the climate crisis and especially its most adverse impacts.read more
The social and ethical dimensions of geoengineering are difficult, however, and may easily be sidelined in technologically oriented discussions.
Food security is among the most crucial viewpoints to guide the ethical reflections upon geoengineering and the justifiability of different ways to do it. The big question is the impact of geoengineering on food security, which should be compared with other possible or probable pathways of development and climate action or the lack of it. The difficulty of assessing alternative courses of action is further complicated by the uncertainties related to the direct and indirect impacts of different geoengineering techniques.
What can be said about geoengineering from the viewpoint of food security and justice against this background? This presentation peels the hot potato from different sides and demonstrates why the acceptability of novel technological solutions, whether concerning food systems directly or indirectly, necessitates a multidimensional approach to food and climate justice.
Teea Kortetmäki is post-doctoral fellow at Unviersity of Jyväskylä.
Adapting agriculture to a changing climate: a social justice perspective
We are already past a point where climate change mitigation alone does not suffice and major efforts need to be undertaken to adapt agriculture to climate change. As this situation was both foreseeable and avoidable, it is urgent to see that particularly people who have historically contributed the least to climate change do not end up assuming most of the costs. Climate change will have the worst effects on agriculture in the tropical region in the form of droughts, extreme heat waves and massive storms.read more
The historical unequal contributions to climate change and its unjustly distributed consequences morally oblige us to distribute global adaptation costs fairly. Yet to have a full understanding of the social implications of adapting to climate change we need to look beyond making adaptation technologies accessible and available. Using a social justice framework, I defend fair prices of adaptation technologies as a demand of justice in exchange, an allocation of research attention proportional to urgent global needs as distributive justice, inclusive technology development and governance as contributive justice and addressing the interests of future generations as intergenerational justice.
Cristian Timmermann is Research Associate at the Institute of the History, Philosophy and Ethics of Medicine, Ulm University.