Around the world, economic growth is still considered by many to be the main driver of global development. In more fragile states, it is the leading strategy for reducing poverty.
Yet, while the number of people below the poverty line has decreased in recent decades, inequality remains high and many people are still excluded from the formal economy. Climate disruption is leading to increasingly frequent natural disasters and worsening the socio-economic situation of the world’s most vulnerable people, particularly those living in remote areas.
How can we support the poorest populations to create positive change in their lives? Will it suffice to simply stimulate growth and facilitate access to market benefits for those who are most excluded? If so, how can we develop competitive and inclusive green economies, especially ones that favour women and youth?
Each year, the International Forum brings together a range of international development specialists. In 2017, the Forum will delve into these questions and invite you to consider, debate and propose solutions to build a brighter future
Follow the discussions under one of three themes, or select individual sessions to attend:
Stream 1 : People
This theme will cover issues related to economic reconstruction following humanitarian crises: humanitarian assistance, food security, urban agriculture, environmental disasters, migration crises, and the resilience of the people affected. Developing countries regularly face complex emergency situations, such natural disasters, like earthquakes, and climate-related disasters, like hurricanes, flooding and drought. Add to that conflict, war and sometimes even a State’s collapse. These situations are characterized by sizeable losses in agricultural yields, destruction of infrastructure equipment, fleeing rural populations and the breakdown food production and marketing systems.
What must be done to restore conditions that will enable people to resume productive activities as quickly as possible, and how can we prevent food emergencies and food insecurity after disaster strikes?
- Safety nets to reduce farmer vulnerability to extreme weather
- Rebuilding agricultural economy after natural disasters or conflict
- Agricultural labour offering and the effects of migration
- The role of the private sector in humanitarian assistance
- The refugee crisis
- The impact of ecological threats on crises in the Middle East
With the participation of :
Stream 2 : Profit
For this theme, we will question the current economy while discussing how to become active participants in the market system. How can we contribute to a new economy that is profitable yet inclusive of women and youth, sustainable, social and green? We will look at the place of social and solidarity economy, sharing economy (Uber, AirBnb, etc.), fair trade and other economic alternatives.
The world economy has profoundly changed in the past twenty years, partially due to globalization, but also to deregulation and the financialization of the economy. Economic, financial and environmental crises have ensued, giving rise, in many countries, to social tensions and high unemployment among youth. The shift toward a financialized economy has had major human, social and environmental consequences. This has brought about “social demand for ethics,” with several solutions put forth. How can the proliferation of sustainable development initiatives promoted by citizens, civil society organizations, businesses and governments, both locally and internationally, serve to build an inclusive, green and socially equitable economy, particularly in the agricultural sector?
- The state, private sector and civil society
- Large farming operations vs. small-scale producers
- Agriculture and market systems
- The challenge of developing employment in rural areas
- Developing employment in the rural, non-agricultural sector
- Education, training and entering the agricultural labour market
Stream 3 : Planet
The environment will obviously be central to this theme, for which we will look at “green” or “clean” economies. Food production and consumption will be the cornerstones of discussions on how to end use of fossil fuels, produce and consume green energies, etc.
Green economies aim to keep the natural capital in balance—do not consume more resources than ecosystems can provide. They seek to reduce our environmental footprint. This may include concentration on waste and water management, air quality, energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and renewable energy. If states increase their commitment to these goals, some businesses may be ready to take sustainable development even further than governments require. This has been the case with ISO standard 26000 and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification, which have become mandatory to access certain markets. How do businesses and other development actors who take this route turn sustainable development initiatives into concrete actions?
- Increasing the ecological sustainability of agricultural systems
- The impact of the mining industry on ecosystems and natural resources (farm land)
- Linking research to field work
- Producing and consuming green energy for agricultural production
- How to reconcile eating local (and organic) and encouraging local producers in developing countries.
With the participation of :
To see the full schedule, click here.