Nairobi, 4 June 2013: Supporting smallholder farmers to play a greater role in food production and natural resource stewardship is one of the quickest ways to lift over one billion people out of poverty and sustainably nourish a growing world population, a new United Nations report said. Therewith the report underlines the call of the 2008 International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IASSTD) for a step change in agricultural policy and practice in order to reduce hunger and poverty and improve the living conditions of the rural population. Achieving this will require an increased focus on small farmers, locally adapted cultivation methods and multifunctional agriculture.
Stanford, 30 May 2013: Scientist's consensus on maintaining humanity's life support systems in the 21st century. Hans Rudolf Herren, President of Biovision Foundation, was among the more than 520 scientists from all over the world, who signed the message.
Geneva, 3 May 2013: The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) could not agree on a date for a worldwide ban on DDT. The persistent poison has been banned in industrialised countries since the 1970s, but is still being used to fight malaria in the developing world.
New York, May 2013: 1 June 2013 is the last day for non-governmental organizations to apply for Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) consultative status in order to have an opportunity to take part in UN deliberations. ECOSOC consultative status is governed by ECOSOC resolution 1996/31, which outlines the eligibility requirements for consultative status, rights and obligations of NGOs in consultative status, procedures for the withdrawal or suspension of consultative status, the role and functions of the ECOSOC Committee on NGOs, and the responsibilities of the UN Secretariat in supporting the consultative relationship. Consultative status is granted by ECOSOC upon recommendation of the ECOSOC Committee on NGOs, which is comprised of 19 Member States. Biovision Foundation is the first Swiss foundation to be granted general consultative status by the United Nations. For more information about ECOSOC Consultative status please click here. For more information on how to apply for ECOSOC Consultative status please click here.
Nairobi, 25 April 2013: Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced 12 more nominees for Cabinet positions and Biovision’s long standing associate Judi Wakhungu has been nominated for the position of Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural resources. The nominees now have to go through a vetting process by a parliamentary commission and then have to be confirmed by parliament. But observers have little doubt that Judi Wakhungu will get through this process. Judi Wangalwa Wakhungu holds a PhD in Energy Resources Management. She is currently the Executive Director of the African Centre for Technology Studies. She is also the Advisor to the Energy Sector Management Programme of the World Bank as well as the Legatum Centre in Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition, she is a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Management of Social Transformation Programme. Her connection to Biovison originated when she shared the chair of the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development with Hans Herren. She is now on the Board of the Biovision Africa Trust, our sister organisation based in Nairobi. She was also a guest on the podium of the Biovision symposium in November 2012 in Zurich. Biovision is delighted that such a competent person takes on the responsibility for a key department of government in Kenya and we wish her all the very best for this new challenge.
The Team running the project "Changing Course in Global Agriculture" has been reinforced by a high-level Advisory Group. The group is jointly led by Elisabeth Atangana, President of the Sub-regional Platform of Farmer Organisations in Central Africa and Markus Buerli, Deputy Head of the Global Programme on Food Security of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). The other Advisory Group members are Professor Hans Hurni, President of the Centre for Development and Environment of the University of Berne, the Kenyan bio-farmer and entrepreneur Sue Kahumbu and Dr. Hans R. Herren. The expertise of the group’s members covers agriculture, environment and food security. They will make recommendations on content and strategic decisions by the project team to support the process of a paradigm change in global agriculture.
Nairobi, 7 March 2013: The projects of Biovision Foundation in Kenya have not been affected by the sporadic violence that accompanied the first round of voting in the east African country. Charles Mbogo, manager of the "Stop Malaria" projects in Malindi/Kilifi has told us that all staff have come through the troubles safely. The coastal town of Kilifi was the site of a serious incident in which several people were killed. Mbogo explained that they had taken precautions to ensure the safety of staff: "We had given our staff time off to go and vote and kept on monitoring the events and stayed in contact with our staff. They are all safe and some have now reported back to work."
Nairobi/Dakar, 18 February 2013: The Biovision project „Changing Course in Global Agriculture“ has now also been launched in Kenya with a first workshop from 13 to 15 February 2013. The 50 participants from the private sector, the farming community, NGOs and the government of Kenya sought a common approach to realising such a change. The same process was initiated in Senegal at the end of January; this event marked the first time Biovision became active in West Africa. Ethiopia will be the third country to enter this process later this year.
London, 23 January 2013: "Monopoly of grain trade has forced millions into starvation, say charities " - Article in the British Newspaper "The Independent".
Addis Ababa, 14 January 2013: 48-year-old Almaze Getahun has been able to improve her life thanks to her work in the vegetable gardens of the slums of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia). Biovision supported this project for three years.
Nairobi, 11 January 2013: Mango production has increased significantly in Kenya in recent years and represents a valuable source of income and nutrition. However, many farmers have been plagued by large yield losses caused by fruit fly infestations. The Kenyan Newspaper "The Standard" write on its website about the improvement of the mango production through environmentally friendly fruit fly control; a project of Biovision and icipe.
Nairobi, 12 December 2012: An external evaluation of the "Stop Malaria" projects serves the process optimization and issue management. The Evaluation has also shown that, for example in Malindi, a 37.5% reduction in anopheline malaria vector larval densities in breeding sites and over 65% reduction of anopheline indoor resting densities, has been achieved with a corresponding 62% reduction in malaria prevalence.
Nairobi 5 December 2012: In a groundbreaking act, Public Health Minister Beth Mugo of the Kenyan government has advised that Kenya has completely banned the importation of all genetically modified (GMO) food into the country, until exhaustive tests on health effects are complete.
Nairobi, 1 November 2012: Patrick Wawire used to be like any other farmer in Kenya: Producing just enough to feed his family and struggling to pay his childrens’ school fees. How Wawire was able to improve his situation, you will learn on our Blog.
Zurich/Rome, 18 October 2012: The undersigned call upon all governments and other actors to give priority to small-scale and family-led agroecological farming (environmentally and socially sustainable agriculture such as organic, ecological ), as the key strategy to build climate change resilience, enhance food and nutrition security as well as food sovereignty, restore and protect ecosystems services, biodiversity, animal welfare, rural livelihoods and support the right to food.
On World Food Day, it is necessary to affirm again that genetically-modified crops and animals are a dangerous and irresponsible distraction when it comes to food and nutrition security, as well as sustainable and equitable development, writes Hans Rudolf Herren in the Indian Newspaper "The Statesman".
A Biovision Foundation honeybee project has been awarded third prize at the international honey and bee fair "ApiExpo Africa" in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Entrants from Africa, Canada and Europe competed for the coveted awards.
If women had equal access to productive farming resources, they could increase their yields by 20 to 30 percent and potentially raise total agricultural output in developing countries by 2.5 to four percent.
A long-term study with rats at the French University of Caen proves that the herbicide Roundup and Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize causes severe health problems after just four months.
Publication for Rio+20 with Biovision participation. Read Hans Rudolf Herren's Article "Food, nutrition and sustainable agriculture within a green economy" and "The Farmer Communication Programme in East Africa" written by David Amudavi and Hudson Wereh, Biovision Farmer Communication Programme.
Biovision Foundation is the first Swiss foundation to be granted general consultative status by the United Nations. This allows Biovision to participate at UN-conferences and take an active part in the discussions and organise side-events to lobby for its cause.
From 20 to 22 June Heads of State and Government of the global community will discuss the final document of the Rio+20 conference under the heading "The Future We Want".
The Biovision delegation to the Earth Summit in Rio has set itself ambitious aims. With events on selected topics, active participation in numerous other events, contact with delegates from other countries and intensive media work, it is seeking to ensure that a fundamental change of direction towards organic farming is recognised as a central element of a sustainable development strategy.
The Risk Talk series organised by the Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue brings together international experts and practitioners to discuss current and future economic, political and societal risks and opportunities. At more than one billion, the number of hungry people in the world remains unacceptably high. And as the world population is estimated to exceed 9 billion by 2050, global food production must increase by 70% in order to meet this challenge.
We can look back on a successful year. In 2011 Biovision continued to expand its project activities: 32 projects were implemented, for a total of over 3.5 million francs. That is more than ever before.
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