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Daily Recap October 16 – Global Economic Symposium 2012

October 17th, 2012

Promoting Food Security—The Contribution of Climate-Smart Agriculture
Favelas—A Global Challenge and Opportunity

The session “Promoting Food Security – The Contribution of Climate-Smart Agriculture” at the Global Economic Symposium (GES) in Rio de Janeiro dealt with the challenges to meet the world’s food demand in the future in view of growing world population and changing lifestyles and consumption patterns.

Everyone in the expert group agreed that getting the institutions right is a key factor to arrive at sustainable solutions. There was a broad consensus that most of the technical solutions are there – so there is a bundle of solutions to choose from to form tailor-made, locally adapted solutions. One expert said: ‘With the problem of food security, there are no role model solutions that you can pull out of your hat like a rabbit. Instead, solutions have to be tailor made for each country and setting.’

Broad consensus also existed that attention has to focus on smallholders and arrangements that work for smallholders. This is inherently more complex and difficult to achieve: first, because smallholders are a large diverse group; and second, because politicians prefer big solutions, which they can more easily sell to voters.

The session “Favelas—A Global Challenge and Opportunity” made clear: People living in favelas have to be empowered – and one needs to help them to do so. Housing solutions fail if they are top-down, designed in an office. In those cases, they do not fit the needs of the population, for example, their social capital, closeness to schools, etc. especially in case of relocation. Self-determination and choice of where and how to live are important. Residents’ associations can help to promote the needs of the residents with the city. Governments should promote these organisations.

UPP (Unidade de Polícia Pacificadora, a program encompassing law enforcement and social services in Rio’s favelas) cannot be exported, since it is designed for Rio and may do more harm than good in other countries. The problems are different in different countries. The criminal organization of the favelas is not the biggest problem in many other regions. Also favelas are different even within countries, there are all across the city in Rio, but mostly around the city in other cities. And even within Rio, favelas differ greatly in terms of service provision, jobs, income levels, and life expectancy.

UPP is not so much about drugs but about weapons. In this respect it has been very successful. Once the security issues are solved you can start with all the other programmes like job creation, etc. Solving security issues is the first step for solving other problems and self-development. Investing in the favelas is perceived to be much more expensive than investing elsewhere in the city. This is specific to Rio’s environment.


“The Global Economic Symposium (GES) 2012 is being jointly organized by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) and the Bertelsmann Stiftung, in cooperation with the German National Library of Economics – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (ZBW) and in collaboration with the Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV).

Further information can be found at www.global-economic-symposium.org and at the official GES-blog at blog.global-economic-symposium.org.

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