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Judges dismiss climate lawsuit against German government

Judges have dismissed a lawsuit, brought by three farmers and backed by Greenpeace, against the German government for failing to reach 2020 climate targets.

The suit was seen as a step towards accountability for Agenda 2020, a non-binding recommendation of the German Bundesrat (second chamber of parliament) towards sustainability targets which call for legal action by the parliament. At its current pace, the plaintiffs say, the goals will not be met, and their livelihoods will be threatened.

The farmers were represented by Roda Verheyen, who previously won a climate suit in the Netherlands which forced the country to act on their environmental protection goals. Though the suit was dismissed, there is the opportunity for an appeal.

News article – Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German)

Germany Agriculture

German development bank invests €25 million in Sustainable Ocean Fund

The German development bank, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), holds €25 million (US$28 million) of fiduciary holdings in the Sustainable Ocean Fund on behalf of the German federal ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation. This anchor investment will enable increased mobilization of co-investments of up to US$150 million.

KfW seeks to improve global food security, decrease oceanic plastic volume, and fortify coastline protections through private small- and medium-sized companies by investing in sustainable fishing practices, circular economies, and protections for biodiversity.

Press release - KfW (in German)

Japan provides US$3 million in food assistance to Zimbabwe

The Japanese government has announced ¥300 million (US$3 million) for Zimbabwe through the World Food Programme. About 5 million people in Zimbabwe are said to be facing serious food shortages as a result of severe weather events affecting agricultural production. 

These funds will provide approximately 4,300 tons of food assistance to Zimbabwe to improve food security and nutrition. This cooperation is an example of Japan's 'contribution to the creation of a strong and sustainable society' which was reaffirmed at the seventh TICAD Conference in Africa (TICAD7) in August 2019. 

Press release – MOFA (in Japanese)

Global Japan Agriculture Nutrition

Canada's IDRC helps sponsor the World Veterinary Vaccine Congress

Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) will join 600 veterinary vaccine experts and specialists in Barcelona from October 28- 31, 2019 for the World Veterinary Vaccine Congress where the latest developments in veterinary vaccine research and development will be discussed.  IDRC is a sponsor of the World Veterinary Vaccine Congress.

IDRC will specifically be involved in sessions at the conference that highlight how their Livestock Health program is focused on improving the health of livestock and protecting small farmers. IDRC-funded research on the African Swine Fever vaccine will be presented and IDRC's Senior Program Specialist, Musa Mulongo and IDRC's Program Leader of the Livestock Health program,  Kevin Tiessen, will show how IDRC delivers innovations to low-income beneficiaries through building strategic and appropriate public and private sector partnerships. 

Press release - IDRC

France adopts new strategy on food security, nutrition, and sustainable agriculture

On October 22, 2019, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, secretary of state to the minister for Europe and foreign affairs, opened an event launching France’s new international strategy on food security, nutrition, and sustainable agriculture. Laurent Thomas, deputy director-general of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); representatives of the World Food Programme and the Ivorian government; and representatives of the government, the scientific community, civil society, and the media attended.

The strategy focus on five main objectives:

  1. Strengthen global governance of food security and nutrition. France aims at playing a leading role in improving the effectiveness and coordination of international actors in these areas, in particular by defining a clear and shared vision of objectives and means of action in these areas and by promoting greater harmonization and better coordination of authorities and donors. Central to this governance are the UN institutions based in Rome;
  2. Develop sustainable agriculture and food systems to address climate change and biodiversity loss. This includes developing and promoting the transition to sustainable food and agriculture systems, from an economic, social, and environmental perspective, by addressing the challenges of climate change to ensure food security and nutrition for the population;
  3. Strengthen French action on nutrition to act in an integrated way on the various factors leading to undernutrition of young children and pregnant and breastfeeding women, such as access to quality food, drinking water, and good hygienic conditions
  4. Support the structuring of sustainable agro-food chains to promote the creation of decent jobs in rural areas, especially for young people. In developing countries, these agri-food chains represent a source of jobs to support. The inclusion of family farming in these sectors is a key issue; and
  5. Strengthen food assistance activities for vulnerable populations and improve their resilience to the causes of food insecurity, whether in emergency contexts or in situations of chronic food insecurity. In the context of recurrent food crises, it is a question of enabling these populations to regain their food autonomy.

Press release - Ministry of foreign affairs

News article - Le Monde (in French)

France Agriculture Nutrition

Dutch development minister talks education, gender, climate change in World Bank interview

On October 19, 2019, Sigrid Kaag, minister for foreign trade and development cooperation of the Netherlands, participated in an interview with the World Bank, as part of their Global Voices interview series. The interview covered several Dutch priority topics, including the empowerment of women and young people, climate change, and education.

Minister Kaag spoke specifically about the role of the World Bank investments in human capital including education initiatives. She noted that the bank has an important role to play in this sector, providing relevant data and expertise to guide and target financing from the ministries of finance in-country as well as mobilizing the international community. 

Twitter - Minister Kaag 

Netherlands Agriculture Education

German development minister says World Bank must focus on climate measures and Sub-Saharan poverty alleviation

The German development minister, Gerd Müller, has said that the World Bank’s focus should be on mitigating climate change and alleviating poverty in Africa. 

Since the start of the year, World Bank president David Malpass and development minister Müller have met several times, and have now signed an agreement establishing an international 'ProGreen fund', for forest conservation. Germany will invest €200 million (US$225 million) in the fund at the outset.

Müller emphasized that without strong action on climate protection, the effects of climate change will drastically worsen conditions for the world's most impoverished people. He is also advocating for increased engagement from the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA) in poverty alleviation efforts in the world's lowest-income countries; more than half of the world's population in absolute poverty are currently concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa. By 2030, it is estimated that the region will hold 85% of the world's most destitute, 100 million of those due to the effects of climate change.

Press release - Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (in German)

Germany Agriculture

Report shows US foreign agricultural assistance generates major benefits for US economy, diplomacy, national security

The Board for International Food and Agriculture Development (BIFAD), an advisory board appointed by the President to the US Agency for International Development, issued a report showing that the US broadly benefits from the agricultural assistance it provides partner countries. The report was prepared by the International Food Policy Research Institute.  

BIFAD's report, issued at the same time as the World Food Prize, found specifically that US agricultural assistance has broad economic, national security, and diplomatic benefits. Annually, the US exports a total of US$90 billion in agricultural goods to partner countries which generates US$259 billion in US economic activity. The report found that by increasing agriculture capacity and production in partner countries, agriculture assistance increases incomes and fuels demand for goods and services abroad.  

News article - The Fence Post

United States Agriculture

Dutch government launches Netherlands Food Partnership

On October 16, 2019, during World Food Day, the Dutch government launched the Netherlands Food Partnership (NFP), an initiative aimed at boosting transformative approaches for sustainable food systems and healthy diets. NFP will serve as a space for experts, entrepreneurs, innovators, and change-makers to come together and share, learn about, discuss, design, and plan new programmatic approaches to achieve SDG 2: 'End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture'.

The full establishment of the NFP is still underway, and updates on news and recent developments can be found on the official website and received through the newsletter. 

Press release - Netherlands Food Partnership

Netherlands Agriculture Nutrition

German development minister calls for investments in sustainable agriculture and climate measures to renew efforts against world hunger

In recognition of World Food Day, German development minister Gerd Müller is calling for more investments in sustainable and adaptive agriculture to build climate resiliency and improve the food supply for the world's poorest. These are the main foci for Germany's 'World without hunger' campaign and its fifteen 'Green Innovation Centers' across India and the African continent.

Müller also emphasized the importance of ending the conflicts in Syria and Yemen, which were predominantly responsibe for the increase in instances of starvation in the past three years-- 820 million total in 2019-- after nearly 20 years of a sustained decline in hunger. Major strides in food accessibility are necessary to get on track to eradicate starvation by 2030.

Press release - Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (in German)

Germany Agriculture Global health