As a consumer you have the potential to promote development through your buying habits. But how effective are you?
A new report from the United Kingdom finds that securing food supplies in 2050 means growing more food, on the same land, with fewer impacts. That requires shifts in policy and practice that we can achieve using a mix of politics, science and market forces.
The Fish Fights campaign, headed by old-Etonian turned sustainable food champion Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, has been making waves in the UK, drawing attention towards the upcoming EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) reform in 2013. Celebrity involvement in campaigning is nothing new but has recently been attracting a lot of attention in the development blogosphere. Celebrities have helped publicise Fish Fights, but what next for the campaign?
This week saw the launch of Fairtraded and Fairmined gold in the UK. Twenty companies in the UK will use the gold and even Kate Middleton — recently betrothed to Prince William — may get a Fairtrade wedding band.
I wrote a blog article in August last year that looked at some of the potential pitfalls and challenges of a Fairtrade gold market. These lessons — from the agricultural sector — are still valid and should be kept in mind through the hype of this new certified market for gold.
But certification within a chain also means ‘formalisation’ of that chain, which will require miners to meets certain standards. A commonly held assumption is that formalisation of the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector is a positive move. But can we be so sure?
A meeting of the Forest Connect alliance reaffirms that it is local forest people that are best placed to reduce deforestation all over the world — provided they are given the right incentives. That means clear commercial rights to the forest and support to develop profitable and sustainable forest businesses.
In the run up to Nigeria’s April elections the political lobbying, with the usual round of underhand payments for support, has Nigerians hoping for a fairer competition in the grab for power. The political process is being increasingly scrutinised by the average citizen — with record numbers of people registering to vote and self-formed citizens groups promising to monitor polling stations. Another type of power — electricity, or ‘light’ as most Nigerians call it — and the lack of it is one of the hot potato election issues on everyone’s lips.