Focus on the Special Sessions

Last update: 22 November 2016

Hereby you find a description of 9 of the conference's parallel sessions, which are organised by external international teams of researchers, development practitioners and operators of the private sector

Session 1. “Linking public policies and agri-­‐chain governance mechanisms to support the SDGs : Lessons and challenges from and for forest landscapes”

Organisers: P. Pacheco (CIFOR) and Marie-Gabrielle Piketty (CIRAD)
The expansion of commercial agriculture drives significant tropical deforestation with contradictory social effects. In recent years public and private policies have emerged to counteract this trend. Public policies tend to emphasize measures to reduce illegal forest clearing including land titling, land use regulations and territorial planning. Private initiatives are increasingly adopting zero deforestation goals through different supply-­chain interventions and demand-based measures. The different approaches and the associated instruments tend to vary in their effectiveness. While these measures can be effective to reduce environmental impacts, they may have undesired social impacts, such as excluding smallholders from the value chains or imposing on them additional compliance costs. Therefore, understanding both social and environmental impacts, and their trade-offs is important to support better ways to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This panel discusses the synergies and antagonisms between public and private initiatives, and their outcomes, shaping governance systems that influence directly and indirectly on both agri-chain development and landscape transformations, as well as the approaches and actions with potential to improve simultaneously the governance of value chains and the territorial management where these value chains are embedded. It will do so by looking at cases across different key commodities and geographies with emphasis on the tropics.

Session 2. "Dairy industry sharing sustainable development goals - Emphasizing the diversity of development pathways "

Organisers: Guillaume Duteurtre (CIRAD), Isabelle Baltenweck (ILRI), Denis Sautier (CIRAD), Nathalie Hostiou (INRA), Christian Corniaux (CIRAD)
This focuses on the ongoing transformations of dairy value chains both at global and local scales. It aims at analyzing their trajectories in terms of sustainable development. Communications in the session show how deregulation on the one side, and increasing demand for livestock products in developing countries on the other side, lead to increasing levels of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) and therefore to a growing role of large size dairy corporations. Questions to be explored include the following:
- How to assess different dairy production models? What are the drivers, factors, loops and criteria to take into account when promoting inclusive businesses?
- Can FDI and dairy large size corporations promote sustainable development and how (e.g. through the development of local sustainable supply chains or Corporate Social Responsibility practices)?
- Can large corporations and family farming coexist and how can they then contribute to the same value chains?
- Which prospects for partnerships between Firms, NGOs, Farmers organization and Research institution in order to promote sustainable development?
The session will be developed in 2 separates slots:
- An Academic Session
- A Round Table

Session 3. "Climate Smart Cocoa: The emerging case for public-private partnerships in response to deforestation and climate change"

Organiser: Ethan Budiansky (World Cocoa Foundation)
Current climate models predict that by 2030 changing weather patterns due to climate change will significantly impact the cocoa landscape and the millions of farmers who depend on cocoa productivity for their livelihoods, particularly in West Africa.  This session will present concrete innovations in responding to climate change that can contribute to the sustainable transformation of the cocoa value chain to support farmers and achieve national commitments including National Development Challenges and REDD+.  Pulling from experiences in cocoa and other commodities, this session will provide insight on the existing and potential role of industry to engage with science, development practitioners and investors to put into practice concrete actions aimed at building a more resilient value chain. The presenters will demonstrate how multi-stakeholder partnerships can have an impact on the entire value chain from sourcing, processing to commercial viability, and share how these types of efforts and partnerships can provide opportunities for investments. 

Session 4. "Global commodity chains and sustainability in Latin America: changes towards sustainable development in trade of agrifood products" 

Organisers: Pablo Pérez Akaki (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México); Rafael Díaz Porras (Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica); Gilma Lizama (Universidad de El Salvador); Jean Francois Le Coq (CIRAD)
Latinamerica has been a region that trades agrifoods, sometimes traditional like coffee, cocoa, and some others non-traditional like fruits and  vegetables. Around this trade important commodity chains were built and are constantly in change, competing for more volume and trying to capture more market participation. Not necessarily this commodity chains of global agrifoods have represented upgrade of agricultural producers in the wide and poor regions of Latinamerica. Nowadays it’s recognized that behind this long commodity chains are transnational  companies that govern this exchange in many ways, and not always provide opportunities to agricultural participants for improving the way they live in the same speed the multinationals do.In this context, we ask participations to discuss what are the effects in global agricultural chains of the participation of trasnational firms in the sustainability dimension, including traditional and quality certified goods? what are the effects of goods and/or regions where international firms do no participate? in this last question researchers are suggested to include in analysis local agricultural development initiatives like fairtrade, organics and many more grounded in Latinamerica.

Session 5. “Strengthening the capacities needed to make multi-stakeholder partnerships for innovation in agri-chains work in practice”

Organisers: Myra Wopereis (ICRA /CDAIS), Aurelie Tollier (CIRAD), Ludovic Temple (CIRAD)
Facilitating innovation processes is considered as one of the solutions for improving value chain performance and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. However, many countries are not fully exploiting their innovation potential, especially low-income countries.  In the literature, two theories that have been recently applied to agricultural sector, give some helpful insights to rethink how to support innovation in agri-chains: the Agricultural Innovation System approach and the Transition Theory. This session will explore concrete cases of projects fostering innovation practices through the lenses of these two approaches. The objective of the session is to provide insights on the roles, functioning and efficiency of innovation partnerships for transforming agri-chains and better achieving the SDGs, in particular SDG 1, 2, 5, 8, 10, 12, 13 and 17. The session will review experience in several large-scale development projects (CDAIS, 2SCALE and PAEPARD), identify lessons learned, and develop recommendations on how to improve interventions for strengthening the innovation capacity of value-chain stakeholders and thereby improve the effectiveness of innovation partnerships.

Session 7. “Institutional innovations for sustainable food systems: practitioner experiences in ‘transitions in the making’

Organisers:  Allison Loconto (INRA), Anne Sophie Poisot (FAO), Matthew John (Keystone Foundation and IFOAM–Organics International), Judith Hitchman (Urgenci), Fernando Nacpil (Farmers Development Network, The Philippines), Krystyna Swiderska (IIED), Yiching Song (Centre for Chinese Agricultural Policy), Anne Sophie Poisot (FAO)
Mounting evidence suggests that we are in the midst of not one, but a variety of transitions towards food systems that link sustainable production with sustainable consumption (SDG 12). The dynamic nature of these changes means that we must make an effort to understand, engage with and contribute to ‘transitions in the making’. The purpose of this session is to learn from ongoing work within developing countries. We are specifically interested in better understanding the institutional and organizational innovations that are fostering new relationships and allocation of responsibilities among members of agri-food chains. Some orienting questions include: who are the new actors and innovators and how do they interact? What is the range of new responsibilities that are being reallocated among agri-chain actors? What knowledge is used to break down the barriers to change? How do social, scientific, technological and institutional innovations interact in transitions? What are some examples of failed institutional innovations and why have they failed? The papers in this session should provide concrete examples of the variety of current innovations that are transforming agri-chains towards sustainable food systems, including Participatory Guarantee Systems, Community Supported Agriculture and institutional innovations designed for and with indigenous and ethnic communities. 

Session 8. “Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS): a value chain innovation to boost smallholder quality management”

Organisers: Mrs Tu Tuyet Nhung (PGS Viet Nam) and Dr. Dao The Anh (CASRAD)
In developing countries, institutional arrangements for sustainability in the agri-food chains are still weak and third party certification systems are hardly adopted due to high costs. In this context, a low cost certification such as Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) can play a crucial role in the quality management and boosting of agri-chains. PGSs are locally focused quality assurance systems. They certify producers through the active participation of stakeholders and they are built on trust, social networks and knowledge exchange. The session will share evidences of PGSs aimed at: developing sustainable, organic or safe value chains; encouraging farmers to produce high quality products; but also improving community relationships, empowerment of farmers and retailers, market integration, positive impact of local policies, and farmers’ autonomy from government’s subsidies. These PGSs can contribute to the sustainability of value chains, in the economic, social and environmental dimensions. The session will focus on Vietnamese experiences of PGS in the vegetable value chains. However, the organisers welcome proposals about other countries and other agri-food chains.

Session 9. “City driven food chains and sustainable development”

Organisers: Ophélie Robineau (CIRAD), Paule Moustier (CIRAD) and Nicolas Bricas (CIRAD)
Cities play a major role in the transformation of food systems worldwide; urban innovators and processes such as urban policies, changing consumption patterns, and new channels of commercialization impact local, regional and national food systems and question the role played by cities in the sustainable development of territories they are connected to. Cities are generally cited as generators of problems and of unsustainable practices and processes, e.g. dependence on imports, or excess of waste. However, urban drivers may also be levers for sustainable development. This session aims at exploring the consequences of urban driven changes in food systems and at identifying how cities incite or constrain sustainable development practices. The session will address cases in the global South, focusing on the way urban policies and new food habits drive changes in production and distribution patterns and on how the management of urban wastes by local actors can be a resource for building sustainable food systems. Some orienting questions include: how can urban health concerns be a lever for the sustainable development of periurban territories? Is the development of supermarkets in the global South “sustainability friendly”? Is the management of food waste a way to promote sustainable food systems at the territorial scale? The session will confront initiatives promoted by macro/ international actors with ones carried out by local/small actors. This will be an opportunity to discuss political and social sustainability transitions in the different cases and to discuss if the processes presented are ways to reach sustainable development goals, with a special focus on social impacts, food safety and waste management.

Session 10. "Innovations in approaches and tools for inclusive and efficient value chain development"

Organiser: Maximo Torrero (PIM-IFPRI)
Further details to come

Last update: 22 November 2016

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