In March, Susan H. Bragdon and Nora Meier submitted a written contribution to the Berlin Charter on rural development and food security.
The Federal German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has invited an international group of high-level experts to elaborate a document on rural development (Berlin Charter), which will be presented as an input to the BMZ International Conference on Rural Development entitled One Hunger, Future of the Rural World. This conference will be held in Berlin on April 27-28, 2017.
The Berlin Charter highlights major global trends, challenges and in particular arising opportunities for rural areas. Its aim is to portray a modern and innovation-driven development vision of the rural world, closing with a call for action to the international development community. The Charter is intended to motivate decision-makers to step up to support rural development. More broadly, the Charter is supposed to serve as a roadmap and an inspiration and finally as a reminder of how important rural development is for achieving sustainable global development.
The BMZ opened up the process of the finalization of the text of the Berlin Charter. QUNO welcomed this opportunity to provide input on the Charter’s text and commented on the potential of the Sustainable Development Goals to provide for a more integrated and inclusive approach to rural development. QUNO appreciated the focus of the Charter on youth as agents of change, however, Programme Assistant Nora Meier, also emphasized the importance of another agent of change to be added to the Charter – small-scale farmers. Support for the latter is particularly important in the context of rural development and the need to make rural life and the activities of small-scale farmers an attractive option to youth.