Food transformations and (un)sustainable diets: Taking consumption seriously in development research

By Arve Hansen

The world is in dire need of more sustainable and healthy food systems. The development field has much to say on the topic but has historically had a clear focus on either food supply or food deprivation. The potential benefits and positive spill-over effects of eating healthier and more sustainably have, however, led to increasing and wider attention to the demand side of food. Recent research suggests that the sustainability potential of dietary change is considerably larger than that of improving production. If we could just change what people eat, and at the same time avoid some of the ongoing nutrition transitions in low- and middle-income countries, it would have a massive ripple effect in entire food systems.

Continue reading “Food transformations and (un)sustainable diets: Taking consumption seriously in development research”

The ecological consequences of ‘economic development’: the expansion of gold mining in the Volta Grande do Xingu

By Amélie Foko’o Magoua, Anna Chevalier, Cassandra Ajufoh and Tomaso Ferrando

On June 5th, a group of inhabitants of the agrarian reform settlement Ressaca in the Brazilian state of Para organized a collective action to take back public land previously turned over to Belo Sun Ltd, a Canadian mining company. The action, conducted with the support of indigenous communities and actors from across the Amazon region, aimed at vindicating the right of people to the integrity of their territories and opposing the way in which regulators, politicians and private companies were sacrificing them in the name of gold extraction and global trade in natural resources. Moreover, the action was a clear signal against the limits of national legal processes and a consequence of a frustrating visit to public and private actors in the European Union.

Continue reading “The ecological consequences of ‘economic development’: the expansion of gold mining in the Volta Grande do Xingu”

Displaced as data in times of climate crisis: the shrieking silence of disaster-displacement in India

By Mausumi Moran Chetia

Assam in the Northeast of India is tormented with disasters such as floods, riverbank erosion, and related displacement. Baan-Khohonia, as colloquially called, or floods-erosion are mutually related – floods can increase the rate of erosion of a river’s banks, and erosion in turn can lead to increased flooding.

As this is written, Assam is reeling under massive disasters, facing floods for the second time this year, erosion and landslides, aggravated by human interventions. At its peak, close to 5 million people were affected, while attracting the United Nation’s support. Official data state the death of 135 people; and report 176201 people who were living in relief camps until 28th June, excluding people living in unofficial, self-made relief camps.

Continue reading “Displaced as data in times of climate crisis: the shrieking silence of disaster-displacement in India”

Who to blame? The rough start for living income cocoa prices in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana

By Felix Maile, Bernhard Tröster, Cornelia Staritz and Jan Grumiller

Commodity price instability is a major challenge for commodity-dependent countries. This is also true for the major cocoa producer countries Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, which account for two thirds of world’s cocoa production. As we argue in a recent article in the EJDR , the two West African countries can challenge the price-setting power of highly concentrated international buyers through their state-governed price-stabilization measures. However, export and producer price stabilization is limited to one season and entails great risks for the state due to intra-seasonal price volatility. Moreover, inter-seasonal price instability is not addressed and largely born by smallholder farmers, and export and producer prices remain linked to world prices set on futures markets in London and New York.

Continue reading “Who to blame? The rough start for living income cocoa prices in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana”

Time to consider ‘multidimensional poverty’ and ‘inequality’ in Fiji and the wider Pacific

By Kim Andreas Kessler

The recent adjustment of Fiji’s estimated poverty rate by the World Bank has caused controversies. While it is important to scrutinise this key figure, policy dialogue and policymaking should not miss the bigger picture. Economic poverty is only one dimension of poverty. Besides this, considering inequalities is crucial to evaluate Fiji’s progress and recalibrate polices aiming to enhance the quality of life of deprived Fijians.

Continue reading “Time to consider ‘multidimensional poverty’ and ‘inequality’ in Fiji and the wider Pacific”