Wednesday, May 8, 2013

FAO Book Released: Indigenous Peoples' Food Systems & Well-being

Recently the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), a United Nations organization that focues on "rais[ing] levels of nutrition, improv[ing] agricultural productivity, better[ing] the lives of rural populations and contribut[ing] to the growth of the world economy" released a report titled, Indigenous Peoples' Food Systems & Well-being (2013). The 437-page book available here, discusses the following:
[i]ndigenous Peoples in cultural homelands of the most rural areas of developing regions experience challenges in using their traditional food systems and to ensure food security and health despite the treasures of food biodiversity that could support well-being. This book is the third in a series promoting use of local food systems by Indigenous Peoples; the first defines the process to document local food resources, and the second describes food systems in 12 diverse rural areas of different parts of the world. Here we describe processes and findings from more than 40 interdisciplinary collaborators who created health promotion interventions for communities using local food systems. Included are participatory processes using local knowledge and activities specifically for local food; global overviews of Indigenous Peoples' health circumstances, environmental concerns, and infant and child feeding practices; and nine specific case examples from Canada, Japan, Peru, India, Colombia, Thailand and the Federated States of Micronesia. Common themes of successful interventions and evaluations are given along with chapters on human rights issues and implications for policies and strategies. Throughout the 10 years of this research we have shown the strength and promise of local traditional food systems to improve health and well-being. This work is in context of the second United Nations' International Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

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