The state of Sikkim in northern India has been awarded this year's Future Policy Award (FPA) for its 100 percent organic farming. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Future Council and IFOAM Organics International nominate the world's best policy for the promotion of organic and sustainable food systems. Out of a total of 51 nominated contributions from 25 countries, the gold medal goes to Sikkim for the state's conversion to organic farming.
Sikkim's journey towards 100 percent organic agricultural land has not only benefited agriculture in the state, but the whole community and everyone who lives there. The state's political framework included a phasing out of the use of fertilizers and a total ban on both the sale and use of synthetic pesticides. The transition to organic farming has improved the living conditions of more than 66 farming families and benefited tourism in the country. Between 000 and 2014, the number of tourists increased by over 2017 percent. In this way, Sikkim has become a global role model for countries that want to scale up their agro-ecological agriculture.
Other countries and regions that have received awards from the FPA for their work in agroecology are Brazil, Denmark and Quito (Ecuador). According to IFOAM Organics International, these state-funded projects and policy decisions support Agenda 2030 and the global goals for sustainable development.
"By scaling up agroecology, it is possible to tackle important issues such as malnutrition, social injustice, climate change and the loss of biodiversity. With the help of efficient and comprehensive frameworks for this work, we can create a more sustainable food system. The winners of the Future Policy Award show that it is possible to push through this type of change. Decision-makers around the world should follow their example and come up with similar proposals, ”said Alexandra Wandel, Director and Vice-Chair of the World Future Council.
“- In order to achieve sustainable development, we need to accelerate the transition to sustainable food and agricultural systems. The 2018 Future Policy Award is unique in that it sheds light on the political frameworks that stimulate such a transition. The FAO is proud to work with the World Future Council and IFOAM Organics International to draw attention to such leadership and political will, ”said Maria-Helena Semedo, Deputy Director-General of the FAO.
This year's Future Policy Award draws attention to exceptional policies developed by political leaders who have decided to fight hunger, poverty and environmental degradation. One of these politicians is Pawan Chamling, a leading decision-maker in Sikkim, who stated that his state would become the first ecological state in the world. Sikkim reached its ambitious goal and is today a role model for many other countries ", says Louise Luttikholt, Executive Director at IFOAM - Organics International.
Read more about the Future Policy Award and Sikkim here. This article is a slightly abbreviated translation of IFOAM's article.