Worldwatch’s Brian Halweil to Speak at 2009 World Food Prize Conference

Halweil's Participation Points to a Changing Policy Landscape Seeking Innovative Solutions that Nourish People and the Planet

Washington, D.C.- Worldwatch Senior Researcher Brian Halweil will join World Food Prize Laureate Hans Herren, International Food Policy Research Institute Director General Joachim von Braun, and other food and agriculture experts tomorrow at 10:45 a.m. for Assessing Progress in Global Agriculture, a conversation at the World Food Prize's 2009 Borlaug Dialogue. The conference will take place in Des Moines, Iowa.

Halweil will discuss the recent and perceptible shift in food-security thinking that takes into account new threats such as climate change and food security; values innovative ecological solutions in agriculture rather than just new technologies and higher yields; and recognizes the central role that food will play in poverty, climate, and other global discussions. In June, the United Nations reported that the number of hungry people on the planet topped 1 billion for the first time. Despite the fact that there is more technology and more food in the world than ever before, the number of hungry people keeps rising.

As co-director of the Worldwatch Institute's Nourishing the Planet Project, Halweil will assess the state of agricultural innovations-from cropping methods to irrigation technology to agricultural policy-with an emphasis on sustainability, diversity, and ecosystem health, as well as productivity. The project will culminate in the release of State of the World 2011, a themed edition of the Institute's annual report  focused on hunger. The Nourishing the Planet Project aims to both inform global efforts to eradicate hunger and raise the profile of these efforts while considering the institutional infrastructure needed by each of the approaches analyzed, suggesting what sort of companion investments are likely to determine success-from local seed banks to processing facilities, and from pro-poor value chains to marketing bureaus.

For more information on the Worldwatch Institute's Nourishing the Planet Project, please visit http://blogs.worldwatch.org/nourishingtheplanet/. To learn more about the World Food Prize's 2009 Borlaug Dialogue, please visit http://www.worldfoodprize.org/symposium/2009.htm.