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Social inclusion must become backbone of development: FAO

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credit: www.fao.org

By NewsGram Staff Writer

Rome: Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Director General, Jose Graziano da Silva insisted that Social inclusion must become the backbone of development.

credit: www.un.org
credit: www.un.org

Prensa Latina news agency quoted da Silva as saying, “yet we will achieve neither social inclusion nor development, unless our choices are guided by sustainability.”

“The next 15 years will be decisive for our planet’s future. During this period, we will face some of the 21st century’s greatest challenges, amidst an ongoing and profound transition in the global economy,” he said.

“Today, nearly 800 million people do not have enough food to eat. Yet enough food is being produced in the world to feed everyone. Clearly, we need urgent solutions to overcome the structural bottlenecks that prevent the hungry from accessing food.”

“We are the first generation that can end hunger and make food and nutrition security truly universal. And perhaps we are also the last generation in a position to avoid irreversible damage brought about by climate change.”

“The political framework needed to move us in the right direction requires an unprecedented degree of political commitment.”

“One critical step in that direction will be taken later this month, when the international community endorses the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, with an ambitious agenda to change the world for betterment in the next 15 years,” da Silva said.

He further said, “This new global pact for the future crucially includes ending poverty and hunger by 2030, mitigating and adapting to climate change and finding more sustainable ways to make supply meet demand.”

“The choices we make as consumers have now become just as important for the future as the ones we make as producers,” he added.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Italy to Make Climate Change and Sustainable Development Study Compulsory for School Children

Many traditional subjects, such as geography, mathematics and physics, would also be studied from the perspective of sustainable development

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Italy, Climate Change, Sustainable Development
Italy's Education Minister Lorenzo Fioramonti gestures during an interview with Reuters in Rome, Italy, November 4, 2019. VOA

Italy will next year become the world’s first country to make it compulsory for schoolchildren to study climate change and sustainable development, Education Minister Lorenzo Fioramonti said.

Fioramonti, from the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, is the government’s most vocal supporter of green policies and was criticized by the opposition in September for encouraging students to skip school and take part in climate protests.

In an interview in his Rome office on Monday, Fioramonti said all state schools would dedicate 33 hours per year, almost one hour per school week, to climate change issues from the start of the next academic year in September.

Many traditional subjects, such as geography, mathematics and physics, would also be studied from the perspective of sustainable development, said the minister, a former economics professor at South Africa’s Pretoria University.

Italy, Climate Change, Sustainable Development
Fioramonti, from the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, is the government’s most vocal supporter of green policies and was criticized by the opposition in September. Pixabay

“The entire ministry is being changed to make sustainability and climate the center of the education model,” Fioramonti told Reuters in the interview conducted in fluent English.

“I want to make the Italian education system the first education system that puts the environment and society at the core of everything we learn in school.”

Fioramonti, 42, the author of several books arguing gross domestic product should no longer be used as the main measure of countries’ economic success, has been a target of the right-wing opposition since becoming a minister in the two-month-old government of 5-Star and the center-left Democratic Party.

His proposals for new taxes on airline tickets, plastic and sugary foods to raise funds for education were strongly attacked by critics who said Italians were already over-taxed.

 

He then sparked fury from conservatives when he suggested crucifixes should be removed from Italian classrooms to create a more inclusive environment for non-Christians.

Despite the criticism, the government’s 2020 budget presented to parliament this week included both the plastic tax and a new tax on sugary drinks.

“I was ridiculed by everyone and treated like a village idiot, and now a few months later the government is using two of those proposals and it seems to me more and more people are convinced it is the way to go,” Fioramonti said.

ANTI-SALVINI

Italy, Climate Change, Sustainable Development
In an interview in his Rome office on Monday, Fioramonti said all state schools would dedicate 33 hours per year, almost one hour per school week, to climate change issues from the start. Pixabay

Surveys showed 70-80% of Italians backed taxing sugar and flights, he said, adding that coalition lawmakers had told him they would table budget amendments to introduce his proposal to hike air ticket prices before the budget is approved by end-year.

Fioramonti said targeted taxes of this kind were a way of discouraging types of consumption which were harmful to the environment or individuals, while generating resources for schools, welfare or lowering income tax.

In this vein, he suggested other levies on various types of gambling and on profits from oil drilling.

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His progressive positions on the economy and the environment are the antithesis of Matteo Salvini’s hard-right League, which has overtaken 5-Star to become easily Italy’s most popular party, with more than 30% of voter support. (VOA)