aThe World Agricultural Forum (WAF), a nonprofit organization that provides the only neutral and inclusive forum for global dialogue on critical issues involving food and agriculture, announced on March 6, 2003, the creation of the NGO (Non-Governmental Organizations) Advisory Council. The WAF used a $200,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to create the Advisory Council.
“In the food systems arena, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation wants to see a safe and wholesome food supply that supports economic viability and brings environmental benefits,” said Rick Foster, vice president of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “By providing this grant to the WAF, we are embracing its continuous efforts to bring together our world’s leaders to address critical agricultural issues. We look forward to the positive effect the WAF’s NGO Advisory Council will have on our society.”
Comprised of representatives from the foremost international NGOs and foundations, the Advisory Council will provide the WAF with insights on the challenges facing agricultural and food industries around the globe including market access and subsidies, the AIDS epidemic, technology transfer, and natural resource management. In return, WAF provides council members with an outlet for open, neutral dialogue with industry and government leaders regarding policy development and agricultural solutions.
“Ongoing, open dialogue is key to advancing socialization,” said Mark Ritchie, president, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, and WAF NGO Advisory Council member. “The agriculture industry is highly fragmented, with poor to nonexistent communication across sectors. Global stability hinges on the creation of an agricultural agenda that addresses nations’ specific political, economic and social needs with proactive, long-term resolutions.”
NGO Advisory Council members include: Laura Blanco, The Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress, Costa Rica; Norm Braksick, Foods Resource Bank, Michigan; Jonathan Campaigne, PRIDE Africa, Kenya; Jason Clay, Acting Vice President, Center for Conservation Innovation, World Wildlife Fund, Washington, DC; Alfredo Espinosa, Fundacion Mexicana para el Desarrollo, Mexico; Oran Hesterman, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Michigan; Rehana Khilji, Strengthening Participatory Organization, Pakistan; Tony Long, WWF European Policy Office, Belgium; Jim McDonald, Bread for the World, Washington, D.C.; Ralph Paige, Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund, Georgia; Mark Ritchie, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Minnesota; Judith Symonds, Future Harvest, Washington, D.C.; Frank Tugwell, Winrock International, Arkansas; Florence Wambugu, A Harvest Biotech Foundation International, Kenya; Amina Hassane Wangari, West African Business Women’s Network, Niger; and Oren Whyche-Shaw, Technoserve, Inc., Washington, D.C.