Declaration

Food and energy crisis
Challenges to fight poverty and protect the planet.

We, the members of the Belgian Council of Religious Leaders, are very much concerned by the present food crisis. We are unfortunately aware that this crisis is particularly hurting the poorest and the most vulnerable amongst us. Each of our religions recognizes in its own way the inviolable dignity of every human being, and commands us to stand by the victims of this food shortage.

We discovered that the food surpluses, aimed for consumption, have reached 20 mds dollars and that the quantity wasted approximates 100 mds dollars in one single country. 30 mds dollars are needed to put up with the present crisis which touches 862 millions of people around the world. The planet does have the capacity to feed the entire world population, so it is a moral duty to act quickly.

We are convinced that food security is a fundamental element to reach the Millenium Objectives for Development. Moreover we notice numerous links between energy and food shortages. Using food to create bio fuels has greatly contributed to these shortages and the energy cost has widened the gap between rich and poor.

Therefore, we appeal to the governments, the intergovernmental bodies and the entrepreneurial world to act quickly in order to solve this food crisis.

In view of the necessity of urgent action, the Belgian Council of Religious Leaders calls for :

All rich countries to reconsider all agricultural subsidies in order to avoid dumping, which is greatly detrimental to the production areas of developing countries;

Forming urgent partnerships to develop new methods to increase food production in the poor countries, whilst maintaining bio diversity;

Increase the production of bio fuels without creating conflicts with food production to insure self sufficiency and work in the poor countries;


Take measures to reduce the excessive food waste in the rich countries. Each man, women and child needs food to survive.

Our religions call on us to unite, and to work together to put an end to this food crisis. Let us unite to build a lasting system in which each community can have its food security guaranteed.

 

André Leonard (Roman Cathilic Community); M. Panteleimon (Orthodoxe Community); Robert Innes (Anglican Community); Guy Liagre en Francis Renneboog (Protestant-Evangelic Community); Abdulaziz M. Al-Yahya, Semsettin Ugurlu en Ahmed Hany Mahfoud (Moslim Community); Albert Guigui (Jewish Community), Lama Karta, Phra Suddhinanavides en Frank De Waele (Buddist Community); Herman Janssens (Hindu Community); Ramesh Mehta (Jaïn Community).