Now more than ever is the time to get keyed in to the good work Oxfam is doing. For the past few years (up until Congress dropped climate change legislation from the radar), Oxfam America's main focus was getting Congress to finance international adaptation to climate change. The next mini-campaign, up until the UN Millennium Development Goals summit, was around calling on President Obama to develop a US Global Development Strategy (victory!). Now Oxfam is expanding the conversation to include food, and as far as I know will continue to do so up until the 2012 Farm Bill is voted on.
Oxfam's current campaign, "Sow the Seed," is asking world leaders to support the world’s poorest food producers as they fight climate change. This campaign officially begins on World Food Day, which leads up to the climate summit in Cancun November 29.
Our two "asks" in the US are for our members of Congress to:
1. Pass the Global Food Security Act. Strengthen it to support communities in their efforts to build resistance to climate change - and combat the adverse effects of climate change on their crops.
2. Urge President Barack Obama to establish a fair, accessible and accountable global climate fund at the climate summit in Cancun later this year that will sow the seed for a binding global climate agreement by 2012.
People can get involved in advocating for these causes with Oxfam by
a) joining an Oxfam Action Corps if you live in one of the following cities:
New York, NY
San Francisco, CA
Several of my fellow Oxfam Action Corps NYC volunteers have been in Iowa this week for the Norman Borlaug Dialogue / World Food Prize event, learning more about ending world hunger. You can find out more about OAC NYC at http://www.oxfamactioncorpsnyc.org/ (the other OAC pages are linked from here as well). Or alternatively, visit http://www.oxfamactioncorps.org
b) Tomorrow (World Food Day), Oxfam Action Corps in these various cities will be holding events to get petition signatures and have people plant seeds through creative activities. If you do not live in one of these cities, you can still support the Sow the Seed campaign by growing a "virtual plant" by taking the actions listed on the website, sowtheseed.net - growing plants, uploading photos of plants grown at home for the "photo petition," and sharing and promoting the actions through your own social networks. The number of actions taken around the world will be shown as a rolling number on this virtual plant.
c) Get advocacy updates from Oxfam America by signing up at http://oxfamamerica.org/