2009 was declared the International Year of Natural Fibres (IYNF) on December 20 by the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York. The IYNF will help to develop the efficiency and sustainability of agricultural industries that employ millions of people, contribute to food security and provide economic development opportunities.
The International Jute Study Group (IJSG) welcomes the UN General Assembly resolution adopted on 20 December 2006 declaring 2009 the International Year of Natural Fibres (IYNF). IYNF will contribute to the Millennium Development Goals by further developing the agricultural industries that provides employment opportunities to a large number of people in some of the world’s poorest countries, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The UN decision follows a request by the biennial Conference of FAO in November 2006.
Millions of people around the world, among them some of the poorest people in some of the poorest countries depend on the production and processing of natural fibres for their livelihood. Natural fibres contribute to food security and economic advancement for these farmers.
The International Year of Natural Fibres will raise consumer awareness of natural fibres and strengthen demand for natural fibre products improving the livelihoods of the farmers who produce them and revenues for countries which export them, says FAO. At the same time, promoting the use of natural fibres will enhance the environment.
The wide range of natural fibres includes cotton, wool, jute, flax, silk, sisal, coconut fibre and many others. Some are produced from plants, others from animals, and they are used in clothing and other consumer goods, as well as in industrial applications. Virtually every country in the world produces some natural fibres.
According to FAO, there is almost no limit to the type of activities that might form part of the International Year of Natural Fibres. Fashion shows, exhibitions, conferences, production of TV documentaries and books, and competitions for school children, could all be developed in the many countries expected to take part. Under the general guidance of an International Steering Committee, FAO would be the coordinator of activities in the Year of Natural Fibres, with many activities being undertaken by partner organisations.
(Cf. news from Dec. 21 2006.)
United Nations General Assembly Resolution vom 2006-12-23.