The World Rural Forum (WRF), an international non-government organization, partners with other international organizations to document rural development practices, as well as advocate for positive change, sustainability, and equality in the lives of smallholder farmer farmers and other rural citizens. Founded in Spain in 1999, the WRF has recently become a member of the International Land Coalition (ILC), which works to protect farmers’ land rights in order to promote food security through efforts such as lobbying, networking, and spreading awareness of rural environments, working in the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Although it is not a research organization, WRF coordinates the sending of volunteers and aids research organizations with development proposals targeted at rural-specific issues, and then works to further the implementation of those proposals, helping to ensure that both farmers and researchers are heard. WRF has been represented at many hunger- and food-related conferences: representatives from WRF attended ILC’s Global Land Forum and the United Nations’ Madrid High-Level Consultation on Hunger, Food Security and Nutrition in the Post-2015 Development Framework this past April.
Not only is WRF a sponsor of the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF), the organization actually launched the campaign to designate 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming in 2006 at the Il Farmers Forum in Rome. The WRF’s aim was to increase worldwide visibility and support for smallholder family farmers, and, after a great deal of campaigning for support, they finally obtained their goal at the end of 2011. Dubbing 2014 the International Year of Family Farming furthers the WRF’s goal of acting as a mouthpiece for rural farmers and helps to spotlight the challenges, achievements, and potential of family farmers in rural areas around the world.