Food Diversity Between Human and Cultural Rights, Food Sovereignty and Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage

  • Maurizia Pierri
Part of the LITES - Legal Issues in Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies book series (LITES, volume 2)


The right to food is a complex right. It is a human right, closely connected to the right to life, but it is also an economic and a cultural right. This complex nature influences its legal protection, even at a constitutional level, especially with reference to the cultural aspect involving not only the quantity (a sufficient level of nutrition) but also the qualitative perspective (an adequate level of nutrition). The protection of the right to food, even under the cultural profile, refers to two different concepts, that some consider complementary, but others consider alternatives: RtAF (the Human Right to Adequate Food) and Food Sovereignty. The first one dates to the Universal Declaration of human rights that declares in Article 25 that it is a fundamental human right, instrumental to a dignified life. It implies the possibility for every person to have access to healthy nutrition, safe and adequate in terms of both quality and quantity. The second one can be synthesised as the right of people, communities and countries to define and to determine their own (national) food and agricultural system, as well as to carry out policies that include agricultural production for the local market. This is clearly stated in certain constitutions or national legislative provisions (Venezuela-2008, Senegal-2004, Mali-2006, Nicaragua-2009, Ecuador-2009, Nepal-2009, Bolivia-2009). In the light of both these concepts, the right to food—even in terms of quality and hence culture—appears to be a human right (and, therefore, indefeasible) more than an economic right.


Right to food Cultural rights The human right to adequate food Food sovereignty 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maurizia Pierri
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Legal StudiesUniversity of SalentoLecceItaly

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