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    Jeroen Dijkman
  • Senior Officer, Livestock Information, Sector Analysis and Policy Branch
    FAO HQ, Room C-572
    Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
    Rome 00153, Italy
    Tel: +39 06 570 54747
  • Jeroen.Dijkman@fao.org
Photo credit: Daryl Nearing

AGA NEWS

Fourth Global Agenda of Action meeting aims towards practice change

Sustainable Livestock. For people, for the planet.

The Agenda partnership unites the forces of key sector representatives of the public and private sector, civil society and community-based organizations, producers, and research and academic institutes. The partnership builds consensus on the path towards sustainable food security through, dialogue, consultation, and joint analyses directed at collaborative actions that catalyze practice change.

 

The fourth Agenda Multi-Stakeholder Platform meeting, organized by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Canadian Livestock Sector [1], and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, held in Ottawa, Canada from 15 to 17 October 2013, brought together more than one hundred Agenda partners from all stakeholder groups. The meeting aimed to ensure that the Agenda becomes more effective at catalyzing practice change through: (i) the concrete commitment by individual partners to the achievement of the goals set out in the Agenda Consensus; (ii) a strengthened understanding and agreement on the sustainability issues at the basis of the Agenda objectives, and the underlying science; (iii) the identification of how to facilitate innovation; and (iv) an understanding of the policies, institutions and incentives that catalyze practice change towards sustainability in food and agriculture.

 

To achieve these objectives, the meeting combined presentations, partner panels and break-out group sessions over its three days. These sessions agreed that the Agenda addresses all facets of sustainability and that its inclusion of all key stakeholders contributes to a clear ‘voice’ for all facets. The session also recognized that this diversity of interest, systems, and contexts, brings the concomitant need for the Agenda to facilitate the supply of targeted responses.

 

Four main elements of practice change, i.e. knowledge and analyses, policy dialogue, tools and innovation, and the importance of the creation of a shared vision (including targets, indicators and actions), were considered key in the identification of all facet wins. In addition, the primary role of producers in practice change and the role of the Agenda in capacity building and awareness creation in combination with a need for the Agenda to increase functional linkages among global, national and local levels (multi-directional), to become more effective at catalyzing practice change was discussed.

 

The meeting highlighted that the Agenda needs to move towards catalyzing national level activities, to facilitate practice change. There is also a clear need to incorporate other skills, stakeholders, and facets of sustainability into the Agenda’s Focus Area Groups. In essence, this entails that the Focus Area Groups need to become more like MSPs. Although the Agenda is making significant progress, it needs to better manage stakeholder expectations, and highlight its value added and role in catalyzing practice change. This includes the large value it brings to the exchange of experiences and the subsequent learning that is driving the Agenda.

 

The meeting endorsed all issues raised in the meeting’s discussion document, including a name change to “Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock”. The Guiding Group was asked to further develop the refinements proposed to the Agenda’s governance, in collaboration with the Agenda Support Team, over the next 6 months for further discussion with the MSP. The meeting also endorsed the need for adjustments to the Agenda’s strategy and a renewed business and action plan, including funding, which will be prepared by the Guiding Group with the Support Group in the coming months.