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Groundbreaking laws at your fingertips in an all new FAOLEX

03/03/2017 - 

FAO is helping countries make eradicating hunger the law of the land.

France now bans supermarkets from throwing away unsold food. Bolivia’s new law promotes healthy eating and Nepal has made the Right to Food a fundamental right for its citizens. Legislation is vital in shaping a country’s approach to eliminating hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity.

These groundbreaking laws are just some of the highlights and latest entries included in FAOLEX, FAO’s comprehensive database of national legislation, policies and bilateral agreements on food, agriculture and natural resources management.

FAO’s Development Law Branch, along with technical officers and experts in agriculture, forestry and fisheries, has long assisted Member States in the creation of sound legal frameworks on topics crucial to today’s challenges, topics such as the equitable right to food, the prevention of environmental degradation and the sustainable use of land and natural resources. Collecting similar laws and policies from around the globe helps these efforts by providing countries strong examples from which to work.

In 1948, FAO inherited the functions and assets of the Institute of International Agriculture (IIA), including the statistical information on farming and agricultural products collected by the IIA since its establishment in 1905. The Legal Office has supplemented FAO’s collection of information, cataloguing relevant laws and agreements on topics such as food, agriculture and nutrition. This has been one of FAO’s key services to its Nation Member States, as well as to the larger public. Containing over 70 years of legislation, FAOLEX is also an important source of information for historians, legal scholars and researchers.

FAOLEX currently contains legal and policy documents from over 200 countries and territories in over 40 languages. This free and globally recognized online database is regularly updated and is a comprehensive source of global legislation with over 130,000 entries. It is indispensable for comparative legal analysis, but ultimately and above all, it is a lawmaking tool.

FAOLEX data has also been integrated into ECOLEX, a database on environmental law that is jointly operated by FAO, IUCN and UNEP. The result of this integration is the largest available resource on environmental law globally, containing not only legislation, but also international treaties, court decisions, decisions of multilateral environmental agreements, and relevant literature.

Now acting as a gateway to other FAO resources, the new, integrated FAOLEX is friendlier to search and more intuitive to use. The database can be searched by country or topic and is cross referenced throughout FAO’s web sites and FAOLEX’s associated databases.

Contact faolex@fao.org for any requests or questions on functionality.