1. As stated in the Director-General's foreword, the Organization sought to deliver its approved programme of work in the face of continued austerity. The Regular Programme appropriation remained unchanged at US$650 million, entailing a decrease in real terms. As shown in Figure 1.1 total expenditure increased by nearly 9 percent from US$1,200 million in 1998-99 to US$1,304 million in 2000-01. This was largely the result of a US$150 million increase in emergency assistance, US$100 million related to the Iraq Oil for Food Programme and US$50 million related to other special relief operations. This contributed to a 25 percent increase in expenditure under Trust Funds and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Expenditure under General and Related Funds, which includes the Regular Programme appropriation and reimbursements from jointly financed investment activities and support costs, declined by about 4 percent.
2. An overall assessment of the Organization's performance during the 2000-01 biennium is provided after this summary and is amplified in the part of the Programme Implementation Report (PIR) that provides details of programme implementation. More detailed information on the implementation of outputs in 2000-01 can be found on the FAO Internet site http//www.fao.org/pir/.
3. The current PIR, with its focus on implementation of the Programme of Work and Budget (PWB) 2000-01, cannot provide a detailed assessment of the impact of FAO's activities since, generally, the impact of a particular action requires much longer than two years to become evident. Following adoption of The Strategic Framework for FAO 2000-2015 in November 1999, the new programme model and planning framework and methodology embodied in it were applied in the Medium Term Plan (MTP) 2002-07 and the PWB 2002-03. As a result, future PIRs are expected to evolve into documents with a longer-term perspective, encompassing the time period of the MTP. In addition, with inclusion in the MTP of indicators for achieving objectives and specification of the means for their verification, future PIRs will be better placed to report on achievements against intended outcomes. While not having the benefit of a formal structure of assessment, a selective number of examples, where FAO actions have had or are expected to have a major impact, are identified below.
4. International negotiations in relation to plant health and the environment led to agreements in several important areas. The Interim Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (ICPM) approved four new international standards and established its Standards Committee to replace the Interim Standards Committee. The ICPM concluded procedures for the settlement of disputes, and on the concepts of a phytosanitary information exchange system. It also established specifications for a standard on plant pest risks associated with living modified organisms (LMOs). These actions, together with the support given to updated and strengthened phytosanitary legislation, regulations and infrastructure at national levels, combined for more effective implementation of the IPPC. Given the key role of the latter in the enhanced trade regime put in place after conclusion of the Uruguay Round, such progress translates more or less directly into expanding and greatly facilitating commercial exchanges across countries and regions.
5. The International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides was revised through a process of expert meetings and consultation with governments. Consensus was reached on all amendments, except for one paragraph. FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO) accepted the same specification procedures leading to the joint development of 22 new pesticide specifications. The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee, the interim governing body for the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent procedure for international trade in hazardous chemicals, for which FAO and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) provide the Interim Secretariat, met twice to prepare for the first Conference of Parties and to supervise the Interim PIC Procedure. Two further pesticides were included in PIC, making a total of 28 pesticides and five industrial chemicals. Given the still widespread major risks to human health and to the environment in developing countries posed by the unsafe use of pesticides and pervasive lack of awareness, a more effective regulatory framework at international and national levels should have a lasting positive effect.
6. In the past two years the Global IPM Facility has supported emerging national IPM programmes in 15 countries in Africa, South America, the Near East and Asia. It has catalysed two new subregional initiatives: one among Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) countries to strengthen their position vis-à-vis more restrictive import policies on pesticide residues in major global markets; and the other in West Africa among countries sharing the Senegal and Niger Rivers, to improve their community-based management of agricultural pollutants endangering both aquatic and irrigated production systems and important wetland conservation areas. IPM-related national policy reforms to reduce pesticide subsidies in order to enter and maintain international markets have been stimulated by the Facility in Asia and Latin America. Rapid spread of IPM techniques leads to lower use of chemical pesticides, benefiting trade in two ways: less imports of costly imports, and export of products which may be more acceptable to consumers.
7. The EMPRES Special Programme (Desert Locust component) has a three-pronged impact on effective common action against the desert locust, by assisting countries with the essential components of early warning, early reaction and research. A donor-supported field programme in nine locust-affected countries around the Red Sea (Central Region) has been operational since 1997, and is being expanded to nine countries in West and North Africa (Western Region). FAO technical staff in Egypt, Ethiopia, and Yemen and government-appointed EMPRES liaison officers in the participating countries work together to strengthen national capacities to implement a preventive control strategy and reduce the risk of desert locust plagues in the future. The programme has been particularly successful in preventing large-scale desert locust infestations through detection of potential outbreaks and early reaction control operations, although much work remains to be done to ensure that national locust units are capable, sustainably, of implementing preventive control practices.
8. EMPRES-Livestock assists countries with emergency contingency plans, assistance to diagnostic laboratories and training of animal health workers in the early recognition of disease - key aspects in early warning and effective early reaction. A major focus is on the Global Rinderpest Eradication Programme (GREP), which is getting increasingly closer to its basic aim of total elimination of rinderpest from the world by 2010. There is growing confidence that areas in Pakistan and in the Somali ecosystem constitute the last reservoirs of rinderpest infection left, and that complete eradication by 2010 is achievable and will have a very positive effect on livestock production. Continued work is required to verify disease freedom and maintain emergency preparedness to guard against rinderpest resurgence. Progressive control and containment of other transboundary animal diseases, such as foot-and-mouth disease, bovine pleuropneumonia, African swine fever, Newcastle disease and Rift Valley fever, have been instrumental in keeping these diseases from becoming widespread, with obvious positive impact on animal husbandry in very poor regions, including partoralist groups which depend upon livestock for their livelihood.
9. The FAO MicroBanking System is a low-cost, comprehensive banking software designed for a range of financial products (loans, savings, current accounts, time deposits and share accounts) plus a general ledger module for accounting purposes. It is suitable for use by a wide range of small and medium- scale rural financial institutions and also for larger banks. It has had a proven a major impact on improving effectiveness of banking operations in developing countries, by keeping accurate and updated records of transactions and accounts and enhancing outreach to small clients through increased staff productivity and reduced transaction costs. The system is being operated in more than ten languages (English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian and various Southeast Asian languages) and is running on some 1,500 installations in over 25 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Central and Eastern Europe and the Near East. A Windows-based product, FAO/GTZ MB Win, with several new features has been developed jointly with the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and is currently being tested under various conditions. It is expected to replace the earlier DOS-based version of the MicroBanker in the years to come, further contributing to expansion of this very popular software.
10. Conservation agriculture aims to conserve, improve and make more efficient use of natural resources through integrated management of available soil, water and biological resources, combined with external inputs. The resulting economic and environmental benefits include lower production costs, increased productivity and output, improved soil fertility, improved recharge and better regulated stream flows. Conservation agriculture fits into different types of production systems in different climates. For example, it can reduce the impact of intensive livestock production by recycling nutrients from wastes. FAO has been promoting this concept for more than ten years, particularly in Latin America, where it is now practised on over 25 million hectares of farmland. Conservation agriculture has had an impact on improved environmental conservation, enhanced and sustained agricultural production, and reduction in labour peaks, facilitating other income-generating activities and mitigating hardships in households with few members of working age. Based on this success, FAO is expanding promotion of conservation agriculture to other regions, such as Africa and Central Asia.
11. The Codex Alimentarius has been instrumental in drawing international attention to critical issues of food quality and safety. During the major part of the past half century, all important food related aspects pertaining to the protection of consumer health and fair practices in trade came under the scrutiny of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the most extensive international body charged with the development of standards for food. The Commission, jointly sponsored by FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO), has encouraged food-related scientific and technological research as well as the coordination of standardization work undertaken in other international bodies. In doing so, it has lifted the world community's awareness of food safety and related issues and as recognized under the World Trade Organization Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, has become the single most important international reference point for developments associated with food standards and human health.
12. FIVIMS was created in recognition of the need for improved information for decision-makers to reduce the number of undernourished in the world and achieve food security for all. The establishment of "national FIVIMS" is making steady progress thanks to concerted support from FAO and partner institutions. The State of Food Insecurity in the World, an annual FAO publication, undoubtedly played a key role in raising international awareness that progress towards reaching the World Food Summit target to halve the number of undernourished people in the developing world by 2015, was too slow. Recognition of the seriousness of this situation led to the organization of the World Food Summit: five years later to review, at the highest political level, progress in implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action.
13. GIEWS is recognized as the leading source of information on the outlook for food production and food security globally and for individual regions and countries. It is a worldwide network that includes 115 governments, 61 non-governmental organizations and numerous trade, research and media organizations. It maintains and continually updates a database on global, regional, national and subnational food security. While it cannot, of course, act on the causes by providing policy-makers and relief agencies throughout the world with the most up-to-date and accurate information available on new and ongoing food emergencies GIEWS has greatly facilitated international responses. Because of the increasing frequency of natural and human-induced disasters worldwide, GIEWS has over the past five years undertaken an average of 33 crop and food assessment missions per year to affected countries, up from an average of 18 in the early 1990s.
14. FAO is committed to provide to Member Nations trade-related assistance, especially in support to the new WTO negotiations on agriculture. Technical assistance aims at enhancing the capacity of developing countries and economies in transition to participate effectively in multilateral negotiations and to derive maximum benefit from global trade. During the period 1999-2001, 14 subregional training workshops were conducted to strengthen trade-related capacity reaching a total of 850 specialists from 151 developing countries and countries in transition. A Resource manual on multilateral trade negotiations on agriculture served as main support material. National workshops were also organized to assist governments and other stakeholders to identify national interests and clarify negotiating positions vis-à-vis issues in the multilateral negotiations.
15. The Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, approved by the FAO Conference in November 1995, sets out principles and international standards of behaviour for responsible practices with a view to ensuring the effective conservation, management and development of living aquatic resources, with due regard for the ecosystem and biodiversity. It has been published by FAO in Arabic, Chinese, English, French and Spanish and in addition a number of governments, industry and NGOs have taken the initiative to translate it into other languages. An integral component of the Code is the Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas, which has reached 22 acceptances, with 25 acceptances required for the Agreement to come into force. One of the major achievements of the Code to date was that it led to the formulation of, four International Plans of Action (IPOAs). These IPOAs are designed to address specific fisheries issues of high priority, i.e. reducing the incidental catch of seabirds in longline fisheries, the conservation and management of sharks, the management of fishing capacity and preventing, deterring and eliminating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. To support the implementation of the Code and the IPOAs, FAO has prepared technical guidelines designed to provide practical guidance to governments and other stakeholders.
16. In 2001 FAO published the results of the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2000 (FRA 2000), the most comprehensive assessment ever undertaken of the world's forest resources. FRA 2000 was based on information provided by countries, as well as on contributions from hundreds of independent experts and organizations, supplemented by a remote sensing survey of forest cover change in the tropics, and new global maps of forests and ecological regions. FRA 2000 includes new estimates of forest cover, deforestation, forest biomass, and the results of special studies on a number of key aspects such as biodiversity, forest fires, wood supply, forest management, trees outside forests, and protected forest areas. Detailed country profiles are available on the FAO website, and a number of countries are using this information to strengthen their forest policies and practices. FRA 2000 already has had an impact on policy decisions in countries and at the global level, and it is being used by universities, researchers, governments and NGOs as an authoritative reference source on the state of the world's forest resources.
17. FAO provided critical support to the establishment of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) to meet annually in the 2001 - 2005 period to consider ways to achieve sustainable forest management. More over, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) was established under FAO's chairmanship. The CPF is a unique inter-agency coalition of the major international organizations which are concerned about forests. The CPF will support the UNFF process, and serves as a mechanism for strengthening collaboration among organizations which are working to promote improved management and conservation of forests world-wide. The CPF is having a major impact on the way member organizations do business, offering a model that organizations in other sectors may wish to emulate.
18. The SPFS assists low-income food-deficit countries (LIFDCs) to improve food security through rapid increases in productivity and food production using economical and sustainable methods, reducing production variation from one year to the next and improving access to food. In 2000-01, the SPFS was operational in 66 countries and formulated or under formulation in 17 others. As a most telling measure of the impact, the biennial Regular Programme provision of US$10 million has been instrumental in mobilizing additional resources exceeding US$240 million in the form of multilateral, bilateral and domestic contributions from a broad range of donors, as well as through national budgets. South-South cooperation under the SPFS, which allows recipient countries to benefit from the experience and expertise of other developing countries, is an integral part of the programme and has expanded rapidly. Through 25 South-South cooperation agreements, some 1,370 experts and field technicians have been committed, 340 of whom were fielded.