B. Highlights of Programme Implementation
39. The programme highlights in this section describe the outcomes of FAO’s work in the biennium in twelve selected areas under the three substantive chapters of the Programme of Work. They convey the key role that capacity building, partnerships and the TCP have played in the achievement of sustainable outcomes at country, regional and global levels. A summary of biennial output completion for each programme is provided in Annex 2, and a full accounting of expenditure and achievements at programme entity level is found in Annex 4.
a) PWB Chapter 2: Sustainable Food and Agricultural Systems
i) Transboundary animal and plant pests and diseases
40. During 2006-07, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and FAO's Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities (SFERA) facilitated rapid responses to outbreaks of transboundary animal and plant pests and diseases. Around the world, these rapid responses, together with innovations in control measures, mitigated the impact of outbreaks on rural people’s livelihoods and the environment.
Controlling Avian Influenza in Turkey
41. The Real-Time Evaluation of FAO’s Work on Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (2007) notes that SFERA: “stands out as a particularly positive contributing factor to the effectiveness of FAO's response to the [Avian Influenza] crisis.” Its use allowed for flexible and rapid interventions that helped avoiding a more extensive and damaging spread of the disease. The response to Avian Influenza in Turkey provides a telling example.
42. In the winter of 2005-2006, Avian Influenza appeared in Turkey for the first time. After an initial isolated outbreak in the north-west of the country in October 2005, the disease re-emerged in the north eastern part of the country, spreading quickly, with 200 outbreaks affecting poultry occurring during a three-month period. There were twelve cases of human infection, four of them fatal. Health sector authorities and the poultry industry called for a nation-wide cull of all backyard poultry.
43. . Targeted culling: with SFERA funding, and in partnership with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Health Organization (WHO), national and internationally-recruited epidemiologists provided advice on control policies in general and on culling practices in particular. The government heeded FAO’s advice that killing all the backyard poultry in the country was an unnecessarily drastic response that would have a huge impact on livelihoods and food security in many rural communities. Because of the delay in implementing an effective response at the beginning of the crisis the number of outbreaks was rather high. Culling of all poultry was done on a targeted area basis, usually within a radius of 3 kilometres around the locations of the outbreak. As a consequence the crisis took a heavy toll with more than 2.5 million poultry culled. To draw lessons for the future, FAO carried out fieldwork on the impact this approach had on local livelihoods. The Organization advocated for more awareness, surveillance and early response combined with a targeted culling policy: an approach that would be effective in controlling the disease but not cause undue hardship on households dependant on backyard poultry for their livelihoods and food security.
44. . Rapid diagnosis: when the disease reoccurred in early 2007, FAO technical officers assisted the veterinary services in carrying out field investigations and provided real-time data analysis and advice. During the one-month long epidemic, there were 16 outbreaks affecting poultry, but no human infections. By applying the targeted culling policy recommended by FAO, the number of animals killed on average in each outbreak location fell from 12,000 in 2006 to 1,600 in 2007. This lessened the economic impact and did not influence the effectiveness of control in any way.
45. In 2007, FAO staff in Turkey recommended an innovative and reliable diagnostic method that combined clinical signs (mostly based on high mortality) with the use of rapid testing in the field. When the disease reoccurred in 2008, Turkish authorities developed a very rapid response, including the use of this new diagnostic approach, and practiced targeted culling as they had done in 2007. The improved response time was an important factor in controlling the disease. There was no lateral spread of the disease from any of the seven outbreaks. On average, only 900 animals were culled per outbreak, and there were no human infections.
46. . The role of wild birds: afterwards, FAO carried out epidemiological investigations to determine the role wild birds had played in spreading the disease. It was discovered that the most likely route of introduction had been through hunters bringing infected wild birds back to their houses rather than by direct contact between domestic poultry and wild birds - a finding that may have significant implications for global control measures.
47. The Real-Time Evaluation concluded that: “FAO played a key role in clearing [Avian Influenza] from Turkey”. However, it must be added that the same evaluation notes that a key issue is that: “in spite of greatly improved response capacities at both global, regional and national levels, the permanence of the virus in several areas continues to be at the origin of re-infection of cleared countries and spread to new ones.”
TCP support to controlling Avian Influenza
The Real-Time Evaluation also noted that during the early stages of the outbreaks when donors had not yet recognised the seriousness of the crisis, TCP projects played a particularly useful role in assisting countries respond to the emergency. During the 2006–2007 biennium, TCP projects continued to provide important support to Members in controlling the spread of the disease, particularly in infected regions such as Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe. In Latin America and the Caribbean, TCP projects have strengthened national capacities for the early detection and prevention of Avian Influenza outbreaks; to-date, there has been no occurrence of the disease in this region.
Migratory locust campaign in Timor-Leste
48. In March 2007, FAO carried out a campaign against a migratory locust outbreak in Timor Leste. A contribution from the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) allowed for a rapid start-up of the necessary survey and control operations and avoided a significant humanitarian crisis. Australia also provided important financial and logistical support. SFERA funds were used for the fielding of a locust control expert for an urgent risk and needs assessment in anticipation of assistance from Australia.
49. . Biopesticides in emergency operations: the 2007 Timor-Leste locust campaign marked the first time biopesticides were successfully used in emergency operations. Given the extensive nature of the outbreak and the terrain, widespread aerial spraying was essential. However, the application of chemical pesticides would have posed unacceptable risks to public health and the environment, as the locust infestations were close to settlements and major watercourses.
50. Before the aerial spraying operations began, FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFP) carried out a public awareness campaign about the operation and its effect on the environment. Local communities responded positively, accepting the presence of helicopters and providing assistance to the control team. After the spraying, farmers reported a definite decline in the number of swarms and locust activity. The following rice harvest was successful with few reports of major losses due to locusts.
51. During the operations, 12 MAFP extension officers from 5 different districts completed a locust survey and control training course. They then took part in a "training-the-trainers" course to pass on their skills to others, allowing for a number of qualified workers able to respond to future outbreaks.
Desert Locust campaign in Yemen
52. CERF funding also enabled FAO to respond quickly to a request from the Government of Yemen for support in containing a desert locust outbreak in May and June 2007. The campaign, implemented by the Government of Yemen’s Desert Locust Monitoring and Control Centre (DLMCC), was supervised and coordinated by FAO. The DLMCC was able to effectively control the outbreak in part because of its active participation (since 1997) in the Emergency Prevention System for Transboundary Animal and Plant Pests and Diseases’ Programme for the Central Region (EMPRES/CR). The Programme assists in improving the capabilities of national and regional organizations to implement effective preventive locust control strategies based on early warning and timely, environmentally sound control operations.
53. . World Food Programme logistical support: in the locust emergency in Yemen, FAO hired 10 survey vehicles from the WFP base in Dubai, requested WFP to assist in the logistics and contracted a WFP specialist to join the campaign. This marked the first time FAO and WFP had collaborated so closely in response to a locust infestation. WFP was able to carry out quickly the complex logistical task of transporting by air 70,000 litres of chemical pesticides that had been donated by the Government of Mauritania.
54. By donating excess pesticides, Mauritania reduced the quantity of remaining stocks from the desert locust campaign of 2003-05. This decreased the risk of large amounts of pesticides becoming obsolete, an outcome that would threaten the environment and entail costly disposal operations. This combination of resources was made possible by a Pesticide Management System, developed by FAO's Programme on the Prevention and Disposal of Obsolete Pesticides, to monitor the locations, quantities and quality of unused pesticides in locust-affected countries.
55. . Biopesticides and beekeepers: honey production is an important source of income for farmers in Yemen, and many communities were opposed to the spraying of chemical pesticides near their bee hives. Therefore, FAO procured 200 litres of biopesticides and used them to demonstrate to senior government officials, representatives from the University of Hadhramaut and the national beekeeper association that exposure to the biopesticides did not harm bees in any way.
56. After this demonstration, an additional 1,500 litres of biopesticides were ordered. Leaflets and information material were produced in Arabic and distributed to raise awareness about the biopesticides’ characteristics and its innocuous effects on bee populations. A second successful demonstration in a locust-infested area, was organised in cooperation with local authorities, farmers and beekeepers.
ii) Food safety
57. FAO’s work in food safety covers three main areas:
- the development of international food standards, guidelines and recommendations through the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme and Codex Alimentarius Commission;
- the provision of scientific advice to Codex and countries on various matters related to food safety; and
- assistance to countries in developing sound policies in the area of food safety and translating these policies into effective national food control systems.
58. FAO promotes an integrated approach to food safety at every step of the food chain.
59. Increasing the contribution of developing countries to international efforts on food safety is a priority for the Organization. During the last biennium, FAO, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) gave special emphasis to engaging developing countries in scientific advice on food safety and nutrition and enhancing their participation in the activities of the Codex Alimentarius Commission. Information networks on matters related to food safety and Codex Alimentarius were also supported through partnerships.
Strengthening national food control systems
60. In recent years, FAO has developed a variety of tools to assist national authorities in assessing and strengthening their food safety and quality control systems. In 2006, FAO published and made available on its Web site: ‘Strengthening national food control systems - Guidelines to assess capacity building needs’. The guidelines are intended to assist governments to identify capacity needs in relation to core components of a national food control system. In addition, FAO prepared a ‘Quick Guide to Assess Capacity Building Needs’, with a straightforward approach to systematically assess capacity building needs in the entire food control system.
61. . Case studies: under the FAO-Norway Programme Cooperation Agreement (PCA) and its component: ‘Improved Food Safety and Quality at the National Level and Along the Food Chain’, support was provided to a series of case studies to test the effectiveness of the Quick Guide in the field. Tests were conducted in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Laos and Cambodia.
62. The work done through the FAO/Norway PCA represents a clear example of how field activities are strengthened by normative work, while the latter is reinforced by lessons learned in the field. The assessments carried out in pilot-testing the Quick Guide embodied a diagnostic of the current state of the national food safety and quality control system. These assessments were used as a baseline to prepare a 5-year national strategic action plan for capacity building, which addresses identified gaps, needs and priorities. Based on the experiences gained during the field testing, the draft version of the Quick Guide was revised and issued in its final version in 2007.
63. . Implementing the strategic national action plan in Tanzania: in Tanzania, the stakeholders that had participated in the assessment process included officials from ministries, agencies and representatives from private sector associations. These stakeholders reviewed the strategic national action plan and at a final consultative meeting, officially endorsed it. At that point, it became recognised as the official action plan of the Government of Tanzania.
64. After the consultative meeting, a one-day national food safety symposium was held at the Tanzania Parliament to inform politicians at the highest levels, including the Prime Minister, about the action plan and the importance of an effective national food control system. In the conclusions of the Tanzania case study, a general lack of awareness at almost all levels of government about the impact of foodborne diseases was cited as a main factor inhibiting the level of consumer protection necessary to ensure a safe and nutritious food supply.
65. . "Delivering as One": as one of eight pilot countries in the United Nations "Delivering as One" exercise, Tanzania has a special opportunity for obtaining well-coordinated support to meet its development objectives. Food security, including safety and quality aspects, is one of the core areas in the "Delivering as One" Programme in Tanzania. The Government of Tanzania presented the action plan to the "Delivering as One" planning committee, which had welcomed the action plan and incorporated much of it into the "Delivering as One" programme. From the resources pooled through the "Delivering as One" Programme, USD 2 million were allocated over two years for implementing the food safety action plan that was developed through FAO’s assistance.
Enhancing participation in Codex Alimentarius
66. In 2006, FAO and WHO produced the training package ‘Enhancing participation in Codex activities’.5
The package provides a step-by-step guide for use by countries that are becoming involved in Codex work and are developing a national framework to support this involvement. It provides information that can be used to develop training programmes to suit national needs and enhance capability to participate in the work of the Codex Alimentarius Commission.
67. The package has been used in a series of regional and subregional workshops, in almost all regions: Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific, Africa and Europe and Central Asia. Workshop evaluations have been uniformly positive regarding the course material, with participants consistently rating the quality of the materials and the organisation of the course as good or very good. In the evaluations, participants often requested that the course material be available on CD ROM or on line. In response, FAO has made the training package accessible through an e-learning course. Initial reactions to the self paced e-learning course have been very positive. In the first two months nearly 500 requests for the CD-ROM were made, while approximately 550 users had registered for the course on-line.
68. . Knowledge exchange: in March 2006, a searchable, Web-based version of the Codex General Standard for Food Additives (GSFA Online) was made available. The Standard sets forth the conditions under which food additives may be used in different food products. “GSFA Online” allows users to search the data by food additive (name, synonym, INS number), by functional class of additives, and by food category. In 2007, the GSFA Online home page had over 100,000 views.
69. The International Portal on Food Safety, Animal and Plant Health (IPFSAPH) is a joint initiative with the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), Codex Alimentarius and World Trade Organization (WTO), allowing wide access to official information on food safety, animal and plant health relevant to WTO’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Agreement.
70. The Portal has increased the number of records held by nearly 40% during 2007. These records come from 45 different official data sources. It recently added a number of new data sets, which are automatically updated from the following databases:
- IAEA’s Nucleus Clearance of Irradiated Foods Database;
- Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) specifications; and
- WTO’s new SPS Information Management System.
71. The number of views for IPSFAPH averages over 5 000 per day, with more than 40 000 visitors per month. There are annual surges in demand during the second quarter of each year, which may be attributable to the timing of key meetings of standard setting bodies, such as the WTO Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS), Codex Alimentarius and OIE.
FAO/WHO consultative process on the provision of scientific advice on food safety and nutrition
The FAO/WHO joint programme, in existence since the early 1950s, is internationally recognised as the reference point for scientific advice and opinion pertaining to food safety matters at a global level. In 2003, at the request of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, FAO and WHO began an independent and inclusive consultative process to consider ways and means to improve the provision of scientific advice to FAO/WHO Member Countries and to the Codex Alimentarius Commission, and to examine means to strengthen the participation of developing countries in the process. This consultative process came to a conclusion in 2007. Significant outputs included the publication of the agreed framework for the provision of scientific advice, the establishment of strengthened management, including regular high level meetings between FAO and WHO, and the launching of the Global Initiative for Food-related Scientific Advice Facility (GIFSA). In addition, FAO signed letters of agreement with a number of research organizations in developing countries to strengthen the provision of scientific advice:
- in Malaysia, FAO and the Univeristy of Putra are supporting a network on microbiological risk assessment in South East Asia;
- in Brazil, FAO is working in collaboration with the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) and FUNDESPA (Fundação de Estudios e Pesquisas Aquáticas) to support a database on scientific studies related to Vibrio in seafood products to facilitate risk assessments in Latin America and the Caribbean;
- in Cameroon, FAO is providing advice and support to the Centre Pasteur (Laboratoire de Chimie de Hygiène Environnement) for the implementation of a diet study, exploring the exposure of the inhabitants of Yaoundé to pesticide residues.
iii) The International Plant Protection Convention
72. In 2007, the Independent Evaluation of the Workings of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and its Institutional Arrangements (PC 98/3) noted that: “there is a great need for the provision of technical assistance on IPPC-related matters.”
73. During the 2006-2007 biennium, FAO provided this technical assistance to IPPC contracting parties through a variety of TCP projects. In response to Members’ requests, the Organization has supported national efforts to strengthen plant protection services so that they operate in harmony with IPPC standards and meet respective countries' obligations as contracting parties to the Convention.
Modernising Panama’s phytosanitary services
74. In 2005, the Government of Panama requested TCP assistance to modernise its plant protection system. This request was later amended to include animal health and food safety dimensions. Inadequacies in the existing system were preventing the agricultural sector from competing on international markets, and meeting international obligations.
75. The project began by providing support to the government to bring its phytosanitary services in line with the IPPC International Standards on Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs) and increase their efficiency and effectiveness. Plant health experts trained government personnel in phytosanitary measures, helped establish a national on-line information system, and prepared operational procedures and manuals. FAO legal advisors provided guidance to national staff in drafting new phytosanitary legislation in accordance with the IPPC. As a result, a proposed law to modernise the phytosanitary system in line with the IPPC was submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture.
76. . Building an integrated regulatory system for food control: in early 2006, shortly after the TCP project had begun, the government passed a decree establishing the Panamanian Food Safety Authority, an independent government entity responsible for ensuring safety for all imported food products. The government requested additional assistance to strengthen the animal health and food safety elements of the proposed regulatory system. FAO experts in animal health and food safety provided guidance on how to develop a completely integrated biosecurity system and assisted in training inspectors.
77. FAO experts collaborated with national staff to design the legal framework for this Authority and delineate its roles and responsibilities in relation to other government institutions. The Organization also provided guidance on drafting legislation on food safety and animal health that met international standards as set out by Codex Alimentarius and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and new institutional arrangements. Draft laws on: pesticides, fertilizers and agricultural additives; and on food safety, as well as an amended animal health draft law have been developed by FAO legal experts in partnership with national staff. The draft laws have been accepted by the Ministry of Agriculture and are scheduled to come into force in 2008.
78. The ability of the government to enact sweeping changes to the legislative and institutional framework in the area of food safety was clearly a result of FAO’s technical and legal support. However, FAO’s international reputation as a neutral broker no doubt came into play as it helped validate and legitimize the process for all stakeholders, including the officials in various ministries, the private sector, international trading partners, different political parties and consumers.
79. . Inter-American Development Bank investment: as part of the project, FAO carried out a detailed analysis of the country’s institutional arrangements, legislative framework and technical capacities for ensuring food safety from primary production to final consumption. Based on this analysis, a costed five-year strategic plan was formulated for modernising Panama’s food safety systems, including 14 points for priority attention.
80. During the lifetime of the project, FAO consulted extensively with the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and the Government of Panama in formulating a complementary project for improving the competitiveness of Panama’s export industries. As a result, many of the recommendations contained in the FAO strategic plan have been incorporated into the latter project and are now being implemented through IADB funding.
International Phytosanitary Portal
81. In 2005, the Inter-African Phytosanitary Council (IAPSC), which coordinates plant protection procedures in Africa, requested assistance from FAO to support IAPSC members to meet their national reporting obligations under the IPPC. The request coincided with the completion of the development phase of the International Phytosanitary Portal (IPP). Contracting parties are expected to use the IPP, a Web site managed by the IPPC secretariat, for fulfilling their reporting obligations.
82. . Training ‘IPP editors’: in December 2005 and January 2006, FAO’s Regional Office for Africa in partnership with the IAPSC, organised two subregional workshops, one for anglophone countries and another for francophone countries. The purpose of the workshops was to ensure that every IAPSC member and member of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (the governing body of the IPPC) had equal access to essential phytosanitary information, and were able to exchange official information electronically through the IPP to meet their IPPC reporting obligations.
83. Participants from 43 of the 53 African Union member countries benefited from these workshops. Each of these countries now has an officially nominated and trained ‘IPP editor’. IPP editors trained at the subregional workshops later provided training to staff of the national plant protection organizations in Guinea-Bissau, Rwanda and Tanzania. Thirty countries subsequently submitted proposals requesting support from the TCP to run ‘national follow-up training’ on phytosanitary information exchange. More than 100 staff from national plant protection organizations received training through national workshops. Two staff members of IAPSC now act as focal points to assist all African Union member countries fulfil their IPPC reporting obligations.
84. . Increased membership and better reporting: during the period in which this TCP assistance took place, 10 African countries became IPPC contracting parties, reducing the number of non-IPPC contracting parties in Africa to 13. As a direct result, a further 3 African countries have become contracting parties during 2008, and more are expected in the immediate future.
85. Before the TCP project, no phytosanitary information from any African country was available through the IPP. Statistics collected in early 2007, just after the project came to a close, show that IPP editors in Africa had posted a large amount of essential national information on the IPP. A clear indication that African contracting parties have a better understanding of their IPPC reporting obligations after the completion of this project can be seen in their continued use of the IPP for reporting. More than 50 updates and reports from African contracting parties have been posted in the first six months of 2008.
iv) Climate change
86. Climate change and its potential impact has become one of the dominant issues of our time. During the biennium, FAO has continued to raise awareness at a global level about how agriculture both drives climate change and may be negatively affected by it. The Organization has contributed to advocating methods and outlining policy options that can both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and assist adaptation. A large share of FAO activities in this programme area supported the international negotiation processes, such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the International Panel on Climate Change.
87. Climate change is more than science and policy, it is also about people. The examples below illustrate two people-centred approaches to adapting to climate change and climate variability. Similar activities will increase in the future, as the main focus of climate change related interventions has shifted from mitigation of emissions to adaptation.
Livestock’s long shadow
88. In 2006, the publication "Livestock’s Long Shadow" placed livestock firmly on the climate-related agenda. The report, published by FAO as part of the Livestock, Environment and Development (LEAD) Initiative6
, assessed the impact of livestock production on various aspects of the environment. Its findings regarding the livestock sector’s contribution to green house gas emissions received particular attention.
89. The authors applied the methodology used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to assess greenhouse gas emissions at each step of the livestock production process. This includes carbon dioxide emission resulting from fertilizer and feed production, land use change related to livestock and the processing and transportation of livestock products; the methane emissions from enteric fermentation and manure management; and nitrous oxide emissions from fertilizer application.
90. This broader environmental perspective led to a more complete assessment of the contribution livestock production makes to greenhouse gas emissions. The report estimates that the livestock sector is responsible for 18 per cent of the total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.
91. This finding attracted the attention of the international press. The New York Times7
ran an editorial on Livestock’s Long Shadow, which triggered even more coverage. This extensive press coverage was welcome, but it had its drawbacks. The media was primarily interested in reporting a single alarming fact, but not in addressing in a balanced manner the complex issues involved in making livestock environmentally sustainable, while at the same time ensuring global food security and protecting livelihoods. Even though the media reports tended to distort the findings, many governments have expressed firm interest in addressing the issues raised in Livestock’s Long Shadow. The European Commission and the Governments of Denmark, France, New Zealand and Sweden all requested FAO to make presentations on the environmental impact of livestock.
92. The authors of the report have also been invited to universities in Europe, the United States and Brazil to present its findings and assessment methodologies. Perhaps most importantly the livestock industry has also responded to the publication of Livestock’s Long Shadow. FAO was invited by both the International Dairy Federation (IDF) and the International Meat Secretariat (IMS) to make presentations of FAO to their members.
93. The Independent External Evaluation also noted the international press attention Livestock’s Long Shadow had received. It concluded that FAO’s work on livestock policies with respect to the poor and the environment has influenced global thinking in these areas.
Livelihood adaptation to climate variability and change in Bangladesh
94. The impacts of climate change are of particular concern in Bangladesh. By 2050, according to some scenarios, dry season rainfall may decrease by 37%, thus significantly increasing the risk of droughts. Though monsoon rainfall is expected to increase by 28%, intermittent dry and wet spells cannot be ruled out. During the 2006–2007 biennium, FAO provided technical support to a project to improve adaptive capacities of rural communities to climate change in Bangladesh. The project, executed by the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) under the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), was part of a subcomponent of a Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management Programme (CDMP)8
of the Ministry of Food and Disaster Management (MoFDM).
95. The project identified potential adaptation options (with community participation) for coping with climate variability and change in selected drought-prone districts of North Western Bangladesh. Once the various options were identified and prioritised, project staff worked with local communities to test them to determine which ones met community needs focusing on food security and overall risk management. Phase I of the project ran from 2005 to 2007. Phase II began in 2008 and will run through 2009 with a budget of over USD 800,000. During Phase II the project will expand to include coastal districts, which are vulnerable to hazards such as cyclones, flooding and saline water intrusion.
96. . Community-based adaptation in action: during the course of Phase I of the project, 26 different adaptive strategies were identified and tested. Not all were accepted by the communities. However, there were several successful examples.
97. One of the adaptation options that had very high acceptance was rain water harvesting through mini-ponds to manage drought risk related to rice. The extra irrigation made possible from the mini-ponds during a drought in late 2006 increased rice yields by nearly 25% and net profits by more than 75%.
98. Another technique tested and accepted in many communities has been the intercropping of rice with jujube fruit tree (Ziziphus zizyphus), a drought-resistant and locally grown tree that produces a very nutritious fruit that can be eaten fresh or dried. Domestic market offers farmers opportunities for increased earnings. As a result of this, arrangements are underway with an informal producers group to transport and market jujube in Dhaka.
99. The introduction of improved stoves for household cooking was also widely accepted. The improved stoves require an investment of USD 10 per household but they were found to save 30% fuel use and reduce cooking time by 35%. The promotion of household gardens using drought tolerant varieties of vegetables was also well received by the communities. The project developed a model that households could follow and worked with DAE to ensure that the appropriate seeds were made available.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report
In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its fourth assessment report, which is considered the most comprehensive and authoritative source of information on climate change to date. FAO experts were among the lead and contributing authors for Chapter 5: ‘Food, fibre and forest products’ of the Working Group II Report "Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability".
Many other chapters of the IPCC report cite FAO publications. For example, Chapters 8 and 9, which deal with Agriculture and Forestry respectively, of Working Group III Report on Mitigation of Climate Change, make numerous references to FAO publications. Chapter 13 of the Working Group II Report, which deals with Latin America, cites seven FAO publications. Of particular assistance to the authors of the IPCC report are FAO’s Forest Resources Assessments, which are cited in many chapters, as is the State of Food and Agriculture, one of FAO’s flagship publications.
v) Genetic resources for food and agriculture
100. A number of major accomplishments in the field of genetic resources attest to an increasingly systematic approach to global collaborative efforts for the conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity.
The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
101. The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (hereinafter referred to as the Treaty) came into force in June 2004, but it was only during the last biennium that it became fully operational.
102. In June 2006, the First Session of the Governing Body was held in Madrid, Spain and adopted the Standard Material Transfer Agreement, which sets out the terms under which genetic material pooled in the Treaty’s Multilateral System for Access and Benefit-sharing (hereinafter referred to as the Multilateral System) may be obtained and used. The Multilateral System is an innovative mechanism and unique in facilitating access and benefit-sharing to genetic resources for food and agriculture. It has been recognised by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
103. . Implementation of the Standard Material Transfer Agreement: on World Food Day 2006, the International Agricultural Research Centres of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) officially placed their ex situ genebank collections in the Multilateral System. The Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Centre (CATIE) followed suit. The regional collections of the International Coconut Genetic Resources Network (COGENT), held by the Governments of Brazil, India, Indonesia, Côte d’Ivoire, and Papua New Guinea were included in the Multilateral System, as were the ex situ collection of mutant elite lines (the “Mutant Germplasm Repository”) held by the Joint FAO/International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Division in Vienna.
104. Within the first nine months of 2007, a total of 100,000 samples had already been distributed by the CGIAR’s International Agricultural Research Centres under the terms of the Standard Material Transfer Agreement.
Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources
105. The Technical Conference on Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture in Interlaken, Switzerland (2007) represented a milestone in global efforts for the conservation and sustainable use of animal genetic resources. At the Conference, FAO released the State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.
106. The State of the World Report drew on 169 country reports that included national priorities for action for the conservation and sustainable use of animal genetic resources. These country reports indicated a strong demand from Members for guidance on establishing policies for the sound management of animal genetic resources. In response, FAO is preparing guidelines for animal breeding strategies in low and medium input production systems, where local breeds may have clear advantages. FAO has validated these guidelines in India, Kenya, Tanzania and Peru. Kenya, with support from IFAD, has used them to a draft and revise policy proposals for national breeding strategy.
107. The country reports also contributed to the formulation of the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources, which was negotiated under the auspices of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA). At the Interlaken Conference, 109 countries adopted the Global Plan of Action. Latin American countries, using FAO’s draft guidelines, have selected Brazil as the regional focal point. One of the focal point’s roles will be to contribute to the implementation of the Global Plan of Action through the coordination of regional projects.
The Multi-Year Programme of Work of the CGRFA
108. A major consequence of the International Treaty becoming operational with its own governing body and Secretariat, was that the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, which for nearly ten years had been focused on Treaty negotiations and provided the Treaty’s Interim Secretariat, could turn its attention to other components of biological diversity for food and agriculture, including animal, forest and aquatic genetic resources.
109. As a result, in 2007 the Commission was able to negotiate the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources and agree on its Multi-Year Programme of Work. The Multi-Year Programme of Work, developed through a series of consultations with international partners, lays out a timetable and major milestones, such as the first ever reports on the state of the world’s forest genetic resources and aquatic genetic resources. The formulation of the Multi-Year Programme of Work has had an immediate impact on how the concerned FAO departments, CGIAR Centres, the CBD and national genetic resources programmes plan and coordinate their activities.
vi) Fisheries and aquaculture
110. Among the issues related to fisheries and aquaculture addressed by FAO during the 2006-2007 biennium, two are particularly worth highlighting.
111. First, a considerable step forward was made in defining Port State measures as a means of combating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and ensuring a broad commitment from the international community to adopt and strengthen such measures. Second, the work done in the Aceh Province of Indonesia, constitutes a noteworthy example of the way FAO responded to the devastation inflicted by the 2004 Tsunami on coastal states of the Indian Ocean and their fishing communities. This work was carried out as part of the medium- to long-term rehabilitation strategy for the fisheries and aquaculture sector in these countries that was endorsed by the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) in March 2005.
Port State measures
112. In the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, Port State measures were only contemplated in relation to the control of pollution, not in relation to the conservation and management of marine living resources. Over the years, however, the international community became increasingly aware of their importance as a cost-effective way of curbing IUU fishing. Port State measures include running background checks on boats prior to granting docking privileges and undertaking inspections in port to check documentation, fish onboard and equipment. They also cover the actions to be taken in response to these checks and inspections, such as denying access to ports and their services. In 2003, a FAO technical consultation drafted a Model Scheme on Port State Measures, a voluntary instrument, to Combat IUU Fishing that COFI approved in March 2005.
113. . Towards a new legally binding instrument on Port State measures based upon the FAO model scheme: in 2006, there was growing recognition that a voluntary instrument was not sufficient and that a legally-binding instrument on Port State measures was needed. In May 2006, the New York Review Conference on the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks recommended that States: “adopt all necessary Port State measures... particularly those envisioned in the 2005 FAO Model Scheme” and “initiate, as soon as possible, a process within FAO to develop, as appropriate, a legally binding instrument on minimum standards for Port State measures, building on the FAO Model Scheme and the IPOA-IUU.” In December 2006, the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on Sustainable Fisheries also encouraged States to “initiate, as soon as possible, a process within FAO to develop, as appropriate, a legally binding instrument on minimum standards for Port State measures, building on the FAO Model Scheme.”
114. In response to these developments, the 27th Session of COFI (March 2007) endorsed a timetable in which an FAO Expert Consultation would be convened the following September to draw up draft agreement text for Port State measures based on the 2001 International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate IUU Fishing and the 2005 Model Scheme. The United States of America hosted the Expert Consultation, which was funded by the FAO Regular Programme, the Government of Norway and the Nordic Council of Ministers. The draft text produced at the Consultation was used as the basis for negotiation at a Technical Consultation that was held in June 2008 at FAO headquarters and will reconvene in January 2009 to complete its work. The outcome of the Consultation will be reported to COFI at its 28th session in 2009.
115. . Capacity building in relation to Port State measures: as part of the process of assisting developing countries strengthen their Port State measures, to implement the Model Scheme and to prepare these countries to participate in the negotiation of a legally-binding instrument on Port State measures, FAO organised workshops in 2006 and 2007 in partnership with regional fisheries bodies in the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean, Eastern and Southern Africa and Southeast Asia. The workshops also provided an opportunity to highlight the need for countries to review legislation, strengthen and harmonize control strategies and improve communication among authorities at the regional level. At the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean workshop held in December 2007, participants reviewed a draft recommendation on a regional scheme on Port State measures, which was subsequently adopted by the Commission.
Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in Aceh Province, Indonesia
116. FAO has partnered with the American Red Cross (ARC) as part of its Tsunami rehabilitation efforts in Aceh Province, Indonesia. The project, which began in 2007, marks the first time that the ARC has funded an FAO-executed project. It is being carried out in partnership with the Aceh Provincial Fisheries Administration and Indonesia's Federal Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, as well as other Aceh agencies, including the provincial planning office. WWF USA and WWF Indonesia have contributed to the project’s planning and inception phase and act as environment advisor to ARC.
117. . Coordination and planning: one component of the project focuses on coordination and planning. In this respect, the project builds on the normative and coordination work that has been central to FAO’s response to the disaster from the very beginning. The 2007 evaluation of FAO’s Tsunami Response found that normative work had “helped underpin FAO’s response”, noting that “this was important not only in the work the Organization commissioned directly itself, but fed through into its coordination and support role for other organizations’ responses.”
118. . Sustainable shrimp farming: the project’s aquaculture component draws on and contributes to the work carried out by the Shrimp Farming and the Environment Consortium, a partnership of the World Bank, the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA), FAO, WWF and the United Nations Environment Programme’s Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities (UNEP/GPA). In 2006, the Consortium’s Programme, “Shrimp Farming and the Environment”, received a World Bank Green Award for efforts towards responsible shrimp farming and the publication of “International Principles for Responsible Shrimp Farming”. These principles have subsequently been adapted to produce a Shrimp Farming Better Management Practice Manual in Aceh conditions. The manual was published and distributed to the first 500 farmers of a projected 5 000. By the end of December 2007, a total of 267 farmers from 18 villages of the three targeted districts had received training in better management practices. The project also prepared a video on better management practices for shrimp farming in Aceh, drew an audience of more than 700 (60% of them women) on its premier screening and 1,000 viewers the next night.
119. . Participatory fisheries co-management: another of the project’s components is to raise awareness of local fishers in Aceh about sustainability issues and provide options and capacity building for developing sustainable co-management. The project has followed the participatory approach recommended by the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and is working closely with local institutions, especially the Panglima Laot. An institution dating back to the 17th century, the Panglima Laot, which translates roughly as ‘Commanders of the Sea’, are responsible for regulating community access to fishery resources and for resolving conflicts. The project signed a letter of agreement with the Panglima Laot of Aceh for them to assist in identifying key themes for future work in fisheries management and prepare sample posters and radio spots for awareness raising. The project also worked to strengthen community participation in fisheries co-management by organising an 18-day training session for 23 young people, selected to become Motivator Masyarakat, or community motivators. This was the first batch of altogether 170 motivators who will participate in this training course, implemented by Ladong Fisheries School.
120. The fourth component of the project addresses the post-harvest sector and has been building the capacities of local government staff in how to identify the key factors affecting fish quality and how to address the challenges they pose.
121. The sustainable management of forests requires that countries find the right balance between various social, environmental and economic factors and the interests of key stakeholders including the government, private sector and civil society. This is not an easy task, and Members often need and request guidance from the Organization in this area. Voluntary guidelines are a way of providing a supportive framework for policy makers and agents in the public and private sectors active in forest management to contribute to national sustainable development goals.
122. During the 2006-2007 biennium, FAO has worked with a wide range of partners to develop and implement Voluntary Guidelines in two key areas: fire management and planted forests.
123. In 2005, the Committee on Forestry (COFO) requested that FAO work with partners, including the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) to develop Voluntary Guidelines on the prevention, suppression and recovery from forest fires, and prepare a broad strategy to enhance international cooperation related to forest fires.
124. The Voluntary Guidelines and Strategy were prepared during a two-year consultative process that involved governments, non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations and private-sector fire specialists and practitioners from around the world. The US Forest Service, the Government of Spain, the UNISDR Wildland Fire Working Group and some other participating stakeholder groups provided funding to assist in the process.
125. Other components of the Strategy include: a Review of International Cooperation on fire management and the "Fire Management Global Assessment 2006", which formed the basis for the preparation of the Voluntary Guidelines.
Fire Management Actions Alliance
126. Implementing the Voluntary Guidelines: an international partnership, the "Fire Management Actions Alliance", was launched in May 2007 at the 4th International Wildland Fire Conference. The Conference was organised and hosted by the Government of Spain’s Ministry of Environment and the Junta de Andalucia under the auspices of FAO, the UNISDR and the European Commission.
127. The Alliance currently consists of 47 members, including national forest services, universities, private sector enterprises and governmental, non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations. Many members played key roles in the development of the Guidelines. FAO hosts the Alliance Secretariat and collaborates with the UNISDR Global Wildland Fire Network, while other members provide communication, coordination and other services. The Alliance operates with voluntary contributions from members.
128. . Dissemination efforts: FAO published the Voluntary Guidelines in English, French and Spanish. Other organizations are ensuring that the guidelines are available in other languages. Post graduate students at the University of Freiburg, Germany, where the UNISDR Wildland Fire Networks Secretariat is based, are translating the guidelines into Portuguese and Nepalese. The College of Forestry and Range Science of the Sudan University of Science and Technology, a member of the Fire Management Actions Alliance, is preparing an Arabic translation. With the involvement of FAO and UNISDR Regional Wildland Fire Networks and a Dutch non-governmental organization, fire management authorities in Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are preparing translations in local languages. The Korea Forest Research Institute (KFRI) has translated the Guidelines into Korean. The Government of Indonesia presented a version in the national language at the Forestry Day at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali in 2007. The World Bank has provided support for the translation and dissemination of a Russian version through the Russian Federation's Federal Forestry Agency.
129. In the first year of publication, demand for the Guidelines has been high, with more than 6,000 copies requested. Examples of agencies and government institutions using the Guidelines, as evidenced by the substantial number of copies requested, include the Russian Federation’s Federal Forestry Agency, the New Zealand Rural Fire Authority, The Nature Conservancy for use in their projects and meetings in Latin America, and Chile’s Corporación Nacional Forestal.
130. . Responsible management of planted forests: at its 45th session, in April 2004, the FAO Advisory Committee on Paper and Wood Products (a statutory body composed of senior executives from the private sector worldwide) recommended to develop a code on best practices for plantation forestry. In 2005, COFO requested FAO to coordinate the preparation of a set of best practice guidelines to assist countries with sustainable forest management. Voluntary Guidelines were agreed to cover all aspects of planted forest management, from policy development and planning through technical issues.
131. The Voluntary Guidelines were developed through multistakeholder expert consultations and dialogue with forestry authorities in Member Nations and with international forestry institutions. As many planted forests are managed by private companies on their own land or on government concessions, the involvement of the private sector was deemed essential to the preparation and implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines. Consequently, FAO invited corporate and private sector small holder associations to join in the process. FAO also encouraged the participation of international unions, such as the International Federation of Building and Wood Workers and the Building and Wood Workers International.
132. The sustainable management of planted forests demands that careful attention be paid to a variety of sensitive cultural, social and environmental issues, including land and crop tenure rights, the engagement of local minority groups and indigenous populations, and the competition for land between agriculture and planted forests and naturally regenerating forests. For this reason, FAO invited international environmental organizations, such as the The World Conservation Union (IUCN), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and forest community organizations, such as the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) to engage in the consultative process to develop the Voluntary Guidelines.
133. In spite of the natural divide between the interests of the private sector and those of the non-governmental organizations, with FAO acting as a neutral facilitator, the different players realised that there were considerable areas of common ground and that it was in everyone’s interest to finalise the Voluntary Guidelines.
134. In 2007, COFO expressed satisfaction about the multi-stakeholder process and recommended that FAO work with Members and partners, including the private sector, forest owners and environmental non-governmental organizations towards the implementation of these guidelines. A methodology was developed to assist countries about the implication of the Voluntary Guidelines and a programme of national and regional workshops to support their implementation.
135. . Towards implementation: China has the largest area of planted forests in the world. The Chinese Government has shown a strong commitment to continue expansion and improve the quality of planted forests, and views the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines as a means to achieve this. As the aftermath of a subregional workshop in East Asia, the State Forest Administration and Chinese Academy of Forestry have entered into an agreement with FAO to share the cost of a Chinese translation of the Voluntary Guidelines and the publication of 2,000 copies. With support from the National Forest Programme Facility, the Voluntary Guidelines are now being used in both China and Lao People's Democratic Republic as part of multi-stakeholder processes to prepare national guidelines for responsible management of planted forests. These national guidelines will ensure that due account is taken of the social, environmental and economic issues in planted forest management into national forest programmes, policies, legal frameworks and best practices standards.
136. Besides the example of China, in a relatively brief time, the Guidelines have been adopted for use by large private sector associations and investment companies. The New Zealand Forest Owners Association has based the New Zealand Environmental Code of Practice for Plantation Forestry on the Voluntary Guidelines. The Dasos Capital Oy, a Finnish company, is an international investment firm specialising in timberland management that is using the Voluntary Guidelines for social, environmental and economic sustainability criteria in its planted forests investment portfolio.
b) PWB Chapter 3: Knowledge Exchange, Policy and Advocacy
i) Commodity market analysis and projections
137. During 2006-2007, food commodity prices on international markets soared, affecting the food security of millions of people. FAO monitored food price development and provided an analysis of the underlying causes for the volatility in agricultural commodities markets and its impact on food insecure countries. The Organization's analysis and projections assisted in shaping international policy responses to deal with the crisis.
Short-term market analysis
138. As early as June 2006, FAO’s Food Outlook, a report prepared twice a year by FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS), raised the prospect of higher prices and volatility in agricultural commodity markets: "Based on current indications, several agricultural commodities are likely to experience still more unstable months ahead and, in most instances, the fundamentals point to even further gains in prices. Cereal prices are likely to remain generally high and volatile."
139. An indicator of successful implementation of this type of work is the degree to which short-term projections are used in effective actions. In this case, there was a clear indication of positive outcome.
Authoritative information during the food crisis
140. According to statistics for use of documents held in the Web-based FAO Document Repository, the June 2006 Food Outlook had over 7,500 page views in its first month of release. Sixteen months later, when food prices had skyrocketed, the November 2007 issue had well over 20,000 page views. A similar expansion occurred for GIEWS’ Crop Prospects and Food Situation, a publication that focuses on developments in international, regional and national cereal markets. In July 2006, the publication had over 2,400 page views. When its December 2007 issue was released, the number of page views had risen to over 5,6009
. This increase not only reflects growing public awareness about the severity of the crisis, but also the public’s perception of FAO as an authoritative source of information.
141. Both the Food Outlook and Crop Prospects and Food Situation contain the latest update on world cereal supply and demand situation, the FAO Food Price Index, which is, according to the Financial Times, “considered the best measure of global food inflation”.10
It is worthy to note that a Google Search on the term ‘FAO Food Price Index’ returns over 400,000 Spanish language Web pages, over 250,000 English language pages, over 100,000 Chinese language pages, over 55,000 French language pages and over 50,000 Arabic pages.
142. FAO commodity market analysts have also faced considerable demand from the international press for commentary on the causes for the price increases and their impact on food security. In addition to media demands, FAO analysts have responded, whenever possible, to FAO Members' invitations to participate in national and regional conferences dealing with the food price crisis. They have also provided guidance during the development of the FAO Initiative on Soaring Food Prices, launched in December 2007.
Aglink-Cosimo modelling system
143. FAO and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have jointly developed a modelling system to project world prices, production, utilisation, stocks and trade of key agricultural commodities. The system, which combines OECD’s Aglink and FAO’s Commodity Simulation Model (Cosimo), currently encompasses about 55 countries and regions and 18 commodities.
144. Projections derived through the Aglink-Cosimo modelling system are used to prepare the OECD–FAO Agricultural Outlook, an annual publication that provides a 10-year assessment of prospects in the major world agricultural commodity markets. The publication is considered essential reading for all those involved with agricultural markets. An indication of its reference value is the fact that the 2007 edition has been referenced more that 30 times in academic journals either in the text or as a citation11
Contributing to the international response to the food crisis
145. In 2007, as food prices soared, FAO and the OECD used the Aglink-Cosimo modelling system to assess how expanding global markets for biofuel and domestic policies that support biofuel production might affect food prices and agricultural commodity markets. The results were published in the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2008–2017. They were also presented at an expert consultation on ‘Bioenergy policy, markets and trade and food security’, which was held in the run-up to the 2008 High-Level Conference organised by FAO. The technical background document (HLC/08/BAK/7) and set of options for policy-makers that emerged from the expert consultation, were circulated to delegates at the Conference and posted on the Conference Web site.
146. As FAO plays a key role on the UN Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis, policy options based on Aglink-Cosimo analyses contributed to shaping its Comprehensive Framework For Action. In particular, the Framework calls for the development of a greater degree of international consensus and agreed policy guidelines on biofuel production as a way of addressing the underlying factors that have driven the food price crisis.
ii) Investment in agriculture
147. Developing and implementing land policies that can bring major benefits to disadvantaged farmers, bolster agricultural production and improve food security is a complex, politically-charged, long-term process. It requires significant commitment from governments, international financing institutions and development donors. For this reason, land access, security of tenure and land administration (registration and titling) have represented a major area of collaboration between FAO, the World Bank and other financing partners in Asia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Africa and Latin America.
148. Examples of FAO’s work during the biennium are illustrated below. Two of them cover policy support to improve land tenure security and technical support to provide the landless and land-poor access to arable land.
The road map for land reform in China
149. In an innovative addition to its ongoing work on land tenure and administration, FAO, through the FAO/World Bank Cooperative Programme, has been providing expertise and technical assistance since 2004 to an Analytic and Advisory Activity project the World Bank is undertaking for the Chinese Government. ‘The Road Map for Land Policy Reform’ is intended to provide the Government with the information and advice it needs to make sound policy decisions in the area of rural development, agricultural production and food security at a time when the population is becoming more urban and the economy more industrialised and market-oriented. The Chinese Government requested specific advice on developing and enforcing a land acquisition law to protect farmers’ and urban residents’ interests in the process of land acquisitions, and preventing the excessive loss of cultivated land. It also seeks guidance on fostering and developing efficient land markets and establishing an effective land valuation and taxation system.
The Property Law
150. In March 2007, the National People’s Congress of China adopted the Property Law. The Property Law and its political and economic significance were widely reported around the world as a major development in the recognition of private ownership of property in China. Although many factors influenced the government’s decision, this law partly reflects the advice provided by the World Bank and FAO. Effective from October 2007, the law establishes the legal foundation for various types of property rights by private individuals under a public ownership system. With respect to farmer’s land rights, which are legally termed as “contracting and operation rights”, the Property Law marks a substantial step forward in improving farmers’ access to and use of land.
151. During the next phase of the Analytic and Advisory Activity, FAO will continue to work with the World Bank to provide information and advice to China to support its efforts to implement land-related policy changes.
Public/private partnership for land access in Honduras
152. A number of countries have sought FAO help in promoting programmes to address demand for land. In Honduras, FAO assisted with the World Bank’s Access to Land Pilot Project (PACTA). As a pilot project, PACTA’s objective was to test a novel approach using a public/private partnership strategy for supporting the acquisition of land and the formation of sustainable farm enterprises by landless and land-poor families. Under the PACTA model, private banks and credit cooperatives provide loans for land purchase to groups of small farmers who had developed a viable business plan with technical and legal support. Part of the World Bank loaned funds are for working capital investments. Once established, the new enterprises start a loan repayment schedule to the lending institutions.
Measure of success
153. The high rate (97%) of timely loan repayments is an indicator of PACTA’s success and demonstrates the competitiveness of enterprises created during the pilot project. The average loan obtained from the private lenders was USD 2,780 per family and the average grant to enterprises was USD 4,700. The average income of families in PACTA enterprises increased by around 130%. The project generated the equivalent of 1,226 jobs in financially sustainable enterprises. A review of the impact of PACTA in Annex 3 of the Evaluation of FAO’s Cooperation in Honduras (2005 – 2007), notes that 20% of the borrowers were women, “a participation rate relatively high for a project of this nature.”
154. As access to land is a sensitive issue, the Government of Honduras’ Instituto Nacional Agrario (INA) specifically requested FAO to oversee the execution of PACTA in order to insulate the project from any perceptions of conflicts of interest or political interference. FAO's role was to serve as a neutral technical facilitator for the development of an innovative approach, and for negotiations that had to be pursued on different levels and with different social players. As the World Bank’s Implementation Completion and Result Report notes: “FAO’s role was crucial for the success of the project because INA’s participation was limited to partial monitoring of project activities.”
155. Even more important has been FAO’s technical assistance provided in the implementation of PACTA activities under World Bank guidance, which was carried out on a team basis through periodic follow-up supervision missions.
156. FAO also provided support to PACTA through two projects funded by its Technical Cooperation Programme and a unilateral trust fund. These projects focused on participatory monitoring and evaluation, training for service providers and the design and implementation of procedures to assure coordination among the different institutions and organizations involved in PACTA’s implementation.
Government commitment to PACTA
157. The Government of Honduras has identified PACTA as a strategically important poverty reduction programme and will continue the implementation of PACTA in partnership with FAO. In 2007, the government assigned USD 3.2 million to execute the project over the next three years with the objective of expanding coverage and continuing assistance to the enterprises established in the pilot phase. The government has also recognised that this business model has important implications for other disadvantaged groups, including forest and indigenous communities, who may have access to land but do not have other assets needed to develop viable enterprises.
Good governance in land tenure and administration
In 2007, FAO published ‘Good governance in land tenure and administration’ (number 9 in its Land Tenure Studies) in close collaboration with the World Bank’s Thematic Group on Land Policy and Administration. The publication is based on the experiences and expertise in land administration that have been gained from the extensive field programme of FAO and the World Bank and from parallel work on governance in urban areas, corporate governance and campaigns against corruption. Written for people who work in land administration and all those with an interest in land, land tenure and their governance, the study reflects what FAO and its many collaborators have found to be “good practices”. Publication of this study was assisted by the Government of Finland.
Real estate cadastre and registration in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
FAO’s support to land tenure and administration significantly increased in 2006-07 and results from earlier work are showing that linking investment to technical assistance can lead to wider impact at country level. For instance, a Real Estate Cadastre and Registration Project prepared by FAO for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and approved in 2005 for World Bank financing, is successfully helping modernize land ownership in the country. The real estate cadastre has been established so far in 73% of municipalities. It is estimated that most prominent urban areas will be covered by the end of 2008.
c) PWB Chapter 4: Decentralization, UN Cooperation and Programme Delivery
i) National programmes for food security
In recent years, FAO’s Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS) has shifted its focus from small pilot projects to helping countries, especially low-income food-deficit countries, design and implement national food security programmes.
Operation Feed the Nation in Sierra Leone
159. When the civil war ended in 2002, the Government of Sierra Leone launched a national food security programme: Operation Feed the Nation. Over 290 staff from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MAFFS) have been assigned to implement the Programme. FAO was requested to assist the Government of Sierra Leone to develop a plan for large-scale, low-cost programmes that could quickly reach out to communities and help them rehabilitate agricultural production and processing.
Farmer Field Schools
160. A key component of Operation Feed the Nation has been the establishment of Farmer Field Schools, an approach to extension delivery that FAO and its partners consider to be a ‘best practice’ in national food security programmes. Farmer Field Schools operate at the village level and between 25 and 30 men and women members receive technical and organizational training. After graduation, these men and women work to strengthen existing farmer-based organizations or establish new groups to carry out local agricultural activities.
161. During the last biennium, FAO provided support in the technical training and community organising for Farmer Field Schools. This was done with funding from the Governments of China, Germany, Ireland and Italy and in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). MAFFS and the Consortium for Rehabilitation and Agricultural Development (CORAD), a network of non-governmental organizations supported by the United States Agency for International Development, have shared responsibility for the implementation of the Farmer Field Schools. Through FAO's South-South Cooperation Programme, the Government of China has provided 18 experts and technicians, including irrigation engineers, veterinarians and agronomists.
162. In February 2007, when the Evaluation of FAO's Cooperation in Sierra Leone (available on FAO's Web site) was completed, 1,465 Farmer Field Schools had been established, “an impressive achievement in a relatively short time” according to the evaluation’s report. As of July 2008, it is estimated that there are over 3,000 Farmer Field Schools with about 100,000 graduates.
163. In 2007, CORAD carried out an assessment of its Farmer Field Schools. The findings, which closely reflect other independent evaluations, include:
- of the 600 Field School farmers considered in the assessment, 40% were women;
- over 70% of all farmers reviewed had visited the Farmer Field School plots, as well as the individual plots of Farmer Field School members and almost 60% tried out one or more of the Farmer Field School practices;
- crop yields for Field School farmers increased 62–80% as opposed to 50% for non-participant farmers living nearby and 10-15% for farmers living far away; and
- although food insecurity is still prevalent, 80% of Farmer Field Schools households reported that they eat more and better meals.
Building agricultural businesses
164. As the number of Farmer Field Schools has grown, they have organised themselves into larger structures. Farmer Field Schools supported by MAFFS have formed networks or federations at the district level, whereas those supported by CORAD have organised themselves into ‘market clusters’ at the smaller chiefdom and ward levels. In addition, the UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government established Agricultural Business Units through a Pilot Project on Decentralization and Food Security. The Agricultural Business Units, which operate at the chiefdom and ward level and have about 400 members, promote farming as a business and a way of reducing poverty and generating revenues for local governments.
165. Overlap emerged in the type of services provided by the various groups. A 2006 evaluation report on the UNDP’s Pilot Decentralization and Food Security million12
Project, noted that there was a “definite need to harmonise the governance” of the various farmers' groups, including the Agriculture Business Units, the Farmer Field Schools and the villages' associations within the National Association of Farmers of Sierra Leone.
166. In late 2006, the Farmer Field Schools and Agricultural Business Units merged into a single programme. Under this more harmonised structure, the Agricultural Business Units benefit from better training and greater sustainability as part of a national programme. The Farmer Field Schools benefit from a more secure relationship with the Agricultural Business Units, which act as apex organizations, assisting farmers to overcome obstacles to marketing their produce. The Evaluation of FAO Cooperation in Sierra Leone identified difficulties in marketing as a particularly strong constraint for farmers involved in Farmer Field Schools.
167. Through the merger, Operation Feed the Nation, which supports the development of small enterprises and job creation, has benefited from an expanded base. By working with Farmer Field Schools in villages as well as Agricultural Business Units or their network organizations, Operation Feed the Nation has established businesses involved in a variety of different activities, including rice threshing and milling, cassava grating and delivery services using three-wheeled motorcycles. These businesses are owned by farmers but operated by locally hired and trained persons on a profit basis.
Mainstreaming food security in the health and education sectors in Nicaragua
168. In 2007, the Government of Nicaragua approved a National Programme for Food Security, called the ‘Hambre Cero’ Programme. The Programme is expected to reach 75,000 poor rural households in 5 years. FAO’s national food security team has been working in Nicaragua since 1999 with financial assistance from Spain. It has built a strong network of partnerships and provided support to the Ministries of Agriculture, Education and Health in formulating sectoral policies and plans of action to complement the ‘Hambre Cero’ Programme.
Integrated programme for school nutrition
169. In 2007, the Ministry of Education adopted the ‘Integrated Programme for School Nutrition’. The decision to make school gardens a key component of this programme reflects the Government’s commitment to continuing the approach FAO and its partners have taken to reduce food insecurity. FAO considers school gardens to be a ‘best practice’ in national food security programmes. The national team on food security has been cooperating with the Ministry of Education, the private sector, universities and non-government organizations to support and obtain financing for establishing school gardens. In 2007, the number of school gardens rose from 62 to 122. School gardens have brought direct benefits to 7,000 children and indirect benefit to more than 30,000 other people. Nicaragua’s Integrated Programme for School Nutrition proposes to increase the number of school gardens to 800 by the end of 2008. In addition, the Ministry of Education, with assistance from FAO and other partners, has moved to progressively integrate a food security component into the public school curricula.
Programme for the Eradication of Chronic Infant Malnutrition
170. In parallel, the Ministry of Health adopted the ‘Programme for the Eradication of Chronic Infant Malnutrition’. FAO, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and the Nutrition Institute of Central American and Panama (INCAP), provided technical support in developing the programme and are now working with the Ministry of Health on its implementation.
Inter-University Commission on Food Security
171. The Inter-University Commission on Food Security, which was formed in 2005 following an awareness raising workshop organised by FAO in partnership with the Governments of Nicaragua and Spain, has been an important partner in strengthening the country’s institutional capacities to address food security issues using a cross-sectoral approach. In 2006 and 2007, the Inter-University Commission organised post-graduate courses on food security. These multidisciplinary courses, the first of their kind in Nicaragua, were attended by professionals and policy-makers from the Ministries of the Family, Agriculture, Education, Health, Environment and Natural Resources, as well as from non-governmental organizations. FAO, PAHO, INCAP and the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation (AECI) provided technical and financial support for these courses.
172. In October 2007, the National Autonomous University in Managua offered a six-day course on ‘Food Security Policies in Nicaragua’. The course which combined classroom and distance learning, was attended by 70 professionals and decision-makers from the Ministries of Agriculture, Education and Health and other organizations. It was supported by the Hunger-Free Latin America and the Caribbean Initiative and the Regional Technical Cooperation Project for Education in Economics, Agricultural Policy and Rural Development in Latin America (FODEPAL).
ii) Natural disasters, conflict and complex emergencies
173. During the biennium, the UN system, donors, governments and international and national local non-governmental organizations had to adopt new approaches to better coordinate their response to complex emergencies and natural disasters. To support the improved coordination of emergency relief operations and strengthen the capacity of governments and local institutions to ‘build back better’, FAO has placed a strong emphasis on providing ‘information for action’.
Earthquakes and flooding in Pakistan
174. In 2006, Pakistan was still coping with the aftermath of the major earthquake that struck the northern part of the country in October 2005. In 2007, Yemyin Cyclone followed by monsoon rains caused severe flooding in the south.
175. The UN’s earthquake relief operations in Pakistan marked the first time the ‘cluster’ coordination system, adopted to address gaps in the UN’s delivery of humanitarian assistance, was put into operation. FAO worked with a broad coalition of UN agencies and international and national non-governmental organizations within the UNDP-led Early Recovery Cluster. As has been the case in past emergencies, the World Food Programme (WFP), the lead UN agency for the logistics cluster, was an essential partner in implementing FAO’s emergency assistance programme.
Saving livelihoods to save lives
176. FAO’s emergency assistance programme, ‘Saving Livelihoods to Save Lives’,13
was also innovative. The programme is designed to create an environment conducive to the early rehabilitation of sustainable livelihoods for the most poor and vulnerable groups. The majority of beneficiaries belonged to poorer income groups such as widows, the disabled and orphans, confirming the effectiveness of the needs assessment, carried out by FAO, the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock and the provincial governments.
177. Overall, the Programme enabled the resumption of crop and livestock production for over 260 000 households through the provision of key farming inputs, the rehabilitation of rural infrastructure and training on improved agricultural and livestock practices. Some 7 000 households received materials and training to construct earthquake-resistant animal shelters and benefited from the distribution of animal feed.
178. As part of its emergency operations, FAO developed a matrix of who was doing what and where. Pakistan’s Earthquake Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Authority (ERRA) has assumed responsibility for maintaining this ‘W3 matrix’. Throughout 2006, FAO worked closely with ERRA to formulate a Livelihood Recovery Strategy. A follow-up project funded by the Government of Sweden is supporting ERRA in implementing the strategy through capacity building, strengthening local institutions and improved watershed management.
179. In response to the 2007 flooding after the Yemyin Cyclone and monsoon rains in southern Pakistan, FAO and WFP took the lead in the food security cluster, with WFP again responsible for logistics. Together, the two organizations formulated a strategy to respond to the immediate food needs of affected communities and restore local food production to reduce flood victims’ dependency on food aid. This collaboration continued throughout the coordination and implementation of emergency activities.
180. FAO’s overall assistance, which was funded by the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, through the Department for International Development (DFID), included support to 21 742 farming households (152 194 persons) and 8 985 small-scale livestock breeding households (62 895 individuals) through the provision of sorghum fodder seeds, assorted crop inputs and livestock feed packages. Crop production was forecast to be sufficient to meet average household consumption for ten months, which met the planned objectives.
Baseline livelihoods assessments
181. The Inter-Agency Standing Committee’s real-time evaluation of the UN response to the flood emergency highlighted the fact that there was little baseline information on which to base needs assessments. In response, FAO and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), have begun a pilot project to carry out baseline livelihoods assessments for communities in flood-prone areas.
182. By collecting this information before disaster strikes, the baseline livelihoods assessment project strengthens disaster preparedness in Pakistan. The project contributes to the "Delivering as One" pilot in Pakistan. Supporting Pakistan’s disaster risk management is one of the UN’s core activities in the country, and the project is one of the first concrete expressions of this. Work being undertaken under the pilot benefits from strengthened collaboration with other UN agencies, such as WFP, UNICEF and UN-Habitat.
183. At a global level, the pilot project contributed to the ongoing development of the Livelihoods Assessment Toolkit, which establishes methodologies and guidelines for improving the UN’s response to sudden disasters. The Toolkit is a FAO-ILO joint initiative and grew out of the two organizations' collaborative work in the Early Recovery Cluster during the earthquake emergency operations. In its Real-Time Evaluation of the Cluster Approach during the response to the earthquake, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee recommended the development of cluster toolkits for a variety of issues, including joint assessments. FAO and ILO have prepared the Livelihoods Assessment Toolkit within the work plan of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee’s Working Group on Early Recovery and the framework of the International Recovery Platform.
Emergency programmes in Sudan
184. Since 2005, the UN and its partners have collaborated on a Work Plan for Sudan to support the implementation of the peace agreements and lay the groundwork for sustainable and equitable development. With agricultural production employing nearly two-thirds of the work force, FAO plays an important role in this work plan as the Food Security and Livelihoods sector leading agency. FAO focuses on ensuring the sustainable livelihoods of transient and poor populations affected by conflict, refugees and displaced persons returning to their original land. This involves a wide range of multidisciplinary activities starting from the provision of farming inputs for agriculture production. The Organization has also delivered animal health services and strengthened the capacity of pastoralists to respond to livestock disease outbreaks. It has supported the restoration and rehabilitation of forestry and pasture areas, the development of participatory methodologies for land tenure administration and the promotion of fuel-efficient cooking.
Information for action
185. All emergency work depends on having accurate information from the field. Since the early 1990s, FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning Service (GIEWS) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have been carrying out annual Crop and Food Supply Assessment Missions (CFSAM) to Sudan. These missions provide details on imminent food security problems and assist governments, the international community and others to plan and coordinate their activities.
186. CFSAM have contributed to and benefited from the implementation of the Sudan Institutional Capacity Programme: Food Security Information for Action (SIFSIA). The Programme, funded mainly by the European Commission (EC), contributes to building the capacity of government institutions to generate and utilize information for the analysis, design, monitoring and evaluation of food security related policies and programmes. Given the different food security situations and related needs and institutional and policy frameworks that exist in Northern and Southern Sudan, the Programme has been divided into two components: one for the North and one for the South. To establish a starting point for understanding the variation in agricultural production in Southern Sudan, SIFSIA has compiled and analysed the data from the earlier CFSAM reports.
187. In September 2007, in response to a request from the Government of Southern Sudan to assist in building capacity of government institutions, SIFSIA organised a training workshop on Crop and Food Supply Assessments and Annual Needs and Livelihoods Assessments. After the workshop, participants were able to put what they learned into practice during the 2007 FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission carried out in the following October and November. Workshop participants dispatched documents outlining data requirements to all the states, gathered information and acted as interlocutors.
In 2005 the EC-FAO Food Security Information for Action Programme began a process of redesigning the GIEWS Workstation. Initially designed as a tool to assist GIEWS staff at FAO headquarters to visualize and publish data, the Workstation has been adapted to meet countries’ requirements to analyse and share information on agriculture and food security. The GIEWS Workstation operates as a network, allowing users from different institutions within a country, or among countries, to share information using an Internet-based peer-to-peer network.
In 2006 and 2007, early versions of the new generation Workstation were implemented in: Armenia, El Salvador, Kenya, Guatemala, Somalia (in the Nairobi-based Food Security Analysis Unit), the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In Sudan, the new GIEWS Workstation has been recognised as the best application to support food security and poverty analysis and is closely linked to the implementation of the SIFSIA Project. Since May 2008, all countries have been given two successive versions of the new generation Workstation for testing and reactions. The roll-out of the final version is scheduled for mid-September 2008.
iii) Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP)
188. The Technical Cooperation Programme responds to requests for assistance from FAO’s member countries. It provides short-term, quick-result, practical and catalytic technical support to address well-defined problems that constrain the ability of countries, either individually or collectively, to foster agricultural and rural development and to reach the targets of the World Food Summit and the Millennium Development Goals.
189. Some of the most typical features of TCP assistance are its potential for catalysing change, filling critical gaps, building institutional, technical and practical capacities for agriculture, forestry, fisheries and socio-economic related issues, poverty reduction and improved food security.
The TCP “Reform”
190. In November 2005, the FAO Council approved a range of measures to strengthen the policy and operational framework of the TCP. These measures relate to: a) country eligibility; b) strategic focus; c) strengthened national processes; d) increased delegation of TCP-related responsibilities to FAORs; e) emergency assistance; f) regional and inter-regional TCP projects; g) impact and sustainability of TCP outcomes; and h) modified criteria and new procedures and guidelines for their application. The implementation has been pursued throughout the 2006-2007 biennium. New TCP guidelines were prepared and disseminated in July 2006 and the new criteria reflecting the afore-mentioned changes have been systematically applied in the appraisal of requests for assistance.
191. The impact of these changes is already noticeable, as described below, for “special attention” countries, emergency assistance, TCP Facility and regional assistance. Other elements of the “reform” relate to processes, which are being gradually strengthened, for fostering TCP alignment to both national priorities and FAO’s own priorities through the adoption of enhanced priority setting at the country or regional level. Specific TCP criteria for eligibility14
have been established as endorsed by the Council at its 129th Session in November 2005. They deal with the following issues: a) country eligibility (by all FAO Members, with special attention to LIFDCs, LDCs, LLD and SIDS and cost recovery for high income developing countries); b) aims and purposes (in line with WFS targets and MDGs); c) country or regional priorities; d) critical gap or problem; e) sustainable impacts; f) scale and duration (not exceeding USD 500,000 and 36 months); g) government commitment (to project implementation and follow-up); h) capacity building; i) gender sensitivity; and j) partnership and participation15
. It is expected that the progressive establishment of NMTPFs will further improve TCP’s catalytic interventions and strategic focus.
192. The appraisal and approval process of TCP requests traditionally includes verification that an adequate environment is in place, or will be created during the timeline of a project to guarantee sustainability and impact of achievements. The adoption of new criteria on sustainability, government commitment, capacity building, partnership and participation contribute to foster project ownership by national teams. The establishment of a new standard project document, in line with best practices in the UN and the donor community, facilitates result-based project management and monitoring. Modules are being introduced for an end-of-project self-evaluation by the budget holder, including on the likelihood of catalytic effects from the project intervention. These modules will lay the foundation for improved assessment and reporting on achievements, either during the ex-post evaluation carried out for a number of projects at a later stage or through a more systemic follow-up with counterpart institutions.
193. . Requests and Approvals
: During the biennium, the Organization received 472 government requests for TCP support, approximately 77% of the level in 2004-05. Sixty-four percent of these requests were approved for TCP funding during 2006-07, whilst 17 percent did not qualify for TCP assistance. The remaining requests (19%) have been processed in 2008. 369 TCP projects with a total value of USD 82.9 million were approved, as compared to 499 projects and USD 98.9 million in 2004-2005. TCP approval level in 2006-2007 was thus equivalent to 86.6% of the Appropriation16
Table 6: TCP project approvals in 2006-07 (USD million)
|Type of TCP Project
||Number of projects*
||Average budget per project
||% of total approved budget
|TCP Facility **
|* includes Phase II projects
|** includes three regional TCP Facilities
194. The distribution by regions of the resources approved during 2006-07 is reflected in the table below, which refers to all types projects.
Figure 4: Share of approved TCP project resources by region (percentage)
195. . Delivery
: During the reporting period, delivery reached USD 62.7 million (of which USD 27.1 million refers to projects approved during 2006-07). This level represents almost a 45% decrease as compared to 2004-0517
. The severe liquidity shortage experienced by the Organization led to slow-down in TCP approvals during part of 2006-07. Such a significant decrease was also a result of the high percentage of projects approved during 2004-2005 that were fully delivered within the same biennium.
196. The distribution of the TCP delivery by project category is illustrated below.
Table 7: TCP delivery by project category, 2006-07, including administrative and operational support services (USD million)
||Delivery During 2006-07
||% of Total Delivery
TCP in relation to major FAO programmes
197. TCP assistance covered the entire spectrum of FAO technical expertise, as broadly illustrated in the table below. It is recalled that all TCP projects are backstopped by a lead technical division or a multidisciplinary team in the regional-subregional offices. Every TCP project is thus implemented in accordance with FAO’s norms, standards and best practices, and contributes to the application of the knowledge of the Organization.
Table 8: TCP delivery by programme, 2006-07 (USD million)
||Delivery in 2006-07
||% of total budget
||Diseases and pests of animals and plants
||Crop production systems management
||Food and agriculture policy
||Sustainable natural resources management
||Food security, poverty reduction and other development cooperation programmes
||Nutrition and consumer protection
||Forest management, conservation and rehabilitation
||Rural infrastructure and agro-industries
||Livestock production systems management
||Fisheries and aquaculture information, statistics, economics, and policy
||Fisheries and aquaculture management and conservation
||Forestry information, statistics, economics, and policy
||Technology, research and extension
||Fisheries and aquaculture products and industry
||Agriculture information and statistics
||Leveraging resources and investment
||Forest products and industry
||Gender and equity in rural societies
||Trade and marketing
||Emergency and post crisis management
||Knowledge exchange and capacity building
||Alliances and advocacy initiatives against hunger and poverty
||UN cooperation, integration and monitoring
198. As it appears from the above table, five programmes account for 63% of the delivery, 2C: Animal and plant diseases, 2A: Crop production; 3B: Food and agricultural policy, 2K: Sustainable natural resources management and 4C: Food security, poverty reduction and other development cooperation programmes.
Emergency assistance and support to rehabilitation
199. The value of national and regional emergency projects approved during 2006-2007 represents 12% of the total18
, as compared to 27.7% in 2004-2005, during which the TCP was instrumental in supporting FAO’s assistance to countries and regions affected by large, complex emergencies such as locust and avian influenza outbreaks. In implementing the TCP “reform” as relates to emergency assistance, there is a progressive shift away from emergency interventions aimed solely at the provision of inputs towards more lasting interventions for reducing vulnerability through strengthening of prevention, mitigation and preparedness capacity. A risk mitigation or preparedness component has been incorporated into TCP emergency projects approved since 2006 and a more technical, multidisciplinary approach has been adopted, whenever appropriate.
The TCP Facility
200. The introduction of a revised TCP Facility modality, as of January 2006, has been a concrete step towards strengthening the capacity of the FAORs and other decentralized offices to participate in national processes and quickly respond to governments’ demand for immediate, focused technical assistance. Under the TCP Facility, the authority to approve activities for up to USD 200,000 per biennium and per country/subregion/region has been given to the FAORs, SRC and RRs, respectively. 20% of TCP approvals in 2006-07 (USD 16.8 million) were for TCP facilities in 122 countries (USD 16,2 million) and in 3 regions-subregions (USD 0.6 million).
201. While it is too early to fully assess the benefits, the extensive use of the TCP facility indicates that it has quickly become a valuable instrument for FAO to more effectively participate in national planning exercises: for example, 20 countries have benefited from the TCP Facility to support the formulation of the NMTPF, including five “Delivering as One” pilot countries; other projects have provided policy and strategy orientations to governments or helped prepare agricultural-related programmes, projects or investment activities and build partnerships at the national level towards strengthening the FAO field programme.
202. The TCP facility also served as an entry point for FAO’s emerging areas of work. For instance, in a number of countries, assistance was provided: to assess the impact of climate change or to implement strategies for reducing and managing the risks related to climate variability; to assess the consumption of all types of biofuels and their potential contribution to bioenergy production; to prepare national bioenergy policies and strategies; to estimate the potential of different supply sources for biofuels production; to prepare plans for the use of biodiesel and undertake studies on the sustainable production and rational use of wood-based energy.
203. In 2006-2007, out of 3119
regional and inter-regional projects approved, 16 projects were implemented through or jointly with regional-subregional organizations, mainly those regional-subregional economic organizations that are also involved in regional programmes for food security. The TCP is assisting these organizations in assuming their coordinating role and improving the cooperation between countries in issues related to agriculture; preparing regional programmes in fields of common or transboundary concern; developing reference tools in specific technical areas; supporting the implementation of strategic policies or economic initiatives, etc. Other non-emergency regional projects, approved during the same period, have been requested by all the participating countries. This is in line with the governing bodies' recommendations to ensure that regional TCP projects respond to governments’ interests, with a view to strengthening their participation and ownership in the preparation, implementation and follow-up of regional activities.
204. TCP assistance enables FAO to address food and agriculture-related issues through building regional, national and local capacities and delivering the knowledge, skills and capabilities requested by Members to boost agricultural development, reduce poverty and strengthen food security.
205. Recently, a test was carried out of a TCP “end-of project self-assessment”. The responses obtained on the training aspect of TCP projects indicate that the 50 TCP projects for which valid questionnaires were received, provided training to a total of 4,984 farmers, 1,454 government staff, 338 non-governmental or civil society organizations’ staff and 632 other people. The average percentage of female trainees in all categories was 25%.
206. Two examples, extracted from this “end-of project self-assessment” questionnaire of the type of training that can be provided through TCP assistance are given in Section 1.C: Regional Dimensions of FAO Achievements
TCP catalytic effects
207. The TCP plays a catalytic role in transferring, for implementation at local level, methodologies, guidelines and best practice approaches developed by FAO, articulating global and local needs.
208. As a way of facilitating the sustainability of project achievements and catalysing further changes, in view of its small-scale dimension, TCP assistance is meant to pave the way for other better resourced programmes. It is at the end of the project or, in most cases, after its closure, that “catalytic” results can be adequately assessed.
209. When a project reaches its conclusion, the FAO Representative organises consultations with the government and the project stakeholders to review achievements and the follow-up measures required to ensure sustainability and the expected catalytic effects. The results of these consultations are included in the project terminal statement.
210. The analysis of the 50 “end-of project self-assessment” questionnaires shows that project outputs were integrated into ongoing national programmes in 39 cases and up-scaled through donor support or government funds. In 28 cases, a national policy document or legislative framework elaborated by the project was later adopted by government authorities, while in the case of 30 projects, government staff trained by the project were successful in expanding the training activities to others. A replication of pilot activities carried out with TCP assistance took place in 26 cases, whereas institutional restructuring following TCP assistance was reported from 17 projects.
211. The example reported below from Mozambique illustrates the wide-ranging benefits and catalytic effects that can result from a TCP project.
Mozambique: Formulation of actions for resilient livelihoods and healthy lifestyles in the context of HIV/AIDS – Preparation for the Belgian Survival Fund
Between 1992 and 2002, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Mozambique amongst adults rose from 3.3% to 13.6%, predicting about 1.1 million maternal orphans by 2010. This undermines household livelihoods and the ability to achieve food security and good nutrition as it strikes households through its most productive members. By draining the resource base of households and communities, it causes and worsens food insecurity and poverty. In turn, food insecurity and poverty lead already vulnerable people into behaviours, practices and livelihood strategies that further increase the risk of HIV infection.
To help break this vicious circle of poverty-HIV infection, building on previous survey ground work in 2005-2006, a TCP project supported the design of technically sound interventions for donors support. Technical expertise was thus provided in the fields of nutrition and household food security, participatory planning processes, gender and HIV/AIDS mainstreaming and income diversification. The TCP resulted in the formulation of a project for protecting and improving household food security and nutrition in HIV/AIDS affected areas.
As a result of this catalytic intervention, the Belgian Survival Fund financed the implementation of the follow-up project for an amount of almost USD 3.5 million. This project will run until 2009 to help the country strengthen local institutional capacities for improved intervention to safeguard the livelihoods of vulnerable households in areas affected by HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, while at the same time improving knowledge, attitudes and behaviors to reduce vulnerability to infections.