Spotlight on the mountains


The Web site for the International Year of Mountains (IYM) has been redesigned and can now be reached from the FAO home page.

The Web site plays a significant role in communicating IYM's goals, which include informing the world about the fragility of mountain ecosystems, the importance of protecting mountain resources and managing them sustainably and the urgent need to address poverty and hunger in mountain communities.

The site, available in English, French and Spanish, contains sections on the world's ranges, key mountain themes and the work being done by IYM partners. A Newsroom will highlight relevant issues, events and projects and chart the progress in preparations for commemoration of the Year in 2002. The Newsroom also includes information on upcoming events and links to stories and other relevant Web sites

19 April 2001

International Year of Mountains
Mountain photofile


Redesigned web page

If you have a question about gender and development, if you want information on land tenure in Eastern Europe or if you need to find a specific FAO document regarding biological diversity, click on the redesigned Web site of FAO's Sustainable Development department.

The new site, which highlights the broad range of activities under the domain of FAO's Sustainable Development Department, is extensive and easy to navigate. The site is available in English, French and Spanish. An Arabic version is currently under development.

28 March 2001

Redesigned Web site of FAO's Sustainable Development department

Multi-stakeholder forum on Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development


How can governments, civil society and the private sector best collaborate to achieve sustainable agriculture and rural development? And how can they attract institutional and financial support for agriculture and rural development?

These are the two major questions to be discussed at a multi-stakeholder forum on Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD) taking place on 29 March, concurrent with the 16th Session of the FAO Committee on Agriculture (29-30 March).

The forum brings together representatives from indigenous people, trade unions, farm workers, non-governmental organizations, civil society groups, the private sector and governments. The purpose of the forum is to improve collaboration between the groups and to find ways to mobilize more resources for sustainable agriculture and rural development. In addition, participants will formulate recommendations for the May meeting of the Commission on Sustainable Development and the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Rio+10) to be held in South Africa in 2002.

An electronic conference, "Towards Rio+10 and Beyond: Progress in Land and Agriculture", leads up to the multi-stakeholder forum. The purpose of the e-conference is to get different perspectives on progress made since the "Earth Summit" in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and to spur further achievements. The contributions to the e-conference will be used in the report on Land and Agriculture being prepared for the meeting of the Commission on Sustainable Development.

27 March 2001

Agriculture, land and rural development web site
Electronic Conference - Toward Rio+10 and Beyond: Progress in Land and Agriculture
Spotlight article: Renewing sustainable agriculture and rural development
FAO's Committee on Agriculture (COAG)

FAO Committee on Forestry meets in Rome 12-16 March


The FAO Committee on Forestry (COFO) examines the state of the world's forests when it gathers for the 15th committee meeting from 12 to 16 March at FAO headquarters in Rome. This biennial session of COFO brings together delegates from more than 100 countries.

The main topics on the agenda are:

  • Review of FAO programmes in the forestry sector, including the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2000 (FRA 2000) which is the most comprehensive assessment in the Organization's 50 year history.

  • The potential impact of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change on the forestry sector.

  • Preparations for the observance of the International Year of Mountains in 2002, for which FAO is the lead agency in the UN system.

In addition, items in FAO's Medium-Term Plan 2002-2007 concerning forestry will be discussed.

 9 March 2001

The Committee on Forestry
Documents for the 15th Session of the Committee on Forestry


Listen to Mr. David Harcharik, FAO Deputy Director-General, addressing the participants of the COFO (1'01") -
in RealAudio (126Kb) and in mp3 (477Kb) - Click here to download our files


New FAO tool for combating animal disease outbreaks


Public concern about food safety and animal health has been heightened by the recent outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease and mad cow disease, and this has highlighted the urgent need for effective national preparedness systems to prevent new animal epidemics.

Animal disease emergencies, including transboundary outbreaks, can result in food shortages, destabilize markets, trigger trade barriers and devastate national economies. But if a new disease can be identified quickly while it is still confined to a relatively small area, and if prompt action is taken to contain and progressively eliminate it, the chances of its successful eradication are greatly increased.

FAO has now released a new multimedia program to help countries set up effective procedures for coping with animal disease emergencies. The Good Emergency Management Practices (GEMP) program was produced as part of FAO's Emergency Prevention System (EMPRES) for Transboundary Animal and Plant Pests and Diseases. It comprises a three-pronged approach that includes early warning, early reaction and control measures. The aim is to help countries to develop emergency preparedness contingency plans for each animal disease.

The GEMP program details standard control measures to be implemented during an emergency -- from the first suspicion of the disease to its eradication. Other tools include readiness and planning checklists to help those charged with responding to emergencies clarify their objectives and procedures. GEMP also provides information on laboratory techniques for disease detection and includes an extensive photo library illustrating disease symptoms to aid in diagnosis. In addition, it contains training materials, video clips and links to laboratories worldwide as well as organizations involved in emergency management.

The program is available on CD-ROM and on the FAO Website. Click here to access the program via the Web.

6 March 2001


Mad cow disease: FAO recommends precautions
Press release on mad cow disease
Animal Production and Health Division
Emergency Prevention System (EMPRES)
Foot-and-Mouth Disease web page  


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