This member participated in the following discussions
I particularly support three bold statements made in the very short section on strategies to promote sustainable food systems:
- "Inequality among stakeholders has to be compensated at least to some degree by public sector (i.e. government) intervention, in a way that leads to greater overall prosperity.
- The “rules of the game” need to be adjusted so that the true costs and benefits of certain practices are accounted for in a fair manner.
- Financial incentives are not the only consideration but are one of the strongest levers of change available."
Indeed, a key strategy to promote sustainable food systems is to recognize that we need a combination of measures, to compensate, adjust and incentivize change. For agricultural producers to adopt more sustainable practices, these need to be integrated in a package of actions that genuinely improves farm management and income. Agricultural producers will only be able to comply with conservation requirements and restoration goals, if they can maintain or improve productivity elsewhere on their farm and reduce pressure on remaining natural ecosystems, and the opportunity cost of land for restoration. Similarly, investment in rehabilitation and sustainable management must have an economic return.
SFS investments must take agriculture producers to a new equilibrium with restored and productive landscapes, producing higher environmental benefits, on farm and beyond, with lower opportunity costs. But this doesn’t necessarily require much additional investment as there are a variety of programmes offering incentives for this transition. These range from policy-driven investments to fulfil mandatory regulations, such as taxes and charges; to private strategies for saving production costs (water-quality protection programmes); to opening new markets (certificates/standards); to voluntary investments in social and livelihood benefits (corporate social responsibility and NGO investments in social development).
An important contribution that the SFS Framework can make, in addition to the others mentioned in 3.1., is to bring in investments from the consumer side, linked to certification and other strategies for sourcing of sustainable agriculture products and services, to better reward producers for environmental and social benefits of sustainable food production systems.
In the next stages of the 10 YFP SFS, greater attention needs to be given to strategies to increase policy coherence- across environment, agriculture, health, finance- and convergence of sustainability investments along the value chains.
In our work on Incentives for Ecosystem Services (IES) for Food and Agriculture, we share the expected outcome of the 10YFP-SFSP as we also hope to “propose a mix of policy, regulatory and voluntary instruments (…) to accelerate the uptake of SCP practice across food systems.” We hope to do this through activities similar to those you propose, especially:
- “Objective 4: Bring together initiatives and develop partnerships to build synergies and cooperation to leverage resources towards mutual goal of promoting, enhancing and facilitating the shift towards more sustainable food systems”.
- Work Area 2: Encourage, facilitate and support inclusive multi-stakeholder dialogue to help inform interconnected policymaking:
a) capacity building provision to governments and policy makers to facilitate:
o (iii) assessment of policy options, including cost-effectiveness and welfare analysis; and
o (iv) the building of capacity for regulation, enforcement, and EIA ( environmental and social impact assessment) processes; and
o b) promoting the building of Public Private Partnerships to, for example, expand access to finance
o Work Area 3: Facilitate the use and enhance opportunities for market-based and/or voluntary approaches:
c) identification, and piloting the viability of innovative market mechanisms for environmental services in the agri-food supply chain, and scale-up (e.g. the role of Payments for Ecosystem Services);
As such, please consider adding to page 4 of the FAO EOI: Land and Water (NRL) – work on sustainable management of land and water, and the development of incentives to support their adoption, through coordinated planning and investment in agriculture and environmental measures.
For more background see attached:
- our stocktacking form;
- the contribution we made at your last meeting FAO-UNEP Sustainable Food Systems Programme: Workshop on Knowledge and Information for Sustainable Food Systems, Rome, 10-11 September 2014;
- a project flyer showing how we will do this in 2015;
regards to all
Natural Resources Officer