Development Law

The Legal Office provides legal advisory services to governments on land, water, fisheries, plants, animals, food, forestry, wildlife and national parks and environment and biodiversity, as well as general agricultural issues (institutions, trade, economic reform). Current legal advisory projects include 70 countries from every region of the world.

Working with the technical services of FAO, it helps governments prepare laws, regulations, agreements and other legal texts, advises on institutional structures and compliance with international law. An element of most advisory projects is capacity building through participatory training of national officials and consultants.


Upon request of an FAO member country, the Development Law Service assists in amending or drafting a basic food law and accompanying regulations to restructure the system of food control and surveillance. In some countries, overlapping responsibilities or gaps in the legislative framework or in its implementation can lead to incomplete coverage in the food control and food safety system.

Recently, Bhutan and Sudan benefited from FAO assistance in reviewing the legislative framework for food control. Ghana, Guyana, Suriname, Syria, Tanzania and several Francophone West African states have also sought FAO legal assistance on food safety issues. The Caribbean members of CARIFORUM are seeking assistance to prepare a legal instrument to create the Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency, which will cover food safety, animal health and plant health protection matters for the Caribbean region.

Where we are worldwide

Click image to enlarge