FAO/Netherlands Conference on the Multifunctional Character of Agriculture and Land


NEW: Click here for the Report of the Chair (PDF Veresion Here)

NEW: Click here for the opening and closing addresses

NEW: Click here for the final Summary Conference Report

NEW: List of Conference Participants in PDF Format (110kb)

Please send in your comments and views to the WebForum - we will distribute them immediately to Conference Delegates and to internet participants of the Virtual Maastricht electronic conference. Please Click Here or send an email to agr-99-conference@fao.org


Images from Maastricht
Please go Here for more images)

Hans Alders, elected Conference Chairperson addressing Conference Delegates in the morning session on Monday, 13 September, 1999.

The text of his speech is now available here

Photograph reproduced courtesty of IISD

Paul Nicholson of Via Campesina and Alex McCalla, Director of Rural Development at the World Bank listening to a presentation on the Issues Paper on Monday, 13 September 1999.

Photograph reproduced courtesty of IISD

Henri Carsalade, Assistant Director-General, Sustainable Development Department is heading the FAO Delegation at the Conference

Photograph reproduced courtesty of IISD

Delegates divided into regional groups to discuss the MFCAL Appraoch guided by a series of case study presentations.

Here was can see the Africa group. A report of this session can be found in the Sustainable Developments daily Conference bulletin for Tuesday, 14 September produced by the IISD element of the WebForum Team (See Here)

Photograph reproduced courtesty of IISD

Bruce Moore, Co-ordinator of the Popular Coalition to Eradicate Hunger and Poverty stressing the need to extend secure access to land and other nature resources for the rural poor throughout the world

Saad Nassar from Egypt, reporting to Plenary on the findings and conclusions of the Regional Group meetings on Tuesday morning


Welcome to the official website site of the FAO/NL Conference on the Multifunctional Character of Agriculture and Land. The Conference will take place in Maastricht in the Netherlands from 12-17 September, 1999.

This site provides you with both information and answers on the actual Conference in Maastricht, the preparatory process, available documentation, several related initiatives taking place in the run-up to the Conference and during the event itself, and finally, important contact information.

A short Overview of the whole process is also available.

About the Conference

Conference Goals

The overall objective of the Conference is to identify both the new practices and the necessary enabling environments that will lead to the increased sustainability of agriculture and related land-use.

Particular emphasis will be placed on raising international, national and local awareness of the range and diversity of the contribution that agriculture and related land-use can make in terms of heightened environmental sustainability and food security. 

Inputs to the Conference

Conference participants will have access to three types of material: (click on the heading to find out more about the different inputs)
  1. Technical Documents
  2. Background Papers
  3. Case-Study Materials

During the Conference

Maximum effort will be made during the Conference to keep as many people as possible informed about discussions, progress and issues. These efforts will be centred on the Virtual Maastricht WebForum. The WebForum will involve:
  • E-Mail Conference
  • Daily Conference Reports on the Internet
  • On-line Documentation
  • Selected Other On-line Resources

Conference Outputs & Reporting

The Conference will have two main outputs:
  1. Summary Report
  2. Main Conference Report