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Parliamentary Alliance hosts a policy round table on agroecology

Photo credit: FAO/ Federica Vaghetti

10/05/2018 - 

On 20 March 2018, the European Parliament Alliance on the Fight Against Hunger, MEP Maria Heubuch and the FAO’s Liaison Office to the European Union and Belgium (FAOLOB) co-hosted with the participation of the European Commission a policy dialogue debate entitled “Agroecology: Opportunities and Challenges for European Development policy” which was held at the European Parliament.

In her introductory remarks, Maria Heubuch highlighted the “importance and timeliness of the policy dialogue on agroecology,” which took place in the run-up to the  2nd International Symposium on Agroecology held at the FAO Headquarters on 3-5 April 2018 in Rome.

Rodrigo de Lapuerta, FAO’s Director of the Liaison office  to the European Union and Belgium stressed that “agroecology could significantly contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG2) on ending hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.” Emile Frison, IPES Food, illustrated the economic, environmental, nutritional and health, social and cultural outcomes of diversified agroecological systems. Caterina Batello, FAO’s Team Leader on Ecosystem Management and Agroecology gave a presentation on FAO’s Scaling Up Agroecology initiative which offers a “platform for dialogue on agroecology and opportunity to build fruitful partnership with experts.” Leonard Mizzi, Acting Director for Planet and Prosperity, European Commission Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) emphasized that “sustainable agriculture practices aimed at enhancing soil fertility, maximizing biodiversity and improving water use efficacy is key.” Michel Pimbert, University of Coventry, presented his latest paper on the funding of agroecology in UK development aid. Million Belay, Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), presented a 15year agroecologial case study in Ethiopia which due to its success got expended across the region. Sébastian Subsol, Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, France and Stefan Schmitz, Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany, presented their respective countries’ policies in this regard.

The presentations were followed by a debate with the audience with Members of Parliament, different Commission services, representatives from EU Member States, regional organizations, academia and civil society.