Increasing resilience at the regional level
FAO works at all levels (global, regional, national and local) with governments and communities to increase the resilience of agriculture-based livelihoods through four key areas:
- Govern risks and crises: legal, policy and institutional systems and regulatory frameworks;
- Watch to safeguard: regular information and early warning against potential, known and emerging threats;
- Apply risk and vulnerability reduction measures: risk and vulnerability reduction at household and community levels; and
- Prepare and respond: prepare for and manage effective responses when crises do occur.
Many threats and shocks are transboundary by nature, demanding efforts to increase resilience to deal with regional impacts. For example, natural hazards can damage terrestrial and aquatic eco-systems across national borders. Plant pests like locusts or cassava mosaic, high impact animal diseases such as avian influenza or peste des petits ruminants, or food safety events like radio-nuclear food contamination have regional and even global repercussions.
A regional approach to increase the resilience of livelihoods is crucial as eco-systems services, such as water, biodiversity and fertile soil, do not recognize administrative boundaries. Large eco-systems around river basins such as the Niger, Nile and Mekong Rivers require collaboration among several countries to ensure sustainable management of the catchment area, including preventing, mitigating, preparing for and responding to shocks.
Value chains linked to the storage, processing, and marketing/trading of agricultural products increasingly cross borders. Shocks in one country can seriously reduce food availability and undermine food security in another, as seen in the recent major food crises in the Sahel and Horn of Africa. Increasing the resilience of livelihoods in these contexts require governments, communities and other partners to worktogether to effectively prevent, prepare for and cope with threats and disasters that impact agriculture, food security and nutrition.
At the same time, the increasing mobility of people and their assets means natural disasters and conflicts have widespread impacts that spill over borders and can drive instability and food insecurity across an entire region. For example, in Syria, where violence and displacement has spilled over, creating a massive refugee crisis throughout the region.