Food

Greening the Economy with Agriculture 7 August 2012 Greening the Economy with Agriculture refers to ensuring the right to adequate food, as well as food and nutrition security in terms of food availability, access, stability and utilization and contributing to the quality of rural livelihoods, while efficiently managing natural resources and improving resilience and equity throughout the food supply chain, taking into account countries individual circumstances. [more]
Appropriate food packaging solutions for developing countries 22 June 2012 The study assesses the state of packaging and packaging technologies in developing countries, with the challenge of global food losses and the potential for agri-food systems as the backdrop. The purpose of the exercise is to identify packaging solutions in developing countries, within the limits of prevailing levels of development and conditions, and in an attempt to make better use of the locally available packagingmaterials. This is done within the framework of developing countries’ role as major supplier to the global food system and, consequently, as contributor to the search for global food loss solutions. [more]
Global InitiatIve on Food loss and Waste Reduction 22 June 2012 The impacts of food losses and waste are multifaceted. Food losses and waste have repercussions on hunger and poverty alleviation, nutrition, income generation and economic growth. Food losses are indicative of poorly functioning and inefficient value chains and food systems, and as such they represent a loss of economic value for the actors in these chains. [more]
Towards the Future We Want - End Hunger and make the transition to sustainable agricultural and food systems - Brochure 5 June 2012 Healthy and productive life depends on food and nutrition security. Yet hundreds of millions of people suffer from hunger and other nutritional deficiencies, and the majority of those people derive their livelihoods from agriculture. We must recognize that the millions of people who manage agricultural systems – from the very poorest to the most commercialized producers – constitute the largest group of natural resource managers on earth. Their decisions, as well as those of the world’s 7 billion consumers, are key to global food security and the health of the world’s ecosystems. The conditions needed to achieve universal food security and nutrition, responsible environmental stewardship and greater fairness in food management intersect in agricultural and food systems at global, national and local levels. [more]
Towards the future we want: End hunger and make a transition to sustainable agriculture and food systems 5 June 2012 Improving agricultural and food systems is essential for a world with healthier people and healthier ecosystems. Healthy and productive lives cannot be achieved unless “all people at all times have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life” (FAO, 1996). Healthy ecosystems must be resilient and productive, and provide the goods and services needed to meet current societal needs and desires without jeopardizing the options for future generations to benefit from the full range of goods and services provided by terrestrial, aquatic and marine ecosystems. There are very strong linkages between the conditions to achieve universal food security and nutrition, responsible environmental stewardship and greater fairness in food management. They intersect in agricultural and food systems at the global, national and local levels. [more]
Vers l'avenir que nous voulons engager la lutte contre la faim et faire la transition vers des systèmes agro-alimentaires durables - Brochure 4 June 2012 La possibilité de mener une vie saine et productive dépend de la sécurité alimentaire et de la nutrition. Pourtant des centaines de millions de personnes souffrent de la faim et d’autres carences nutritionnelles, et la plupart d’entre eux tirent leurs moyens de subsistance de l’agriculture. Nous devons reconnaître que les millions de personnes qui gèrent lessystèmes agricoles – depuis les producteurs les plus pauvres aux plus commerciaux – constituent le plus grand groupe de responsables des ressources naturelles au monde. Leurs décisions, ainsi que celles de 7 milliards de consommateurs du monde, sont déterminantes pour la sécurité alimentaire mondiale et la santé des écosystèmes de la planète. Les conditions nécessaires pour assurer la sécurité alimentaire et la nutrition universelles, la sauvegarde responsable de l’environnement et une plus grande équité dans la gestion des aliments se rejoignent dans les systèmes alimentaires aux niveaux mondial,national et local. [more]
Vers l'avenir que nous voulons - En finir avec la faim et engager la transition vers des systèmes agro-alimentaires durables 4 June 2012 L''amélioration des systémes agricoles et alimentaires est indispensable pour un monde dans lequel les personnes et les écosystémes seront en meilleure santé. Des vies plus saines et plus productives ne peuvent exister que lorsque tous les étres humains ont, a tout moment, la possibilité physique, sociale et économique de se procurer une nourriture suffisante, saine et nutritive leur permettant de satisfaire leurs besoins énergétiques et préférences alimentaires pour mener une vie saine et activé(FAO, 1996). Des écosystémes sains doivent etre résilients et productifs; ils doivent fournir les biens et les services nécessaires pour répondre aux besoins et aspirations actuels de la société sans compromettre la possibilité, pour les générations futures, de bénéficier de l''éventail complet de biens et de services procurés par les écosystémes terrestres, aquatiques et marins. Des liens trés étroits existent entre les conditions requises pour assurer la sécurité alimentaire et la nutrition universelles, la gestion responsable de l''environnement, et la gestion plus équitable des produits alimentaires. Ces aspects se recoupent dans les systémes agricoles et alimentaires au niveau mondial, national et local. Afin de les mettre en exergue, la FAO a trois principaux messages à transmettre au Sommet de Rio+20: La vision du développement durable envisage à Rio ne peut être réalisée qu''en éliminant définitivement la faim et la malnutrition. La vision de Rio exige que les systémes de consommation et de production alimentaire produisent plus avec moins. La transition vers un avenir durable impose une modification fondamentale des modes de gouvernance de l''alimentation et de l''agriculture, ainsi q''une répartition équitable des coûts et des avantages qui en d''ecoulent. [more]
Hacia el futuro que queremos. Erradicación del hambre y transición a sistemas agrícolas y alimentarios sostenibles 4 June 2012 Mejorar los sistemas agrí­colas y alimentarios es fundamental para tener un mundo con personas más sanas y ecosistemas más saludables. No se pueden lograr vidas saludables y productivas a no ser que “todas las personas tengan, en todo momento, acceso físico, social y económico a suficientes alimentos inocuos y nutritivos para satisfacer sus necesidades alimenticias y sus preferencias en cuanto a los alimentos con el fin de llevar una vida activa y sana. Los ecosistemas saludables deben ser resilientes y productivos, y facilitar los bienes y servicios necesarios para responder a las necesidades y deseos de la sociedad actual sin poner en riesgo la posibilidad de que las generaciones futuras se beneficien de este abanico completo de bienes y servicios facilitados por los ecosistemas terrestres, acuáticos y marinos. Existen vínculos muy sólidos entre las condiciones para alcanzar la seguridad alimentaria y nutricional universal, la administración responsable de los recursos medioambientales y una mayor justicia en la gestión alimentaria. Todos ellos se cruzan en los sistemas agrícolas y alimentarios a nivel mundial, nacional y local. Para subrayar estos ví­nculos, la FAO tiene tres mensajes principales de cara a la cumbre Rí­o+20: La visión de Rí­o de un desarrollo sostenible no podrá realizarse a menos que se erradiquen el hambre y la malnutrición. La visión de Rí­o requiere que tanto el consumo como la producción alimentarias logren más con menos. La transición a un futuro sostenible requiere cambios fundamentales en la gobernanza de la alimentación y la agricultura, así­ como una distribución equitativa de los costos de la transición y de sus beneficios. La FAO está convencida de que la visión de Río seguirá sin cumplirse mientras perduren el hambre y la malnutrición. El manejo sostenible de los sistemas agrícolas y alimentarios es clave para un futuro sostenible. [more]
Sustainable Development 20 Years on from the Earth Summit: Progress, gaps and strategic guidelines for Latin America and the Caribbean 4 June 2012 This joint UN publication presents an analysis of progress made and difficulties encountered in Latin America and the Caribbean in implementing global commitments on sustainable development since 1992, and proposed guidelines for moving towards sustainable development in the region. The proposal by the United Nations to reflect upon a "green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication" aspires to catalyse the changes needed in the region. Under the principle of shared but differentiated responsibilities, the green economy is understood in opposition to a brown economy, which compartmentalizes, pollutes, excludes and destroys. This proposal advocates the redesign of specific public policies that promote a low-carbon development pattern resistant to disasters and climate change, create green jobs and factor into decision-making the economic costs and benefits associated with the use of ecosystem services and materials. An economy for sustainable development reduces negative environmental impacts, such as carbon emissions and pollution, promotes efficient use of energy and resources and avoids the loss of biological diversity and ecosystem services, thus improving well-being now and in the future. [more]
Incorporating climate change considerations into agricultural investment programmes. A guidance document 2 June 2012 The world’s agricultural sectors, including agriculture, forestry and fisheries,1 face many challenges in meeting the food requirements of an ever-increasing population – such as intensive competition for land and water resources and a degrading environment – and these are compounded by a changing climate. Climate change alters the basics of productive ecosystems (e.g. temperature and rainfall), impacts on natural resources (e.g. land and water availability) and affects food security, rural livelihoods and sustainable development at global, regional and local levels. Smallholder farmers, forest dwellers, herders and fishers will be the most affected by climate change because of their limited capacity to adapt to its impacts. These groups could immensely benefit from efforts to strengthen their adaptation capacity. Adaptation is needed now. Postponing action increases adaptation costs. [more]
Submission of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests to the preparatory process of Rio+20 1 June 2012 Forests cover around one third of the Earth’s land surface, and these ecosystems and their goods and services and related activities contribute to the objectives of the Earth Summit 2012 in multiple and essential ways. In the future—with pressures on land to meet increased food production projected to surge, the climate changing and energy prices rising—forests are going to be called upon extensively to garner solutions. [more]
Rome-based Organizations Submission to Rio +20 - Outcome Document 1 June 2012 Rome-based Organizations Submission to Rio +20 - Outcome Document [more]
Joint statement on the Rio+20 Zero Draft Outcome Document 1 June 2012 Bioversity, FAO, IFAD and WFP are grateful to the organizers and Member states for the opportunity to make this joint response. We are pleased to see food security highlighted as a priority area in the zero draft, as well as the determination to free humanity from hunger and to redouble efforts to eradicate poverty and hunger. [more]
The Global Soil Partnership for Food Security and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation 1 June 2012 There is increasing degradation of soil resources due to population pressures, inappropriate practices and inadequate governance over this valuable resource. Soils can be considered as non-renewable in the time frame of human activities. The GSP will aim towards collaboration and sharing of responsibilities so as to provide a coherent framework for joint strategies and actions. The GSP should aim at facilitating the dialogue and interaction among the various users and stakeholders currently using soil resources.The ultimate twinned goal of the GSP should be the sustainable and productive use of the soil resources of the world. [more]
Green economy for sustainable mountain development 1 June 2012 Mountains are an important source of vital ecosystem services and have a significant role in economic development, environmental protection, ecological sustainability, and human wellbeing. The international community recognised the importance of mountains at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992 through adoption of Chapter 13 in Agenda 21. Chapter 13 underscored the role of mountains in global sustainable development. [more]
Global food losses and food waste 1 June 2012 This publication is based on studies carried out from August 2010 to January 2011 by The Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology (SIK) on request from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).The two studies on global food losses (one for high/medium-income countries and one for low income countries) have been carried out to serve as a basis for the international congress Save Food!, 16-17 May 2011, at the international packaging industry fair Interpack2011 in Düsseldorf, Germany. Save Food! has been co-organized by Interpack2011 and FAO. Save Food! aims at awareness raising on global food losses and waste, and on the impact of these on poverty and hunger in the world, as well as on climate change and on the use of natural resources. [more]
Save and Grow: A policymaker's guide to the sustainable intensification of smallholder crop production 1 June 2012 To feed a growing world population, we have no option but to intensify crop production. But farmers face unprecedented constraints. In order to grow, agriculture must learn to save. [more]
Climate-Smart' Agriculture: Policies, Practices and Financing for Food Security, Adaptation, and Mitigation 1 June 2012 responses required to achieve climate-smart agriculture which sustainably increases productivity, resilience (adaptation), reduces/removes Greenhouse Gases (mitigation), and enhances achievement of national food security and development goals. Building on case studies from the field, the paper outlines a range of practices, approaches and tools aimed at increasing the resilience and productivity of agricultural production systems, while also reducing and removing emissions. The second part of the paper surveys institutional and policy options available to promote the transition to climate‐smart agriculture at the smallholder level. Finally, the paper considers current financing gaps and makes innovative suggestions regarding the combined use of different sources, financing mechanisms and delivery systems. [more]
Climate-Smart Agriculture: Managing Ecosystems for Sustainable Livelihoods 1 June 2012 Business-as-usual scenarios of population growth and food consumption patterns indicate that agricultural production will need to increase by 70 percent by 2050 to meet global demand for food. The impacts of climate change will reduce productivity and lead to greater instability in production in the agricultural sector (crop and livestock production, fisheries and forestry) in communities that already have high levels of food insecurity and environmental degradation and limited options for coping with adverse weather conditions. [more]
Climate-smart Agriculture: A Synthesis of Empirical Evidence of Food Security and Mitigation Benefits from Improved Cropland Management 1 June 2012 Meeting the food demand of a global population expected to reach 9.1 billion in 2050 and over 10 billion by the end of the century will require major changes in agricultural production systems. Improving cropland management is key to increasing crop productivity without further degrading soil and water resources. At the same time, sustainable agriculture has the potential to deliver cobenefits in the form of reduced GHG emissions and increased carbon sequestration, therefore contributing to climate change mitigation. This paper synthesizes the results of a literature review reporting the evidence base of different sustainable land management practices aimed at increasing and stabilizing crop productivity in developing countries. It is shown that soil and climate characteristics are key to interpreting the impact on crop yields and mitigation of different agricultural practices and that technology options most promising for enhancing food security at smallholder level are also effective for increasing system resilience in dry areas and mitigating climate change in humid areas. [more]
Climate Smart Agriculture: Smallholder Adoption and Implications for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation 1 June 2012 There are a wide range of agriculture-based practices and technologies that have the potential to increase food production and the adaptive capacity of the food production system, as well as reduce emissions or enhance carbon storage in agricultural soils and biomass. However, even where such synergies exist, capturing them may entail significant costs, particularly for smallholders in the shortterm. In this paper, we provide a brief review of the adaptation and mitigation benefits from various practices, and then focus in detail on empirical evidence concerning costs and barriers to adoption, both from household and project-level data. Findings indicate that up-front investment costs can be a significant barrier to adoption for certain investments and practices, and furthermore, the evidence also supports the hypotheses that opportunity and transactions costs across a wide range of investments and practices. Additionally, potential synergies between food security, adaptation and mitigation opportunities, as well as costs, can differ substantially across different agro-ecological zones, climate regimes, and historical land use patterns. [more]
Identifying opportunities for climate-smart agriculture investments in Africa 1 June 2012 The agriculture sector in Africa is being called on to increase food production to meet the food demand for a growing population. This formidable challenge will be further exacerbated by climate change which will have significant impacts on the various dimensions and determinants of food security. African policymakers are thus challenged to ensure that agriculture contributes to addressing food security, development and climate change. Through the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) under the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) of the African Union (AU), a number of countries prepared National Agriculture and Food Security Investment Plans (NAFSIPs) to provide opportunities to integrate the scaling up of practices that potentially benefit development, food security and climate change adaptation and mitigation into an existing continental and countryowned sustainable agriculture development framework. [more]
Linking climate change financing and sustainability – implications for agriculture 1 June 2012 The Rio Declaration (RD) and the United Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), both subscribed internationally at the 1992 UNCED Rio Summit, share at the core the same fundamental principles of sustainable development. These relationships are relevant to translating into action the emerging concept of green economy – particularly in the context of the “Greening the Economy with Agriculture” (GEA) initiative, which FAO is developing towards Rio+20. One important concept emerging from a joint RD UNFCCC analysis is that there can be no sustainable development under unabated climate change. [more]
The forest sector in the green economy in Africa Nature & Faune. Volume 26, Issue 1 1 June 2012 The African Forest and Wildlife Commission (AFWC) is dedicating the present edition of Nature & Faune publication to the 2011 International Year of Forests - "Forests 2011" this is the second consecutive edition of the publication to be dedicated to Forests 2011. [more]
Organic Agriculture and Food Security 1 June 2012 Organic agriculture offers insights towards a paradigm shift in food security which this paper reviews, with a view to: identify strengths and weaknesses of organic agriculture related to the food securitydimensions of availability, access, stability and utilization; assess potential impacts of organic agriculture on sustainable food security, including hunger, poverty, the environment and food provisioning; highlight attributes of organic supply chains within the enabling framework of the Human Right to Adequate Food; and propose policy and research actions for improving the performance of organic food systems at [more]
Sustainability Assessment of Food and Agriculture Systems (SAFA) 1 June 2012 Twenty years have passed since the principle of sustainable development received almost universal agreement at the 1992 Earth Summit. Recent years have seen impressive progress in the realization of a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable development. Stakeholders in the food and agriculture sectors have been at the forefront of this progress, improving agricultural productivity, protecting human and natural resources, and conceiving and implementing frameworks, standards and indicators for assessing and improving sustainability across the sector and along the value chain. Yet, enormous challenges remain. The world is confronted with a multitude of crisis, from food and fuel crises to climate and financial crises. To further enhance the efficacy and efficiency of the various initiatives in tackling these challenges, a common language for sustainable agriculture and food systems is needed. [more]
Climate Change Mitigation Finance for Smallholder Agriculture 1 June 2012 Globally, the agricultural sector is an important source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and projections indicate that these emissions will increase if agricultural growth and development proceeds under a ‘business-as-usual’ model of technology and resource use. For example, agricultural nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions are projected to grow by 35-60% up to 2030 due to increases in both nitrogen fertilizer use and animal manure production (FAO 2003 cited in IPCC 2007). The Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) notes that food demand and dietary shift projections indicate that annual emissions of GHGs from agriculture may escalate further (IPCC 2007). [more]
Payments for environmental services: what role in sustainable agricultural development? 1 June 2012 PES is but one of many different instruments that can complement and stimulate an enabling policy environment for sustainable agricultural development. Currently the role of PES programmes in supporting sustainable agricultural development is quite limited. Recent surveys of the literature documenting PES experiences highlight three main features of such programmes as they are currently being implemented: (1) most do not demonstrate additionality and suffer from a lack of appropriate targeting; (2) most are designed with multiple objectives; and (3) most remain primarily or entirely funded by the public sector. In this paper, we argue that a public-sector-driven process of building PES programme readiness, which includes building partnerships with the private sector, is key to realizing the potential of this policy instrument to support sustainable agricultural development. [more]
La Sostenibilidad del Desarrollo a 20 años de la Cumbre para la Tierra 31 May 2012 En diciembre de 2009 la Asamblea General aprobó la resolución 64/236, en virtud de la cual decidió organizar la Conferencia de las Naciones Unidas sobre el Desarrollo Sostenible. Esta Conferencia se realizará en Río de Janeiro (Brasil) en 2012, es decir, 20 años después de la Conferencia de las Naciones Unidas sobre el Medio Ambiente y el Desarrollo y constituye una oportunidad propicia para hacer un balance de lo sucedido en estas dos décadas, evaluar los avances logrados y las dificultades encontradas y explorar nuevas formas de cooperación que permitan acelerar la transición hacia un desarrollo sostenible. Los Estados Miembros han acordado desarrollar dos temas principales para la Conferencia: a) una economía verde en el contexto del desarrollo sostenible y la erradicación de la pobreza y b) el marco institucional para el desarrollo sostenible. El documento que presentamos es una propuesta preliminar para la consideración de los países y está dividido en dos partes: por un lado los avances logrados y las dificultades encontradas en América Latina y el Caribe en la implementación de los compromisos mundiales sobre el desarrollo sostenible desde 1992 y, por otro, una propuesta de lineamientos para transitar hacia un desarrollo sostenible en la región. La versión final será difundida en la Conferencia en junio de 2012. [more]
Looking Ahead in World Food and Agriculture: Perspectives to 2050 31 May 2012 Fuelled by the turbulence of world agricultural markets, the debate on relations among agriculture, food security, natural resources, population growth and economic development has been revamped over the last few years. how are growth prospects and the expected evolution of per capita income in the long term going to affect the agricultural and food economy? Are the natural resources available, such as land and water, sufficient to feed a growing population? What role can economic incentives and technical change play in shaping resource use and supply? What are the priority areas where investment and research should be directed? How may the use of agricultural products in biofuel production affect markets? And how can climate change affect production possibilities and markets? Around these questions, in 2009, FAO’s Economic and Social Development Department organized a Forum and a High-Level Expert Meeting on How to Feed The World in 2050. This volume follows up on that initiative, by gathering updated versions of technical materials prepared for the occasion, along with further work. the book seeks to sustain the debate on the future of the global agricultural and food economy. Its contents were designed to interest both a technical audience and a wider range of professionals working around the world in areas related to agriculture, in both public and private institutions. [more]
The State of Food and Agriculture 2010-11: Women in Agriculture: Closing the gender gap for development 31 May 2012 Agriculture is underperforming in many developing countries for a number of reasons. Among these is the fact that women lack the resources and opportunities they need to make the most productive use of their time. Women are farmers, workers and entrepreneurs, but almost everywhere they face more severe constraints than men in accessing productive resources, markets and services. This “gender gap” hinders their productivity and reduces their contributions to the agriculture sector and to the achievement of broader economic and social development goals. Closing the gender gap in agriculture would produce significant gains for society by increasing agricultural productivity, reducing poverty and hunger and promoting economic growth. [more]
The State of Food and Agriculture 2009: Livestock in the balance 31 May 2012 Livestock contribute 40 percent of the global value of agricultural output and support the livelihoods and food security of almost a billion people. The livestock sector is one of the fastest growing parts of the agricultural economy, driven by income growth and supported by technological and structural change. The growth and transformation of the sector offer opportunities for agricultural development, poverty reduction and food security gains, but the rapid pace of change risks marginalizing smallholders, and systemic risks to the environment and human health must be addressed to ensure sustainability. [more]
The State of Food and Agriculture 2007: Paying farmers for environmental services 31 May 2012 Ecosystems sustain human life. They supply food and drinking water, maintain a stock of continuously evolving genetic resources, preserve and regenerate soils, fix nitrogen and carbon, recycle nutrients, control floods, filter pollutants, pollinate crops and much more. Despite their importance to human well-being, many of these services are under threat throughout the world. [more]
New Tools for Old Problems: Can Payments for Watershed Services Support Sustainable Agricultural Development in Africa? 31 May 2012 Agriculture affects both the quantity and quality of water available for other uses, and under current production systems the impact is often negative. Adopting sustainable land management (SLM) practices can foster a more efficient water use and increase agricultural productivity, while reducing environmental risk from water pollution and regulating flows serving downstream communities. One of the key barriers to adoption of such practices is the high upfront cost associated with SLM implementation, which are a disincentive to their practice by poor landowners. This paper discusses how an emerging policy tool- Payments for Environmental Services (PES)- can bridge this gap by financing initial SLM investment costs, thereby lowering the cost barriers to SLM implementation. Drawing on ongoing experience in Tanzania, we discuss the main constraints to be addressed in order to realize this potential. [more]
Economics of plant genetic resource management for adaptation to climate change 31 May 2012 Climate change is projected to change production conditions for agricultural producers globally. In the developing world, most of the projected changes will result in a reduction of agricultural productivity, with concomitant reductions in food security. Because agricultural production remains the main source of income for most rural communities, adaptation of the agricultural sector to the adverse effects of climate change will be imperative to protect and improve the livelihoods of the poor and to ensure food security. Adaptation will require farmers to make adjustments and employ a range of actions to enhance the resilience of local food systems that increase their net revenue by reducing the potential damage from climate change. Their capacity to make the required adjustments depends on the existence of policies and investments to support farmers’ access to materials and information, as well as to provide the proper economic incentives to stimulate changes. Responding to a changing climate will also require changes in PGRFA management to address both immediate and slow onset changes. [more]
Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems – A Legacy for the Future 31 May 2012 For millennia communities of farmers, herders, fishers and forest people have developed complex, diverse, and locally adapted agricultural systems. These systems have been managed with time-tested, ingenious combinations of techniques and practices that have usually led to community food security, and the conservation of natural resources and biodiversity. Agricultural heritage systems can still be found throughout the world covering about 5 million hectares, which provide a vital combination of social, cultural, ecological and economical services to humankind. These “Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems-GIAHS” have resulted not only in outstanding landscapes of aesthetic beauty, maintenance of globally significant agricultural biodiversity, resilient ecosystems and a valuable cultural heritage. Above all, these systems sustainably provide multiple goods and services, food and livelihood security for millions of poor and small farmers. [more]
Aquaculture development. 4. Ecosystem approach to aquaculture 31 May 2012 These technical guidelines have been prepared by the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) under the coordination of Doris Soto. Their production has been supported by the Japanese Trust Fund Project “Towards Sustainable Aquaculture: Selected Issues and Guidelines” and by the FAO Regular Programme. [more]
Private standards and certification in fisheries and aquaculture 31 May 2012 Private standards and related certification schemes are becoming significant featuresof international fish trade and marketing. They have emerged in areas where there is aperception that public regulatory frameworks are not achieving the desired outcomes,such as sustainability and responsible fisheries management. Their use is also becoming more common in efforts to ensure food safety, quality and environmental sustainability in the growing aquaculture industry. [more]
Post-harvest fish loss assessment in small-scale fisheries 31 May 2012 The field activities within the regional post-harvest loss assessment programme in small-scale fisheries in Africa (an FAO regular programme conducted from 2006 to 2008) tested and validated three key fish loss assessment methodologies that have been developed over the past two decades: the Informal Fish Loss Assessment Method (IFLAM), Load Tracking (LT) and the Questionnaire Loss Assessment Method (QLAM). [more]
Biodiveristy Challenge Badge 31 May 2012 "Bio" means life and "diversity" means variety, so biodiversity (or biological diversity) is the incredible variety of living things in nature and how they interact with each other. It consists of all the many species of animals and plants and other life forms, and the variety that exists within each species. It also includes the diversity present in ecosystems - or explained another way - the variation we see in the environment including landscapes, the vegetation and animals present in it, and the various ways in which these components interact with each other. Biodiversity is very complex and is often explained as the variety and variability of genes, species and ecosystems. [more]
Climate Change Challenge Badge 31 May 2012 Climate change is one of the major issues of our time: temperatures ARE increasing, weather patterns ARE changing, glaciers ARE melting and sea levels ARE rising. Many people are already being affected by climate change. and numerous individuals are going hungry due to these and other causes. Everyone agrees that something needs to be done but how many people are actually taking action? [more]
Good Practices in building innovative rural institutions to improve food security 31 May 2012 C ontinued population growth, urbanization and rising incomes are likely to continue to put pressure on food demand. International prices for most agricultural commodities are set to remain at 2010 levels or higher, at least for the next decade (OECD-FAO, 2010). Small-scale producers in many developing countries were not able to reap the benefits of high food prices during the 2007-2008 food price crises. Yet, this upward food price trend could have been an opportunity for them to increase their incomes and food security. The opportunity that high food prices could have provided as a pathway out of poverty for small producers was not realized. [more]
Community listeners’ clubs. Stepping stones for action in rural areas 31 May 2012 This publication summarises the unique experience of the community listeners’ clubs set up in Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo by FAO-Dimitra and its partners. These actionbased information and communication processes have proved so successful that Dimitra decided to share the experience. [more]
Les clubs d’écoute communautaires. Un tremplin pour l’action en milieu rural 31 May 2012 Cette publication fait le récit de l’expérience unique des clubs d’écoute communautaires mis en place au Niger et en République démocratique du Congo par la FAO-Dimitra et ses partenaires. Mécanismes d’information et de communication centrés sur l’action, ces clubs ont remporté un succès tel que Dimitra a souhaité partager l’expérience. [more]
Rural Women and the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 31 May 2012 This fact sheet highlights the progress of rural women against key Millennium Development Goal (MDG) indicators, pointing to some of the advancements made and gaps that still exist. It suggests that globally, and with only a few exceptions, rural women fare worse than rural men and urban women and men for every MDG indicator for which data are available. While data collection along these lines has improved in recent years – in part because of increased donor and government interest – there still remains a general lack of data not only disaggregated by sex, but also by rural and urban areas. This has an impact on our global ability to confidently monitor progress toward the MDGs for all people in all regions,urban and rural, and particularly where progress is needed most. [more]
Farmers in a changing climate-Does gender matter? 31 May 2012 This report presents the findings of research undertaken in six villages in two drought-prone districts of Andhra Pradesh, India, Mahbubnagar and Anantapur. The study, carried out by an international team led by FAO, used gender, institutional, and climate analyses to document the trends in climate variability men and women farmers are facing and their responses to ensure food security in the context of larger socio-economic and political challenges to their livelihoods and well-being. [more]
Gender Perspectives on the Conventions on Biodiversity, Climate Change and Desertification 31 May 2012 The United Nations Convention on Biodiversity, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), known as the Rio Conventions, are the three main international legally-binding agreements for sustainable development. They represent the legal outcome of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). [more]
People-Centred Climate Change Adaptation: Integrating Gender Issues 31 May 2012 THIS BRIEF EXPLAINS THE LINKS BETWEEN GENDER ISSUES AND CLIMATE CHANGE AND RECOMMENDS WAYS TO INTEGRATE GENDER INTO CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION POLICIES AND ACTIVITIES [more]
Gender: The Missing Component in the Response to Climate Change 31 May 2012 This report analyses the gender dimension of climate change and the policies enacted to mitigate and adapt to its impacts with the aim of developing gender sensitive approaches with regards to mitigation measures, adaptation projects and national regimes. The framework of the study is represented, on the one hand, by the scientific assessment of climate change, with its impacts and associated effects on human and natural systems, and, on the other hand, by the international response to this challenge. The findings show that the gender aspects have generally been neglected in international climate policy. This is a major concern given the emphasis of policymakers on general equity issues. It is only during the last few years, on the occasion of the sessions of the Conference of the Parties (COP), COP-8 (held in New Delhi, in October 2002) and COP-9 (held in Milan, December 2003), that gender was tangentially broached. [more]
Global Review of Good Agricultural Extension and Advisory Service Practices 31 May 2012 The perceived lack of success of public agricultural extension systems in many countries has resulted in new approaches being tried in reorganizing extension services. In some countries, such as India and China, public extension systems have been decentralized to the district/county level and these public extension systems are now pursuing a more market-driven approach. In other countries, different models have been tried, involving both private-sector firms and civil society organizations (CSOs), in an attempt to find more effective approaches of providing basic extension services. Also, in some countries, there have been attempts to shift more of the cost of extension services to the farmers themselves, with limited success. This paper provides a framework for analyzing the success or failure of different approaches within the agricultural development process in providing particular extension services to different categories of farmers. [more]
Buenas Practicas en el Manejo de Extensión en América Central 31 May 2012 La Subdivisión de Investigación y Extensión (OEKR) de la Organización de las Naciones para la Alimentación y la Agricultura tiene como misión contribuir al fortalecimiento de los sistemas de innovación agrícolas que respondan a las necesidades de los pequeños productores. A través de asistencia técnica, desarrollo de políticas y evaluaciones, se promueve la reorientación de y de la comunicación. OEKR promueve el desarrollo de las capacidades de las instituciones de conocimiento rural, apoyando su organización y su gestión mediante el reforzamiento de las sistemas de producción sostenibles en el medio agrario. [more]
Biotechnologies for Agricultural Development 31 May 2012 This book represents the proceedings of the FAO international technical conference dedicated to Agricultural Biotechnologies in Developing Countries (ABDC-10) that took place in Guadalajara, Mexico on 1-4 March 2010. A major objective of the conference was to take stock of the application of biotechnologies across the different food and agricultural sectors in developing countries, in order to learn from the past and to identify options for the future to face the challenges of food insecurity, climate change and natural resource degradation. [more]
FAO Biosafety Resource Book. 2011 31 May 2012 During the period 2002-10, FAO undertook an intense activity of biosafety capacity development, largely centred on enhancing the capacities of regulators and other technical staff involved in the implementation of biosafety frameworks, along with other components. The training programme was tailored to meet the needs of a very specific audience: biosafety regulators, policy-makers and members of national biosafety committees, with diverse educational backgrounds, not necessarily well versed in all the biosafety-related fields. The training courses therefore aimed to: i) offer background knowledge critical in the process of reviewing biosafety dossiers and biosafety-related decision-making; ii) provide acquaintance with concepts and methodologies relevant to risk analysis of genetically modified organism (GMO) release and biosafety management. [more]
Building biosafety capacities: FAO’s experience and outlook. 2010 30 May 2012 In line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the overall objective of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is to enhance long-term food and livelihood security through sustainable and environment-friendly increases in the quantity and quality of agricultural produce. [more]
Collaborative Change. A Communication Framework for Climate Change Adaptation and Food Security 30 May 2012 The present challenges related to climate change and food security require number of measures focused on improving rural institutions, knowledge and information sharing, and people's participation to promote concerted actions towards mitigation and adaptation. [more]
Communication Assessment and Action Plan for the LACC Project in Bangladesh 30 May 2012 Communication is a key to promoting sustainable development. Communication for Development or ComDev, an approach applied by FAO that combines a variety of participatory communication processes and tools, ranging from rural radio to the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), is central to this task. The systematic use of ComDev strategies and services at the field level contributes to the sustainable use of natural resources and new development opportunities in the rural areas. [more]
30 May 2012 This publication is a state-of-the-art overview on the application of communication and ICTs for community-based livelihood adaptation to climate change. It is crucial to identify information and communication systems, particularly for poor smallholder farmers, in order to have access to scientific and technological advances that can support their agricultural decision-making. As a result, research must be reported and communicated in such a way that policy makers can support the adaptation of the food systems to climate change. [more]
Mobilizing the Potential of Rural and Agricultural Extension 30 May 2012 This paper presents an overview of current opportunities and challenges facing efforts to increase the impact of rural and agricultural extension. The starting point for this analysis is in recognition that the days when agricultural extension was synonymous with the work of public sector agencies are over. The ‘extension services’ described here may just as likely consist of an input vendor advising a farmer about what seed to plant, a television station broadcasting a weather forecast, a supermarket advising traders about what standards are required for the vegetables they purchase or a farmer organization lobbying for research that reflects the demands of its members for new technologies. Mobilizing the potential of extension is about enhancing this broad and complex flow of information and advice in the agrifood sector. The ideas presented here describe how extension systems can contribute to the improvement of the profitability, sustainability and equity of smallholder agriculture within broader innovation systems. This paper outlines the potential role of extension in achieving the aims of the L’Aquila Food Security Initiative, which has mobilized a massive international commitment to enhancing food security. Effective extension systems are a precondition but not a guarantee that these aims can be achieved. Extension will only be effective if other services are in place, if research is focused on the problems facing farmers, if markets and land are accessible and if there is sufficient social, political and economic security in place to create an enabling environment for rural development. Extension is part of agricultural knowledge and information systems, which are in turn part of the agrifood and rural development innovation systems that frame the prospects for rural poverty alleviation and food security. Extension has a crucial contribution to make to these broader systems. [more]

last updated:  Friday, June 22, 2012