The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations hosts the secretariat of the SARD Initiative. The FAO SARD Initiative team, funded directly by governments as well as by FAO’s Regular Programme through staff-time, manage activities such as:
• Coordination and facilitation of Major Group business meetings and inter-Major Group communication.
• Maintenance and updating of the SARD Initiative website.
• Institutional support and coordination of SARD Initiative implementation at the national level.
• Promotion of the SARD Initiative through this website, the newsletter, as well as through media interviews.
• Development of methodologies, briefs, tools and guidelines to enable governments and civil society to promote and achieve SARD in policies, programmes, and projects.
FAO member governments consider the SARD Initiative as an important contribution to the implementation of Chapter 14 of Agenda 21 and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The following is an extract from the report of the nineteenth session of the FAO Committee on Agriculture, which was held in Rome, Italy on 13-16 April 2005.
“The Committee agreed that the SARD Initiative is an important instrument for fulfilling FAO’s responsibility as UN System Task Manager for WSSD follow-up on implementation of Chapter 14, Agenda 21. It welcomed FAO’s continued support for the SARD Initiative, concurred with the three action areas listed [improving people’s access to resources, fostering fair conditions of employment in agriculture and promoting good practices for SARD] and appreciated the high degree of stakeholder participation.”