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Sustainable Development Goals


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is ready to support countries and work alongside partners in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 2030 Agenda includes 17 SDGs and 169 targets that commit countries into taking action to end world poverty and hunger, and achieve sustainable development by the end of 2030.

Food and agriculture in the SDGs

Issues related to food and agriculture cut across the 17 SDGs, as shown in this graphic. Tied to the principle of ‘leaving no one behind’ and driven by means of partnerships and accountability, FAO’s broad priorities in the 2030 Agenda are to:

  • End poverty, hunger and malnutrition
  • Enable sustainable development in agriculture, fisheries and forestry
  • Combat and adapt to climate change 


While the MDGs were characterized by eight siloed goals, the 17 SDGs are linked laterally, integrating the three dimensions of sustainability - social, economic and environmental. As an example, SDG2, Zero hunger, goes beyond a commitment to end hunger to offering a comprehensive and integrated vision of food security, nutrition, sustainable agriculture, the sustainable use and management of natural resources, and the protection of genetic resources, areas relevant to most other goals. 



Mainly aimed at Developing Countries; Direction North to South

Universal – Relevant to all countries, adaptable to different contexts.

8 siloed goals, limited attention to sustainable development

17 goals and 169 targets linked laterally across the SDGs; 3 dimensions of sustainable development integrated

Consolidated and Coordinated by UN Secretariat

Negotiated by Member States over 3 years with broad multistakeholder negotiation. Country ownership

Means of Implementation limited to North-South finance

Strong emphasis on a global partnership. Means of implementation include market and technology access, capacity development, policy support; robust monitoring, follow-up and review

Doing sustainable development

FAO approaches and initiatives follow a Common Vision for Sustainable Food and Agriculture, an integrated approach to sustainability across agriculture, forestry and fisheries. As a specialized UN agency with experience working in 3-dimensional sustainability, FAO’s projects and programmes already support countries achieve multiple objectives of the 2030 Agenda.

Examples of FAO partner projects in sustainable development:

  • In Kenya, investing in dairy production to improve nutrition, increase income and cut carbon emissions. The project works to transform milk supply chains by helping smallholder producers respond to the growing demand for dairy products. SDGs 1, 2, 3, 5, 13 and 15.
  • In Bolivia, developing a school food law that secures the right to food, establishing the framework for a sustainable school food and nutrition programme, while addressing the root causes of poverty and malnutrition by creating opportunities for farmers.SDGs 1, 2, 4 and 5.
  • In the Republic of Georgia, boosting the country’s trade in fisheries by assessing landing sites, factories and fish markets with an eye to meeting EU requirements, while training fish inspectors and reviewing aspects on traceability and labelling. SDGs 1, 2, 3, 8, 10, 14 and 17.

See In Action section for more partner projects

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