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Appendix 1 - FAO structure for coordination in the field of environment and sustainable development
Appendix 2: Global agreements
Appendix 3: Acronyms
Appendix 4: Selected FAO publications on sustainable development and environment

Appendix 1 - FAO structure for coordination in the field of environment and sustainable development

ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ISSUES cut across the work of a number of divisions in different departments in FAO. In each of these divisions and departments, specific units address the environment problems related to their sector of work. Because of the very nature of FAO's work in agriculture, forestry and fisheries, it was not found advisable to establish a separate Environment Department or Environment Division. Instead an Interdepartmental Working Group on Natural Resources and the Human Environment was established in 1969. Responsibilities for energy were added in 1982, at which time the name was changed to Environment and Energy. The Environment and Energy Programmes Coordinating Centre (AGRE) serves as the secretariat of the IDWG. It ensures liaison and cooperation in these fields, both within the Organization and with other institutions. It is also charged with the elaboration and implementation of procedures and methodologies to ensure that environment and sustainability concerns are appropriately taken into account in FAO programmes and field projects (e.g. through environmental impact assessment).

In February 1990, the Director-General appointed a Special Adviser to the Director-General for Environment and Sustainable Development, with the rank of Assistant Director-General (ADG). The Special Adviser is responsible for providing guidance and advice for all policy and programme matters related to environment and sustainable development in the Organization. The Environment and Energy Programmes Coordinating Centre, now renamed Environment and Sustainable Development Coordinating Centre (AGRE), was requested to report directly to and be supervised by the Special Adviser.

Also in February 1990, the Director-General established a Steering Committee for Environment and Sustainable Development at ADG level under the Chairmanship of the Special Adviser/ADG for Environment and Sustainable Development. This Steering Committee is responsible for advising the Director-General in guiding and supervising FAO activities related to environment and sustainable development.

In June 1990, the Director-General announced revised Terms of Reference for the IDWG on Environment and Energy. The title of the IDWG was changed to the IDWG on Environment and Sustainable Development and its representation raised to Director level. It now reports to the Steering Committee. The main responsibilities of the IDWG are to develop proposals for multidisciplinary activities and to monitor and coordinate the implementation of these proposals, once endorsed by the Steering Committee.

Ad hoc groups and task forces of the IDWG continue to address certain specific technical matters and develop joint programme initiatives. At the present time such groups exist for the following topics: sustainable development, biological diversity, climate change, desertification control, and energy. (See panel) Other interdepartmental mechanisms include the IDWG on Land Use Planning and its groups on Geographic Information Systems and Mixed Production Systems; and an Interdepartmental Steering Committee which helps to guide the TFAP.


FAO has a long history of involvement in climate-related issues. FAO is now revising its Position Paper on this topic, making use of information from the IPCC 1992 Update and mentioning some new programme initiatives.

In 1960 an Inter-agency Agroclimatology Project was created in cooperation with WMO to promote agroclimatological studies in areas where large-scale agricultural developments were anticipated. In 1968, FAO, WMO and Unesco established an Interagency Group on Agricultural Biometeorology - later to become absorbed into FAO's Regular Programme as the Agroclimate Unit.

The Stockholm Conference of 1972 and the 1974 World Food Conference were turning points in the perception of crop-climate relationships within FAO, and led to the establishment of the Agroecological Zones Project, designed to assess the food production potential of developing countries.

FAO's first direct involvement with climate change per se came in 1988 with the formation of the Working Group on Climate Change, and two years later the increasing importance attached to this issue led to the Group being absorbed into the Inter-Departmental Working Group on Environment and Sustainable Development. The 13 members of the Working I group, drawn from the Departments of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry and Economic and Social Policy and the Legal Office, provide a coordinating mechanism for all FAO work related to climate change; provide a forum for assessing internal and external work in this field; formulate recommendations for FAO's Programme of Work and Budget, and play a central role in assessing, clearing and revising documents on climate change prepared by IPCC, FAO and other UN agencies.

FAO has maintained a constant involvement in the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since its formation in 1988, and was one of the cosponsors of the Second World Climate Conference in 1990. The Organization is also involved in a wide range of related issues and activities ranging from the publication of guidelines for the assessment of the impact of climate change on irrigated agriculture to the development of regional impact studies on crops I and the identification of low-lying coastal areas and fisheries ecosystems at risk from climate

FAO has a formal memorandum of understanding with UNEP which covers three main areas of mutual interest: environmental monitoring and assessment of food and agriculture (including forestry and fisheries); ecological management of natural resources for food and agriculture, and conservation and management of ecosystems. The FAO/UNEP Cooperative Programme is coordinated by AGRE.

FAO regularly attends meetings of the Designated Officials for Environmental Matters (DOEM), coordinated by UNEP, which is under the ACC mechanism for coordination on environmental matters within the UN System. The DOEM is the focal point for the UN System-wide Medium-Term Environmental Programme (SWMTEP) and the Cross-Organizational Programme Analysis (COPA) on Environment. FAO also regularly attends the annual meetings of the UNEP Governing Council.

FAO, along with UNEP, Unesco and IUCN, form the Ecosystems Conservation Group (ECG) which meets annually for joint programming in the field of ecosystem conservation and to review the conservation situation in selected countries/regions, particularly with respect to national parks and other protected areas, endangered species, and natural resources management. The Group exchanges information on current and planned activities of members in order to promote joint activities and meetings on specific problems. During the past three years, an ad hoc group on in situ conservation of genetic resources, chaired by FAO, has met simultaneously with the ECG.

FAO cooperates with Unesco through the Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme in the areas of arid and semi-arid lands, soils, grasslands, forestry and especially in the Plan of Action on Biosphere Reserves. It also cooperates with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) on activities related to fisheries. It has had extensive collaboration with IUCN in the development of the World Conservation Strategy, the Environmental Status Report on the Sahel, and in the development of national conservation strategies for Madagascar, Pakistan and the Philippines. FAO also cooperates in IUCN's Mangroves and Wetlands Programme and in UNEP's Oceans and Coastal Areas Programme. The Organization has also provided advice to IUCN, UNEP and WRI in the preparation of the Global Biological Diversity Strategy.

Other UN agencies with which FAO cooperates on environmental matters include WMO (on climatic change), WHO (on vector control, chemicals and food contamination) and UNSO (on desertification. FAO actively participates in the Consultative Group on Desertification (DESCON), the Interagency Working Group on Desertification, and the Committee of International Development Institutions on the Environment.

The Organization also has close links with many regional organizations and NGOs and particularly with umbrella organizations such as the Environment Liaison Centre International (ELCI). Currently, closer collaboration is being established with the Information Centre for Low-External-Input and Sustainable Agriculture ILEIA and the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), as a follow-up to the den Bosch Conference. Cooperation also continues with the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP) on matters related to sustainable agriculture.

Appendix 2: Global agreements

In recent years FAO has actively promoted several international agreements, codes of conduct and strategy frameworks relating to environment and sustainable agriculture. Among those concluded are:

- FAO's World Soil Charter, which was adopted by the FAO Conference in 1981. This has provided the framework for improved land use and is the basis of a planning package of land-use guidelines for assistance to Member Countries.

- The International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources (1983) which, through the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources and the Fund established in 1987, provides support for the preservation and use of germplasms collected worldwide.

- Following the UN ConventIon on the Law of the Sea, which recognized the rights of coastal states over their marine resources, the FAO World Conference on Fisheries Management and Development adopted in 1984 a Strategy for Fisheries Management and Development which provides a set of policy guidelines and priorities for the rational utilization of fishery resources, the development of small-scale fisheries and aquaculture, and the promotion of fish in national nutrition plans.

- The International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides was adopted by the FAO Conference in 1985 by consensus. Its objectives are to identify potential hazards in the distribution and use of pesticides, to establish standards of conduct and to define responsibilities for those engaged in the regulation, distribution and use of pesticides.

- The Tropical Forests Action Programme (formerly the Tropical Forestry Action Plan), adopted in 1985 by the Committee on Forest Development in the Tropics, provides an overall framework for investment planning in the forestry sector and support to national development plans

Appendix 3: Acronyms

ACC Administrative Committee for Coordination
ADG Assistant Director-General
AGRE Environment and Sustainable Development Coordinating Centre (FAO)
AGRIS International Information System for the Agricultural Sciences and Technology
ARTEMIS Africa Real-Time Information Monitoring System
ASEAN Association of South-East Asian Nations
CARIS Current Agricultural Research Information System
CFS Committee on World Food Security
CILSS Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel
COPA Cross-organizational Programme Analysis
DESCON Consultative Group on Desertification
DIANA Direct Information Access Network for Africa
DOEM Designated Officials for Environmental Matters
ECG Ecosystems Conservation Group
EEZ Exclusive Economic Zones
EIA Environmental Impact Assessment
EPTA Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance
ELCI Environment Liaison Centre International
ELCO Emergency Centre for Locust Operations
ESA European Space Agency
FAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
FFHC Freedom from Hunger Campaign
FLCD Forestry for Local Community Development (FAO)
FSAS Food Security Assistance Scheme
FTP Forests, Trees and People (FAO)
GATT General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
GDP Gross Domestic Product
GESAMP Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Pollution
GIEWS Global Information and Early Warning System
GIS Geographic Information System
IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency
IAP-WASAD International Action Programme on Water and Sustainable Agricultural Development
IBPGR International Board for Plant Genetic Resources
ICES International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
ICPF/SARD International Cooperative Programme Framework for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development
IDWG Interdepartmental Working Group
IFAP International Federation of Agricultural Producers
IFOAM International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements
IIASA International Institute for Applied System Analysis
ILEIA Information Centre for Low-External-Input and Sustainable Agriculture
IMO International Meteorological Organization
IOC Inter-governmental Oceanographic Commission
IPM Integrated Pest Management
IPNS Integrated Plant Nutrition Systems
IPCC Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change
IPPC International Plant Protection Convention
ISSS International Society of Soil Science
ITTO International Tropical Timber Organization
IUCN World Conservation Union
IWP Indicative World Plan
MAB Man and the Biosphere Programme
NDI Net Domestic Investment
NDP Net Domestic Product
NGO Non-governmental Organization
OSRO Office of Special Relief Operations (FAO)
PIC Prior Informed Consent procedure
SAP Special Action Programme
SADCC Southern African Development Coordination Conference
SARD Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development
SIDA Swedish International Development Authority
SIT Sterile Insect Technique
SSAP Sector and Structural Adjustment Policy
SWMTEP System-wide Medium-term Environment Programme
TCDC Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries
TCP Technical Cooperation Programme
TFAP Tropical Forests Action Programme
UN United Nations
UNCED United Nations Conference on Environment and Development
UNCTAD United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
UNDP United Nations Development Programme
UNEP United Nations Environment Programme
Unesco United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNFPA United Nations Fund for Population Activities
UNICEF United Nations Children's Fund
UNSO United Nations Sudano-Sahelian Office
WAICENT World Agriculture Information Centre (FAO)
WCARRD World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development
WFP World Food Programme
WHO World Health Organization .
WMO World Meteorological Organization
WRI World Resources Institute

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