FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

FAO joins hands with Pacific Islands’ organizations to build more sustainable and resilient food systems for all

08/03/2023 Nadi/Apia

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), to enhance their collaboration to build more sustainable and resilient food systems for the benefit of all in the Pacific Islands.

The agreement’s objectives aim at promoting sustainable natural resources utilization and management, biodiversity mainstreaming, ecosystem services, and environment planning and assessment and environmental protection and rehabilitation for transforming agrifood systems to be more resilient, efficient and inclusive in the Pacific region. The MOU was signed by FAO Deputy Director-General, Laurent Thomas, and SPREP Director-General, Sefanaia Nawadra, during a ceremony held on 8 March 2023 in Nadi, Fiji.

Through this MOU, the two organizations will work closely together to address the common challenges and opportunities facing the Pacific region, including climate change, natural resource management, food security and nutrition, and sustainable livelihoods. FAO and SPREP will also promote knowledge-sharing, capacity development, and joint programming to support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other regional and international agreements.

"Recognizing multiple challenges that the Pacific Island countries face, including the still ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and increase in prices of food, feed, fuel, and fertilizer and difficult access to finance – known collectively as the 5F crisis, FAO is committed to supporting Pacific countries in achieving their sustainable development goals, particularly in the areas of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries,” said FAO’s Thomas. “This MOU with SPREP is an important step towards strengthening our partnership and enhancing our collective efforts to address the challenges facing the region. Together, we can build more sustainable and resilient food systems and contribute to a more sustainable future for all."

"The Pacific region is home to some of the world's most diverse and fragile ecosystems, as well as some of the most vulnerable communities. SPREP as the premier regional environment agency is committed to working with our partners to address environmental and developmental challenges as well as the impacts of climate change facing our region, and to promote sustainable and resilient development pathways,” said SPREP Director-General, Nawadra, adding “This MOU with FAO is an important milestone in our partnership, and we look forward to working together to achieve our shared goals for a resilient Blue Pacific. For SPREP, this signing is also important as we commemorate 30 years since SPREP was formally established in 1993."

Under the MOU, FAO and SPREP will collaborate on a range of activities, including policy and technical advice, capacity development, knowledge-sharing, and joint programming. The two organizations will also explore opportunities to leverage funding and resources from other partners to support their joint initiatives.

“We are excited to see FAO and SPREP working together to address the common challenges facing the Pacific region, including climate change and food security. As a member country of both organizations, we look forward to benefiting from their joint efforts and supporting their initiatives to build more resilient food systems and sustainable environment for development,” said Hon. Dickson Panakitasi Mua, Solomon Islands’ Minister of Forestry and Research, who also attended signing. Also present at the ceremony were Vaeno Vigulu, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Forestry and Research and Lottie Vaisekavea, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock in Solomon Islands.  

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