FAO Liaison Office in Brussels

European Development Days: FAO joins the EU for green and sustainable development


FAO had a strong presence at the 2021 European Development Days (EDD21), the European Commission-led annual forum dedicated to the most pressing challenges in international development. The forum brings together the development community to share ideas and inspire solutions to achieve a sustainable future. As a strategic partner of the EU, FAO gathered leaders and experts to support the challenges of tackling biodiversity loss, climate change and environmental degradation.

Food system transformation is an integral part of building back better and greener. In line with EDD21’s focus on ‘The Green Deal for a Sustainable Future’, FAO speakers shared their ideas and experiences in several high-level panels, lab debates and brainstorming sessions.

In a high-level panel Forests are too precious to lose: Halting deforestation & enhancing biodiversity organized by FAO and the UN-REDD Programme, FAO Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo highlighted the role of forests in providing food security and livelihoods, and the importance of protecting them. “We must acknowledge the full potential and value of forests. Without halting and reversing deforestation, climate goals simply cannot be met. Forests are integral to tackle climate change and are key for mitigation, adaptation and resilience, and about one-third of the world population depends on forests and forests products,” she said.

European Commission Directorate-General for International Partnerships Deputy Director-General Marjeta Jager observed that the European Commission has made a firm commitment to step up action to tackle global deforestation and forest degradation. “It is an integral part of the EU Green Deal, and enshrined in the EU’s Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies, as well as the forthcoming EU proposals on minimizing risks of deforestation and forest degradation,” she noted.

Former FAO Deputy Representative for Africa and newly appointed director of the FAO Liaison Office for North America Jocelyn Brown Hall participated in the high-level panel Diverse, local, indigenous: Pathways for food security and conservation. She said: “There has never been more of an urgent need for food security and conservation especially in Africa, where we know the hunger is on the rise, driven by climate variabilities, conflict and extremes. FAO works directly with our partners such as the EU, as well as local communities to promote better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and better life.”

To learn more about FAO-organized panel sessions at EDD21, please see the information listed below. Recordings of all sessions are available on YouTube here.

Forests are too precious to lose: Halting deforestation & enhancing biodiversity

Indigenous peoples’ food systems: Feeding the planet and preserving its biodiversity

It’s a match?! Linking water, energy and food with the private&finance sectors: The role of the private and finance sectors in increasing smallholder agricultural productivity and eradicating hunger in Africa

Geographical indications - An opportunity for biodiversity: How to leverage GIs to preserve local agrobiodiversity. Examples and experiences from Africa

Terrestrial and marine biodiversity in a changing climate: Protecting people, planet and profits for life.