Committee on World Food Security

Making a difference in food security and nutrition

NEW: CFS Policy Recommendations on Agroecological and Other Innovative Approaches

04 Jun 2021

Rome, 04 June 2021 –  The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) today endorsed the Policy Recommendations on Agroecological and Other Innovative Approaches for sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition at its Special 48th Session.

The Policy Recommendations, approved by consensus of the CFS membership, will provide guidance to countries and stakeholders in strengthening agroecological and other innovative approaches for sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition, and the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security.  The recommendations underline the importance to improve the sustainability of agriculture and food systems, and the need to reduce their pressure on natural resources and their negative environmental impact, including in relation to climate change, biodiversity, water, and land.

The recommendations result from the progressive realization that a major transformation of food systems is needed to achieve the 2030 sustainable development goal, in particular SDG 2 on zero hunger. While progress has been made with regard to food security, nutrition, poverty reduction and agricultural productivity over the last two decades, this progress has been uneven. Current food systems are unsustainable with evidence by the latest FAO state of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) report indicating that nearly 690 million people are chronically undernourished. As many as 130 million more people have been pushed into chronic hunger because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unsustainable practices throughout the food systems (crop production and livestock, fisheries and aquaculture, forestry, food supply chains and system governance) cause environmental degradation such as land degradation, loss of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services and high greenhouse gas emissions, with enormous social and economic implications, especially for the most vulnerable and marginalized. Unsustainable practices within food systems can and have contributed to the genesis and propagation of disease and pandemics.

Welcoming the endorsement of the Policy Recommendations, Mr Thanawat Tiensin, CFS Chairperson, noted that there is enough evidence that agroecological approaches contribute to sustainability of agriculture and food systems. “I urge everyone who cares about food systems to use the CFS Policy Recommendations. They tackle some of the key issues that are at the center of global debates around sustainable food systems, such as: proper management and reduction of reliance on chemical pesticides and other agrochemicals; importance of ecological alternatives to agrochemical use; and reduction of negative economic, environmental, and social  impacts.”

Produced through an inter-governmental, inclusive and multi-stakeholder consultative process, and informed by the scientific evidence of the CFS High Level Panel of Experts report on Agroecological and Other Innovative Approaches for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems that Enhance Food Security and Nutrition, the Policy Recommendations outline a number of agroecological and other innovative approaches to enhance the sustainability of agriculture and food systems.

The agroecological and other innovative approaches mentioned in these recommendations are defined as a set of practices, technologies and/or methods that look beyond single technological social or institutional innovations and that must contribute to sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition for current and future generations.

Policy Recommendations

  1. Lay or strengthen, as appropriate, the policy foundations for agroecological and other innovative approaches to contribute to sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition;
  2. Establish, improve and apply comprehensive performance measurement and monitoring frameworks to encourage the adoption of agroecological and other innovative approaches for sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition;
  3. Foster the transition to resilient and diversified sustainable agriculture and food systems through agroecological and other innovative approaches;
  4. Strengthen research, innovation, training, and education and foster knowledge co-creation, knowledge sharing and co-learning, on agroecological and other innovative approaches; and
  5. Strengthen institutions for stakeholder engagement, create an enabling environment for empowering people most at risk of food insecurity and malnutrition and people in vulnerable situations and address power inequalities in agriculture and food systems.

Presenting the final draft of the recommendations, Mr Yaya Olaniran, Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the Rome-based Agencies who chaired the negotiations said, “I thank all CFS stakeholders who negotiated these policy recommendations on a topic that is complex and divisive. By endorsing the recommendations, we have reached a great milestone together through a democratic debate made possible by the CFS platform. Now, the real work of using them to make our agriculture and food systems sustainable begins”.

The policy recommendations are voluntary and non-binding. They should be interpreted and applied consistently with existing obligations under national and international law, and with due regard to voluntary commitments under applicable regional and international instruments and in accordance with national legal systems, their institutions and capacity.

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NOTE TO EDITORS

Contacts
For more information and to request interviews, please contact Waiganjo Njoroge, CFS Head of Communications at [email protected] or Tel.: +254 723 857 270

About CFS
The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) was established in 1974 and reformed in 2009 to become the foremost inclusive international and intergovernmental platform for a broad range of committed stakeholders to work together in a coordinated manner and in support of country-led processes towards the elimination of hunger and ensuring food security and nutrition for all, for the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security.

It promotes policy convergence and coherence on global food security and nutrition issues. Its processes ensure that the voices of all relevant stakeholders are heard, particularly those most affected by food insecurity and malnutrition.

 

Image credits: FAO / Frederik Lerneryd

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