Direttore Generale  QU Dongyu

Effective legislation plays a key role in transformation of agrifood systems, ensuring food security and nutrition


Rome - Effective laws and regulations are critical to transform agrifood systems to be more efficient, more inclusive, more resilient and more sustainable, while ensuring food security and nutrition, said Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) QU Dongyu. Legislation also plays a major role in the sustainable management of the environment, and enables action for sustainable development at national and even at local level, he added.

The Director-General spoke today at a high-level roundtable on “Governing Sustainable Agrifood Systems: Strengthening Legislation and Building Capacity to Support Implementation, Compliance and Enforcement.” The event was organised by FAO in collaboration with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s World Commission on Environmental Law.

FAO advises Members on legal and institutional means to promote and regulate national development and international cooperation in the food and agriculture sector.

The webinar brought together leading experts from public, private sector and academia with the aim of facilitating a dialogue on how to collectively promote legal instruments for the effective management and use of natural resources.

“Laws, without compliance, are of no value,” the Director-General said emphasizing the need to take a step further from drafting the laws to their implementation and enforcement.  This, however, requires appropriate institutions, with the necessary authority, capacity and available resources, he added.

Agriculture affects, and is affected by a number of factors including the environment, health, human rights, science, innovation and others. Given the complex crosscutting nature of issues related to food and agriculture, governments need multi-disciplinary support, while transforming the agrifood sector, as well as to build more partnerships and improve collaboration at all levels, the Director-General stressed. In addition, countries need to foster innovative thinking to address the evolving, complex and often overlapping challenges, Qu said underscoring the importance of developing and putting in place innovative legal frameworks.

The Director-General pointed out that legislation plays an important role in achieving the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development through enabling compliance for the implementation of national policies aimed at ensuring better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for all, leaving no one behind. To this end, Qu re-affirmed FAO’s commitment to strengthening its technical legislative assistance to Members, together with key partners in line with the FAO Strategic Framework 2022-2031.

The FAO technical legislative support is provided in timely manner and focused on individual member needs, tailored to their specific requirements, the Director-General noted.

Today’s roundtable discussion provided a platform for FAO, its partners, and all relevant stakeholders, to discuss the main challenges and find innovative and concrete solutions for the effective governance of sustainable agrifood systems. It also provided an opportunity to share national experiences and best practices on the adoption of meaningful and effective laws and regulations.