FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

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The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has published a special issue of its Unasylva journal on the restoration of Mediterranean forests, which are increasingly threatened by the impacts of climate change and human activity. Unasylva 255 - Restoring the Mediterranean region: status and challenges, explores, through 13 expert articles, the extent of ecosystem restoration in the region over recent years, the advances and the challenges, as well as the tools and approaches that can help increase the quality and quantity of restoration work. 

Women are vital to the livelihoods and the economies of rural areas and smallholder agriculture in Kosovo1, yet they do not benefit equally with men from their labour and contributions.

To map the situation and provide a possible way forward, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released the Kosovo gender profile for agriculture and rural livelihoods that aims to improve knowledge on gender related issues in agriculture, with special attention to the state of digitalization. The publication provides evidence based recommendations for advancing gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in agriculture and rural development for improved strategies and programmes.

Building on the success of the initial stage of the land consolidation programme, the European Union (EU), together with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), continue to support the process of bringing together fragmented agricultural parcels, improving agricultural infrastructure and developing quality policy and legislation in North Macedonia. An equally important outcome is that it also helps the country come closer to sustainable land use and food systems, which are among the goals of the European Green Deal and the 2030 Agenda.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has provided advanced tools and training in techniques in forest data collection and forest fire management to experts from the Caucasus, Central Asia and Türkiye. 
Representatives from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Türkiye, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan gathered in Antalya, Türkiye from 8 to 12 July 2024 for the event, which was organized in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the General Directorate of Forestry of Türkiye.
A landmark workshop held recently launched a project that will transform the table grape sector in the Republic of Moldova to be more sustainable, resilient and competitive. The workshop brought together 70 key partners, including producers, processors, retailers, government officials, and representatives from international organizations to exchange views and share expectations of the project outputs. The project is a collaborative effort between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Moldovan Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has emerged as a significant global health threat affecting humans, animals, plants, and the environment, and as such is a perfect example of a One Health issue. In an effort to combat AMR, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has implemented Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices (KAP) surveys aligned with the objectives in its Action Plan on AMR and the Global Action Plan on AMRConducted from 2020 to 2023, these surveys revealed antimicrobial use practices and awareness of AMR in the livestock sector of Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo1, Kyrgyzstan, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Tajikistan, and Ukraine.

Agritourism is a great example of a systems approach that brings together many interrelated sectors: agriculture, tourism, infrastructure, marketing, food, culture and local economies. Addressing these as a whole allows countries to see key blockages to change as well as emerging opportunities for growth. In 2022, to support the Albanian government in this quest, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), through the Sustainable Food Systems in the Mediterranean (SFS-MED) project, provided trainings, facilitated dialogues between national and local representatives and lent expertise to stakeholders from various sectors to strengthen agritourism and enhance rural livelihoods.
FAO’s Virtual Learning Center for Europe and Central Asia recently developed and delivered a new virtual learning tutored course on improving ruminant biosecurity. This capacity building tool aims to equip field veterinarians and industry professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to assess and improve biosecurity on all sorts of ruminant farms. The course was developed in collaboration with experts from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) with support from Lleida University (UdL) and LleidaVet in Spain.
An ongoing initiative by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is backing Montenegro’s pursuit to improve forest management planning and monitoring in the country’s private forests. In the framework of the FAO project, Montenegro’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management welcomed representatives of Slovenia’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, the Forest Service, and the Forestry Institute from 17 to 19 June 2024 in Montenegro, for a second time to discuss new approaches to forest management planning and monitoring in private forests.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) office in Bishkek is now lead by Oleg Guchgeldiyev, as he took up his duties today as FAO Representative in Kyrgyzstan. Oleg Guchgeldiyev, a professional with broad experience in climate change, environmental strategic planning and biodiversity conservation, joined FAO in 2016 as regional coordinator for development of a large-scale project for Central Asian countries and Türkiye on sustainable land management. Since 2018, he has been serving as FAO Representative in Tajikistan.