FAO, UN Environment deepen their partnership

Collaboration to focus on sustainable food systems, biodiversity, climate and urban initiatives

27 September 2019, New York - The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) renewed their partnership on Thursday, pledging to cooperate in areas of common interest.

The Memorandum of Understanding, which replenishes a formal collaboration the two UN agencies began in 1977, was signed by FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu and UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen.

The agreement outlines a plan to capitalize on an already-strong relationship and notes cooperation will focus on themes such as sustainable food systems, ecosystem services and biodiversity in agriculture, forestry and fisheries, data and statistics, and international legal instruments, legislation and regulatory matters.

Both agencies pointed to the sustainable food system programme of the One Planet Network - a multi-stakeholder  partnership with more than 95 partners including UN and government agencies, research institutions, the private sector and civil society - as an effective channel to combine their efforts to mobilize political and financial support to deliver jointly on Sustainable Development Goal #12: "Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns".

Both agencies also indicated intentions to strengthen collaboration on biodiversity themes and to support member states in formulating and achieving more ambitious climate commitments.

FAO, which helped catalyse the success of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact's engagement with mayors around the world, is also keen to support UNEP as the lead agency for the Global Environment Facility's newly launched Sustainable Cities Programme, while UNEP has been a core contributor to FAO's work on reports such as The State of Mediterranean Forests.

Photo: ©FAO/Roberto Schmidt
Today's Memorandum of Understanding was signed by FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu and UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen.