FAO in North America

At COP15, FAO North America Director on hand for discussions with partners from the Canadian government

Photo: Lifeng Ali, FAO Director Land & Water; Julie Belanger, Natural Resources Advisor; Jocelyn Brown Hall; Christine Campbell, Director-General, Food Security & Environment, Global Affairs Canada; FAO DDG Maria-Helena Semedo; Jeffrey Griffen, GEF

Washington, DC - The fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) ended earlier this week in Montreal, Canada with a landmark agreement to protect 30 percent of the world’s lands, coastal areas and inland waters by 2030. The final text of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework includes 23 targets to be achieved by 2030 and four goals to be met by 2050 to mitigate biodiversity loss.

Leaders and technical experts from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) joined representatives from 196 countries at COP15, which was hosted by Canada under the Presidency of the People's Republic of China, from 9 - 17 December.

At COP15, FAO and the Government of the Canadian province of Quebec signed the second phase of a technical and financial partnership to help Côte d’Ivoire, Haiti and Senegal adapt to climate change. The “Strengthening agricultural adaptation” (SAGA) began in 2018 with the goal of helping countries particularly vulnerable to climate change adapt to improve their food security and nutrition. SAGA has been helping communities in Senegal and Haiti and will now extend to Côte d’Ivoire.

A crucial component of the SAGA project is the protection of biodiversity and ecosystem by building on traditional knowledge and acknowledging the important role of rural women and youth in tacking the climate crisis. Quebec contributed $5 million dollars in the first phase and will contribute an additional $5 million dollars to continue efforts through a second project that will run from 2023 – 2026.

“FAO welcomes the strengthening of the partnership with Quebec through this new phase of an innovative project aimed at supporting three francophone countries to transform their agricultural sectors to better cope with climate constraints while contributing to biodiversity conservation. As a new Global Biodiversity Framework is about to be adopted in Montreal, this project will help countries link international commitments on climate and biodiversity to the daily realities of farmers,” said Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director-General of FAO. 

Director of the FAO North America liaison office, Jocelyn Brown Hall, was part of the delegation in attendance for COP15. On the sidelines of the conference, Director Brown Hall participated in bilateral discussions between Global Affairs Canada Director – General, Food Security and Environment, Christine Campbell and Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo. Also present at this meeting were Lifeng Ali, Director FAO Land and Water Division; FAO Natural Resources Advisor, Julie Belanger; and Jeffrey Griffen, Senior Coordinator, Global Environment Facility (GEF). Brown Hall was present for discussions between Environment and Climate Change Canada, Assistant Deputy Minister Kelly Trock.


In additional, Director Brown Hall visited the #ExtinctionThermometer, an art installation at COP15 by Montreal-based multidisciplinary visual artist and activist Benjamin Von Wong and supported by FAO.

Additional information:

Nations adopt the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework

Signature of a new USD 5 million partnership between the Government of Quebec and FAO

Strengthening Agricultural Adaptation (SAGE)

Taking the temperature at COP15 with the #ExtinctionThermometer