FAO Investment Centre

The power of collaboration: bringing FAO global expertise to Brussels


Various missions took place in the month of March. Colleagues from headquarters met with our partners in European Union institutions and bodies and the Belgian government.  

Osama El-Lissy, Secretary of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) held meetings with the European Commission Directorates General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE), Trade (DG TRADE). Consultations focused on the implementation of the IPPC Strategic Framework 2020-2030, the IPPC initiatives, including the African Phytosanitary Programme, and Trade Facilitation Initiative, designed to aid national plant protection offices in their effort to safeguarding plant health against pest of regulatory significance and to facilitate safe trade of agricultural products.    

Matthew Camilleri, Leader of the Fisheries Global and Regional Processes Team at FAO's Fisheries and Aquaculture Division presented the Global Information System on Fisheries (GIES) to EU member states in an expert meeting on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing. He also met with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE). 

Frédéric Castell, Senior Natural Resources Officer and members of his team visited Brussels to discuss the key role of biodiversity for food security and nutrition with various partners including representatives from different European Directorates General, the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and representatives from the Belgian Federal Administration. They promoted the FAO Strategy on Mainstreaming Biodiversity across Agricultural Sectors and exchanged with partners on the importance of sustainable use of biodiversity and the active engagement of agricultural sectors (crop and livestock production, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture) in the implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) adopted at the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity in December 2022. 

Two teams from the FAO Investment Centre visited Brussels this month. The first team, led by Nuno Santos, Deputy Director for Business Development, held meetings with the European Union's Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA) to discuss the AgrIntel project. The initiative, which has been renewed for a further five years, aims to encourage private investment in the agrifood system through innovative blended finance mechanisms. The second team, led by James Tefft, Senior Economist, participated in workshops organized by DG INTPA to launch the Sustainable Agrifood Systems Intelligence (SASI) project that aims to improve the availability of knowledge and guidance at global and country level on institutions, policies and investments to accelerate the transition towards sustainable agrifood systems. The FAO Investment Centre will collaborate with Agrinatura (an association of European universities and research centers) in this work.  

A technical workshop was held on the making of key knowledge products for the Sustainable Wildlife Management (SWM) Programme. Staff from the SWM Programme discussed the promotion of effective action to achieve sustainable levels of hunting, reduce consumption of wild meat in urban areas, strengthen hunting legislation and its enforcement, and facilitate the adoption of the Community Rights-Based Approach (CRBA) and Social Safeguards (SoS) with the European Commission’s DG INTPA. 

Catherine Bessy, FAO’s Senior Food Safety Officer in the Division for Food Systems and Food Safety participated in a Workshop on "Future Research & Innovation Needs" organized by ERA-LEARN together with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD). 

Courtney Price, FAO’s Lead for Behavioural Science under the Office of Innovation participated in a panel debate in the European Parliament on how to shift to more sustainable diets and understand consumer trust in food. The event was organized by the European Food Forum and EIT Food.