This article was originally published by Food and Agriculture Organization and is republished with permission.
12 December 2017, Rome/Paris – France and FAO renewed the blueprint for their collaboration, putting climate change, sustainable agriculture, the eradication of hunger, rural development and efficient use of natural resources at the center of their joint strategic actions in coming years.
On the sidelines of the One Planet summit in Paris, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva and Jean-Yves Le Drian, France’s Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, signed the new framework agreement guiding the two parties’ cooperation through 2021.
“Ending hunger is a basic requirement for achieving global sustainable development goals, and that can only be done if we address the challenges climate change poses for agriculture and food security,” Graziano da Silva said.
“Protecting biodiversity, reducing food loss and waste, conserving and restoring soil health, creating decent employment opportunities in developing countries – all of these are part of what we need do and all will require coherent and integrated partners and above all strong partners.”
Along with numerous heads of state, the UN Secretary-General, and the President of the World Bank, Graziano da Silva attended French President Emmanuel Macron’s climate summit high-level segment. The meeting was held to celebrate the second birthday of the Paris climate agreement where the international community made concrete pledges to keep temperature from rising more than two degrees by the end of the century.
President Macron’s “One Planet” summit seeks to accelerate climate actions, encouraging and enabling governments, the UN and organizations to roll out solutions as swiftly as possible.
That complements FAO’s message, which is that rapid action to adapt to and mitigate climate change’s impact on poorer developing countries is an essential investment for the longer-term Sustainable Development Agenda, above all the goal of ending hunger by 2030.
FAO and France
The recent COP23 meeting in Bonn, tasked key UN bodies to address issues related to agriculture and climate change in a broad array of areas ranging from soil and manure management to rural youth employment and the resilience of vulnerable communities.
That institutional breakthrough should accelerate a concerted move from science to action, which will require effective development partnerships.
FAO’s new framework agreement with France emphasizes the common goal of supporting a shift to sustainable agriculture and food systems as central to facing the challenges of hunger, climate change and decent employment for all.
In it, the French government, through its relevant ministries, centers of excellence as well as the French Development Agency (AFD), pledge to strengthen its partnership in areas of common concern, in coordination with the other Rome-Based Agencies.
Efforts to address climate change, nutrition, agroecology or migration are cited as priority areas for the partnership, as is Africa – especially the Sahel area – and the Middle East.
Graziano da Silva will on Wednesday hold a bilateral meeting with Stéphane Travert, France’s Minister for Agriculture and Food and, separately, meet with the heads of CIRAD, INRA and Agreenium, some of the country’s main research institutions for agriculture and international cooperation, to forge ways to strengthen cooperation.