The European Union has provided an additional 9 million euros to support the work of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in promoting sustainable agricultural practices in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific. The agreement focuses on combating land degradation and desertification and seeks to increase food security and climate resilience. In particular, the funding aims to boost efforts by countries in target regions to bring about sustainable changes in agricultural policies and practices.
“Our support for more biodiversity and better quality food is decisive for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals. Agriculture and biodiversity are strongly intertwined. The agricultural sector depends heavily on biodiversity, yet it is also a contributor to biodiversity loss. This new programme will help overcome the socio-economic and political barriers that prevent countries and farmers from adopting ecosystem-based agricultural practices and approaches to biodiversity and chemical management.”, stated FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu.
Qu Dongyu and European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, signed on Monday (14) the agreement that will allow funding to support the work of the UN agency.
“Nature is under threat – the world needs more sustainable agricultural practices that boost food security, poverty reduction and economic growth, while preserving the planet’s precious natural resources. I am very glad to be announcing this additional funding just two days before World Food Day. It is a further example of the EU’s firm commitment to work with its ACP partner countries on these very aims.”, said Commissioner Mimica.
ACP is made up of 79 countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific, with all but Cuba signatories of the Cotonou Agreement, also known as the “ACP-EC Partnership Agreement”, which binds them to the European Union.
“I welcome this new project, which is of great importance for ACP countries. Conserving biodiversity and reducing the pressure on natural resources and ecosystems, while also tackling climate change, has never been more important for our diets, our health, our planet and our survival.”, said Patrick I. Gomes, Secretary-General of the ACP Group of States.
The current contract is part of a broader EU support program that promotes environmental sustainability in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries through stronger environmental governance and the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements such as the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Partnerships with the private sector and civil society aim to act within the agreement as drivers for more sustainable agricultural systems. In addition, the agreement also provides that regional and national institutions can do more to design and implement agricultural policies that improve biodiversity while maintaining production and profitability.