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Feeding people,

protecting the
FAO and the GEF:
partners in action

June 2018
Introduction  4

FAO and the GEF: partners in action 6

FAO and the GEF: impact in numbers 8

Key messages 10

Impact around the world 12

What FAO does 34

System-wide capacity development for

country-driven transformations 38

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© FAO, 2018

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©FAO/David Boerma
FAO focuses on building sustainable food systems that
provide nutritious, healthy and accessible food for all,
in both rural and urban environments. A key area of
FAO’s work with the GEF partnership is helping countries
transform their food systems to improve land condition,
conserve biodiversity and build their resilience to the
impacts of climate change, while providing a healthy and
nutritious diet for everyone.
José Graziano da Silva
FAO Director-General

he world’s food and agricultural systems
have succeeded in feeding more people
than ever before. They supply large volumes How to feed the world
of key commodities to international markets.
Now, however, these systems are at a crossroads. without degrading land
Although more food is being produced, 815 million
people still remain hungry. Two billion people suffer and water resources,
from micronutrient deficiencies. Forty percent of
the population over 18 is overweight. What is more, eroding biodiversity
the natural resources that provide the foundation
for food and agriculture systems are under severe and contributing to
pressure. One-third of the world's agricultural land
has become degraded. Agriculture now accounts climate change is
for 70 percent of all freshwater withdrawals.
Three-quarters of the losses in agricultural among the greatest
biodiversity are due to food production. The food
sector is also responsible for 29 percent of global challenges of our times.
greenhouse gas emissions.

Unsustainable agriculture systems and changes in numbers of crises, conflicts and disasters, many
dietary habits are threatening global biodiversity. of which are a consequence of climate change, are
Land degradation, pollution, invasive alien threatening the social cohesion and the cultural
species, the destruction of natural habitats and traditions of rural populations. Distress migration is
ocean acidification are causing species extinctions, now at levels not seen in more than 70 years.
eroding genetic diversity within species, and
putting stress on entire ecosystems, often beyond
their capacity to adapt. When agricultural systems

Signs of stress
depend on a small number of crops and crop
varieties and limited animal species and breeds,
the vulnerability of these systems increases, and
this ultimately puts global food security and
nutrition at risk. A third of the world's soils are degraded.
Around 30 percent of fish stocks are
The combination of ecosystem stress, increased overfished. Forests continue to be
competition for natural resources and tenure converted into other land uses. The food
insecurity has become a major global concern. More sector currently accounts for 30 percent
than 780 million people currently live in extreme of the world’s total energy consumption.
poverty. Most of these people live in countries By 2025, about two billion people could be
that are considered fragile or environmentally living in countries or regions with absolute
vulnerable, or both. Rural people's limited access water scarcity.
to land and other natural resources, and the rising


The partnership between FAO and the Global By 2050, FAO estimates that food and agriculture
Environment Facility (GEF) provides support systems will need to produce 50 percent more food
to countries in their efforts to address the root to feed the projected global population of close to
causes of poverty and environmental degradation. 10 billion. To achieve this increase in production
The partnership concentrates its work in five without further damaging the environment and
focal areas: biodiversity, climate change, land ecosystems, it will be essential to transform food
degradation, international waters and chemicals. systems and shift to more sustainable consumption
In this way, the partnership is able to move and production patterns. The way food is grown,
beyond simply conserving natural resources and stored, transported, traded, marketed and
create the conditions for the sustainable use of consumed will need to be made fairer, more efficient
these resources. This approach meets the needs and sustainable.
of present and future generations by ensuring
the profitability of production, safeguarding the A move to sustainable agriculture can reverse
health of the environment and fostering social trends that have led to the mismanagement of
and economic equity. The FAO-GEF partnership land and the degradation of all natural resources.
has responded to the call of the 2030 Agenda for By managing terrestrial ecosystems, as well as
Sustainable Development, which recognises that freshwater and marine ecosystems sustainably, the
the environment, food security and livelihoods agricultural sectors can contribute to delivering
need to be addressed together, and that actions critical ecosystem services. Examples of these
must consider the three dimensions of sustainable services include: the maintenance of water quality;
development: social, economic and environmental. the cycling of nutrients in the soil; soil formation
A future focus for the FAO-GEF partnership will be and rehabilitation; erosion control; carbon
in three key impact programmes: food systems, sequestration; the strengthening of resilience to
land use and restoration; sustainable cities; and changes and shocks; the provision of habitat for wild
sustainable forest management. species; biological pest control; and pollination.

People and the planet

People are at the heart of all FAO-GEF projects. making, seek to provide rural populations with
The world's three billion smallholder farmers, fairer access to markets and resources. Ultimately,
fisher-folk and foresters, pastoralists and the goal is to enable hundreds of millions of family
indigenous peoples serve as natural resource farmers to sustain their production practices and
managers and stewards of the environment. In ensure their access to value chains. This goal will
every country, including small island developing be achieved by forming new coalitions of action
states, least developed countries, and middle- with private enterprises, governments and civil
income countries, rural people need to be at the society. Blending traditional knowledge with
centre of transformational change. Rural people technical innovations and new systems-based
make up about 80 percent of the global poor, but solutions offers the possibility of bringing about
they produce three-quarters of the world's food the transformational change needed to ensure
while ensuring that the natural environment can everyone is properly nourished, climate change is
continue to produce food year after year. FAO-GEF addressed effectively, biodiversity is maintained
projects, which are based on the premise that and land and water resources are safeguarded.
local communities must be involved in decision-

FAO and the GEF:

partners in action
AO and the GEF have developed their projects in over 120 countries across continents.
relationship over more than two decades. These projects have benefitted more than 4.6
The partnership is today widely recognized million women and men, created over 350 000 jobs
as a leader in addressing the critical nexus in rural communities, safeguarded biodiversity in
between environment and agriculture. This 189 vulnerable marine ecosystems, and saved close
unique partnership has been instrumental in to a thousand crop varieties and animal species and
supporting countries in their efforts to achieve breeds from extinction. Importantly, in 90 of these
national development objectives and meet the projects, indigenous peoples and local communities
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The have been actively involved in project design and
FAO-GEF partnership has contributed to national implementation.
efforts in responding to the dual challenge of
ensuring that everyone has access to sufficient In April 2018, the FAO-GEF portfolio, which is spread
amounts of safe and nutritious food, and is capable across all of the GEF’s five focal areas, was valued
of coping with the impacts of a changing climate. at USD 732 million. FAO assists member countries
to identify, develop and implement GEF-eligible
FAO became a full-fledged member of the GEF projects. Some of these projects receive co-financing
in 2006. Over the past 12 years, the FAO-GEF from governments, collaborating agencies, bilateral
partnership has helped deliver more than 180 donors, international financial institutions, and FAO.

Established in 1991, the GEF works to address the Founded in 1945, FAO's vision is for a world free
world’s most challenging environmental issues of hunger and malnutrition, where food and
related to biodiversity, climate change, land agriculture contribute to improving the living
degradation, chemicals and international waters. standards of all, especially the poorest, in an
The GEF partnership currently consists of 18 economically, socially and environmentally
agencies and 183 countries. sustainable manner. FAO membership currently
includes 194 Member Nations, two associate
members and one member organization, the
European Union. The Organization works in
over 130 countries.

FAO and the GEF: partners in action

Asia and the Pacific 31%

Africa 24%
Latin America and the Caribbean 19% FAO-GEF
Global and inter-regional 11% portfolio
Near East 8% by region
Europe and Central Asia 7%

Biodiversity 33%
FAO-GEF Climate change 27%
portfolio Land degradation 14%

by focal International waters 11%

area Land degradation 14%

Sustainable forest
management and
incentive mechanism 7%

FAO and the GEF: impact in numbers*



350 000
532 CO₂
OVER   ha 2 000



6 859 189
*Numbers represent the sums of figures reported by management teams of over 120 projects. Marginal differences are expected.

Key messages 
Sustainable food and agriculture connect people and
the planet and requires transformative action to
tackle the root causes of environmental degradation,
hunger and poverty
We envision new systems of innovation and finance we can unleash our potential and the potential of
that combine the power of research and education the world’s millions of family farmers, fishers and
with the energy of business and enterprise. value chain actors to halt climate change, conserve
This must be delivered by novel and innovative biodiversity, restore our land and seascapes and
platforms, bridging institutions, catalytic policy produce nutritious food for all.
and harnessing enormous investment. In this way

Environment, biodiversity and ecosystem services

are essential for the achievement of food security
and nutrition. Managing natural resources and
mainstreaming biodiversity across agriculture sectors
are the key towards sustainable agriculture
Increasing food production by 50 percent to ensure and to conserve the ecological foundations
food security for nearly 10 billion people, the necessary to sustain life and rural livelihoods.
projected global population in 2050, without causing The SDGs cannot be achieved without sustainable
further environmental damage can be achieved use of natural resources and biodiversity. Good
by transforming food systems and adopting governance, enabling frameworks, and stewardship
sustainable agriculture practices. This is needed incentives are needed to facilitate mainstreaming
to sustainably produce enough nutritious food of biodiversity. Structured and coherent actions
in the face of challenges, such as climate change to conserve, sustainably use, manage and restore
and growing populations with changing diets. In biological diversity across agricultural sectors is
agricultural ecosystems, maintenance of biological required at all levels.
diversity is important both for food production

Key messages

Reducing the ecological footprint of agriculture

through sustainable practices and landscape and
seascape approaches is a priority
Agricultural sectors are major users of biodiversity habitat provision for wild species, biological pest
that can impact environment but they also have control and pollination. In order to secure healthy
the potential to contribute to its protection. The ecosystems for food security and nutrition for
agricultural sectors together manage the largest all, it is important to develop approaches such
terrestrial, freshwater and marine areas on Earth. as ecosystem approaches and agroecology, as
If managed sustainably, agricultural sectors can well as tools to propose a common vision of the
contribute to important ecosystem functions. agricultural sectors and the inter sectorial synergies
These include maintenance of water quality, to make agricultural sectors more productive
nutrient cycling, soil formation and rehabilitation, and sustainable.
erosion control, carbon sequestration, resilience,

©FAO/Luis Tato


around the world

◆◆ Managing marine ecosystems in

the Bay of Bengal

◆◆ Sustainably managing forests and land in the

Kyrgyz Republic

◆◆ Climate resilience and food

security in rural Mali

◆◆ Building resilience in disaster-stricken Haiti

◆◆ Safeguarding biodiversity in
Ecuador’s mountains

◆◆ Sharing knowledge to reverse land

degradation in Angola

◆◆ Dealing with pesticides and pollutants in

Europe and Central Asia

◆◆ Responding to climate variability and

change in India
Impact around the world

Tuna, biodiversity and the high seas Valuing nature’s architects

Working to promote sustainable tuna fisheries The main goal of the GIAHS Programme is to
resources and biodiversity conservation in marine identify and safeguard remarkable traditional
areas that do not fall under any national jurisdiction. agricultural systems with outstanding aesthetic
beauty and high agro-biodiversity.

lobally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) are
landscapes of outstanding aesthetic beauty that have high
nature’s agricultural biodiversity, contribute to ecosystem resilience
and are a valuable part of our cultural heritage. Created in 2002 as
architects a Global Partnership Initiative hosted by FAO, the main goal of the
GIAHS Programme is to identify and safeguard these remarkable
traditional agricultural systems. These systems, which have been
maintained from one generation to the next, have endured thanks
to the interaction between agriculture, culture and the sustainable
management of natural resources. These complex interactions are
the result of a holistic approach to agricultural development that
is based on harmonious relationships between human needs and
nature conservation. With the global GEF project which started in
2008, Conservation and Adaptive Management of Globally Important
Agricultural Heritage Systems, FAO has established a mechanism that
intends to increase the momentum for GIAHS, so that they have
a greater impact and move from the conceptual stage to a set of
concrete, action-oriented activities.

Currently, there are 50

designated sites in 20 countries
around the world


Impact around the world

© FAO / Lena Gubler ©FAO/Jean Gault


in the Bay
of Bengal

Working with 8
countries in the Bay
of Bengal Large
Marine Ecosystem

Benefitting 400
million people living in
the Bay of Bengal area

2 230 people
trained and given
knowledge and skills
Impact around the world

© FAO/C.M. Muralidharan
round 400 million people live in the A catalyst for the successful
Bay of Bengal area. The vast majority implementation of Phase 1 was bringing
of them subsist at the poverty line together a broad range of stakeholders:
or below it, and are dependent on the Bay local government agencies, commercial
of Bengal for their food and livelihoods. and fisher-folk and their families, and
The continuing degradation of the Bay of local environmental, social and cultural
Bengal‘s coastal and marine resources is NGOs. These stakeholders worked
having a severe impact on the quality of life together through strategic partnerships.
and the prospects for economic growth in Stakeholder engagement, participation and
these impoverished communities. empowerment was actively encouraged,
and supported by programmes that
The FAO-GEF project, Sustainable strengthened the stakeholders' capacities
Management of the Bay of Bengal (BoB) to plan and implement management
Large Marine Ecosystem (LME), is designed measures that used an ecosystem approach.
to enhance the regional management of
the environment and the fisheries sector The Strategic Action Programme for the
in order to improve the health of marine sustainable management of the BOBLME
and coastal ecosystems and the living represents a key milestone of Phase 1. It
resources in the area, and better the lives will be implemented in the next phase
of the coastal populations. The Project, of the project and is expected to further
phase 1 of this long-term initiative, was contribute to enhancing food security and
implemented from 2009 to 2017 in the eight reducing poverty in coastal communities in
countries (Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, the region. Investing in its implementation
Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and achieving its objectives will help
and Thailand) of the Bay of Bengal. Phase 1 safeguard ecosystem services that are
addressed issues related to transboundary estimated to be worth around USD 240
marine resources, including land-based billion over the next 25 years.
sources of marine pollution, artisanal
fisheries versus commercial fisheries, and
habitat conservation and restoration.

Safeguarding ecosystem services

Fisher-folk view
their day's catch in estimated to be worth around USD
the Bay of Bengal
240 billion over the next 25 years


and the
high seas

The Common Oceans ABNJ Tuna

Project workshops provided a
forum and a curriculum, nurturing
19.4  billion ha of increased understanding in an
ABNJ are under improved
management by the five interactive and engaged way. In the
tuna RFMOs
Eastern Pacific and Indian Ocean
this directly contributed to better
5  additional major
commercial tuna stocks
management, and has accelerated
are under improved improvement in all tuna-RFMOs.
management with
harvest control rules Daniel Suddaby, Policy Director, Ocean Outcomes (O2)
Impact around the world

©Jonas Amadeo Lucas
any of the world’s most valuable governance and collaborative work
fisheries and marine ecosystems among the tuna RFMOs on various issues,
are dependent on marine areas including compliance, ecosystem-based
beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ). These management, fish aggregating devices and
areas are also known as the common harvest strategies. The tuna RFMOs have
oceans or the high seas. There are few developed and agreed on harvest control
resources that are as closely associated rules for five additional tuna stocks and
with these areas as tuna fish. This group have expressed a clear commitment to
of highly migratory species accounts for continue current efforts until all major
almost 20 percent of all marine capture stocks are covered.
fisheries. Every year, the world's tuna
fleet, which consists of thousands of To improve the ability of countries that
vessels from over 85 countries, lands are members of tuna RFMOs to combat
catches valued at almost USD 17 billion. IUU fishing, the project has directed
However, the high demand for tuna has resources towards building capacities
caused some stocks to become overfished. and networking, and developing and
About one-third of catches from major testing innovative monitoring, control and
commercial tuna stocks originate from surveillance tools. These tools include a
sources that are subject to overfishing. This legal template for implementing Port State
situation poses a challenge to the efforts Measures, options for the design of tuna
undertaken by the tuna Regional Fisheries catch documentation schemes, and a list
Management Organizations (RFMOs) to of authorized vessels that is synchronized
ensure sustainable fisheries management daily with all tuna RFMO records. About 75
and biodiversity conservation. Illegal, officers in the Pacific region participated
unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the first-ever certification-based
is another serious threat to sustainable training programme for compliance
fisheries, marine ecosystems and the officers operating in tuna fisheries. This
livelihoods of fisher-folk. training programme will be extended
to all tuna RFMO regions. Results from
The GEF-funded and FAO-implemented pilot activities in Fiji and Ghana show that
Common Oceans ABNJ Tuna Project, electronic monitoring systems can be an
which is carried out in collaboration with effective tool for improving compliance in
a number of partner organizations, seeks developing countries.
to achieve responsible, efficient and
sustainable management of tuna fisheries Progress has also been made in addressing
resources and conserve biodiversity. This information gaps that had impeded the
project, which is the largest of four projects effective management of the impacts
in the Common Oceans ABNJ Programme, that tuna fisheries have on ecosystems
brings together a large number of global, and biodiversity. International bycatch
regional and national partners. These analyses, which were coordinated by the
partners include the five tuna RFMOs, project, have established new partnerships
non-governmental organizations and modes for sharing data. In addition,
(NGOs), international organizations, and steps have been taken towards reducing
representatives from governments and the the impacts caused by fishing gear on
private sector. Results from 2017 show that threatened species.
progress has been made in strengthening


and land in
the Kyrgyz

Benefitting 9 655
families including

26 500
women and men


2 100  ha
Improved pasture
management on

20 000  ha
Impact around the world

he forests in the Kyrgyz Republic and agricultural ecosystems to climate
once covered vast stretches of the change. At the same time, it delivers
country, but today these forests are multiple global environmental and socio-
threatened. Severe forest degradation and economic benefits by sustaining flows
the increasing risk of landslides, mudflows of critical ecosystem services, such as
and flooding due to changes in climate regulatory processes related to climate and
are directly affecting the livelihoods of fresh water, the control of soil erosion and
communities in and around the country's the management of natural hazards. The
forests and mountains. This situation planting of trees in over 2 000 hectares of
is undermining the country’s natural forests and the introduction of innovative
resource base, its economic development agricultural technologies have had a
and its cultural heritage. In cooperation positive impact on lives and livelihoods.
with the State Agency for Environment The project has promoted an integrated
Protection and Forestry, and the Ministry cross-sectoral approach, which has
of Agriculture, Food Industry and succeeded in removing barriers related
Melioration, FAO has helped bring about to policies, institutions, technologies and
a shift in forest and land management capacities that have hindered sustainable
practices through a GEF-funded project. forest management and sustainable land
management. These same barriers had also
The project, which began in 2014 and hampered the country's ability to account
will continue until 2019, addresses the for the role of land and forest resources in
social, economic and environmental determining the national carbon balance.
dimensions of sustainability. Its goal is to
enhance the resilience of Kyrgyz forests

The planting of trees in over 2 000

hectares of forests and the introduction
of innovative agricultural technologies
Farmers digging
in fields on have had a positive impact on lives
the forest edge
and livelihoods.


resilience and
food security in
rural Mali

23 000
smallholder farmers
trained on climate–smart
agriculture practices

242  villages
adopted improved seeds

4 agroforestry zones
created, mostly by
Impact around the world

ali, a country that has always incorporate climate change adaptation
had high rainfall variability, is concerns, strategies and tools in the
experiencing some of the most agriculture, forestry and pastoralist
extreme impacts of climate change. Over sectors. The project is centred on three
the past 50 years, Mali’s climate has been vulnerable regions (Mopti, Kayes and
prone to dry years and prolonged drought, Sikasso), and covers three different
which have contributed to the vulnerability production systems (dry cereals, cotton/
of rural communities and the degradation rice and maraichage) in three different
of the fragile ecosystems they depend ecosystems (Soudano-sahelian, Sahelian
on. Under scenarios where the average and Sahelo-saharian).
temperature increases between 2.71 °C and
4.51 °C and rainfall decreases of up to 11 This project has enabled farmers to share
percent, crop yields in Mali may decrease knowledge on how to diversify production,
by 5.5 percent and forage yields may fall by improve soil health and fertility, determine
20 percent by 2025. This will certainly have the toleration limits of different species
a negative impact on Mali’s major food to temperature and rainfall, and choose
crops (millet, sorghum, rice and maize) and more resilient seeds and varieties. Through
on livestock, which is the country’s second agricultural adaptation measures carried
most important export commodity. out over 123 000 hectares, the project has
helped improve the climate resilience of
A FAO project, which was funded by the 41 000 smallholder farmers. The project has
GEF, has worked to strengthen Malian reported increases in average crop yields
farmers’ capacities to adapt to climate of between 21 percent and 77 percent for
change. Launched in 2012, the project sorghum, millet, rice, corn, sesame and
has built on an expanding network of cotton. Increases in yields of 97 percent
Farmer Field School (FFS) initiatives to were reported for hybrid sorghum seeds.

The project helped improve the climate

resilience of 41 000 smallholder farmers
Farmers building
earth walls to protect through agricultural adaptation
soil from erosion
measures over 123 000 hectares


in disaster-
stricken Haiti


346 000
seedlings of fruit and
forest trees

The project reached

5 000
households and
succeeded in
promoting the adoption
of conservation
agriculture and the
cultivation of Beseba, a
drought-tolerant local
lima bean variety


256  tonnes of
climate-resilient crop
varieties and 1.7 million
sweet potato and cassava
cuttings to Haitian
Impact around the world

ight years after an earthquake killed By 2017, the project had reached 5 000
hundreds of thousands of people households and succeeded in promoting
and left millions displaced, Haiti the adoption of conservation agriculture
continues to suffer from the impacts of and the cultivation of Beseba, a drought-
natural disasters. Hurricanes Sandy (2012) tolerant local lima bean variety. About
and Matthew (2016), and an El Niño drought 150 lead farmers have become engaged
(2015) have not only hindered efforts to as extension agents; 12 artisanal seed
rebuild after the earthquake, they have producer groups have been created and
also compounded the problem. In 2017, an equipped; 256 tonnes of climate-resilient
estimated 2.1 million people were in need of crop varieties and 1.7 million sweet
urgent humanitarian assistance. Hurricane potato and cassava cuttings have been
Matthew, in particular, caused significant distributed; and 346 000 seedlings of fruit
damage to the crop production, livestock and forest trees have been planted. The
and fisheries, which are the foundations project also established 130 locally adapted
for the livelihoods of two-thirds of model farms that focus on climate-smart
the population. agricultural production and 20 FFS for
innovative adaptive agricultural systems.
The FAO-GEF project, Strengthening climate
change resilience and reducing disaster risk At the policy level, a technical compendium
in agriculture to improve food security in on climate change adaptation and disaster
Haiti post-earthquake, was designed to help risk management practices was created;
farmers to produce more food, increase Haiti's National Action Plan for Adaptation
their incomes and improve the resilience to Climate Change (NAPA) was revised
of their livelihoods in the face of disasters. and updated; technical assistance was
Sustainable and climate-resilient practices, provided for the creation of the Climate
such as the cultivation of drought-tolerant Change Directorate; and 10 Community
varieties of staple crops, conservation Disaster Risk Management Plans were
farming, agroforestry, tree planting, and developed and validated by recipients. The
contour and slope farming have been project supported farmers in acquiring
introduced and validated by farmers using the knowledge needed to improve the
the Farmer Field School (FFS) approach production of market garden crops and
in combination with other innovative other climate-resilient staple crops. The
communication techniques. comprehensive approach adopted in Haiti
has improved food security, increased the
resilience of household livelihoods and
safeguarded the environment.


in Ecuador’s

As part of the project’s

focus on building
livelihoods, FAO expertise was
influential in developing local
capacities for the capture and
shearing of vicuña. The vicuña,
a relative of the llama and native
to South America, is highly
valued due to its fine wool, which
is knitted into garments and
fetches high prices on the market.
Vicuñas were reintroduced to
Ecuador from Peru and Chile in
1988, with a large population now
roaming in the Chimborazo Fauna
Production Reserve. The capture
and shearing of vicuñas, which
was carried out in Chimborazo,
Ecuador in September 2017,
marked the first time this had
been done in the area.
Impact around the world

cuador is one of the world’s most biodiversity in the páramos ecosystems,
biologically diverse countries. It and improve the food sovereignty of the
harbours an extraordinary variety of local indigenous population, who are
ecosystems and species within a relatively dependent on Chimborazo’s mountain
small territory. However, the country is ecosystems. To achieve this objective, the
facing serious environmental problems project has adopted modern watershed
that are contributing to the deterioration management approaches.
of natural ecosystems. The sustainable
management of biodiversity and natural An important aspect of the project is its
resources continues to be a strategic focus on working with local communities
priority for Ecuador whose constitution to construct five watershed management
grants inalienable rights to nature. plans that are based on the communities’
knowledge and needs.
The Chimborazo Natural Resources
Management Project is working to The project, which has a direct impact on
conserve and manage the Chimborazo’s 5 000 families in an area of about 114 000
páramos and the biodiversity of the ha, contributes to strengthening the
mountain ecosystems in order to improve policies, regulations and legal frameworks
local livelihoods. The Project, which for integrating and promoting biodiversity
promotes improved sustainable natural in markets for goods and services. It also
resource management, is a joint effort by forms part of the Provincial Government’s
FAO, the GEF, the Ministry of Environment plan to adapt to and mitigate climate
and the Chimborazo Provincial change. This plan was based on a thorough
Council and other national partners. environmental study conducted in 10
Its prime objective is to re-establish cantons between 2012 and 2015.
and sustainably use the agricultural

We are really happy that we are allowed to

learn from this experience. Up to now, we
have created sheep, llama and alpaca wool
clothes, so it would be the first time we do
Vicuña, a wild
camelid, observes the it with vicuña.
páramo of Chimborazo
María Inga, Beneficiary


knowledge to
reverse land
degradation in

Benefited 3 400
women and men

Developed 6 territorial
plans for improved
rangeland management,
covering approximately

30 000  ha

2 800
rural employment

Established 35
Agro-pastoral Field
Schools, which have
benefited more than

2 800 farmers,
35 percent of whom are
Impact around the world

©FAO/Basterretxea, Txaran
and degradation in Angola’s arid The Programme creates an enabling
southwestern provinces is largely a environment that is better able to support
result of unsustainable agricultural a sustained flow of agricultural ecosystem
practices, deforestation, overgrazing services. It is also helping to strengthen
in rangelands and recurrent climatic and diversify both livestock and non-
disasters, such as droughts, floods and livestock value chains. Activities are
unpredictable rains. The loss of biodiversity designed to support 2 800 families of
and vegetation that has resulted from smallholder agro-pastoralists through a
this degradation has become a major network of Agro-pastoral Farmer Field
issue for indigenous communities who Schools (APFS). These schools bring
are struggling to provide enough feed for together the ancestral knowledge of
their cattle, which represent an essential indigenous communities with the goal of
component of their socio-cultural capital mainstreaming local practices into efforts
and economic reserves. to reverse land degradation. They promote
knowledge sharing by using an approach
Shrinking fertile land and an expanding that lets local communities define where
population have become the main cause and how they want to be supported. To date,
of conflict in the region. Disputes are a core group of 40 APFS master trainers
particularly common between peasant from governmental institutions, NGOs
and commercial farmers, traditional and civil society organizations have been
herders, commercial cattle rangers and accredited. These master trainers are now
returning refugees who are reclaiming instructing more than 80 APFS facilitators
their land-use rights. who are either agro-pastoralists
or pastoralists.
To address land degradation and promote
sustainable food and agricultural systems At the same time, the Land Programme
in Angola, the Ministry of Environment, also promotes Participatory and Negotiated
with technical support from FAO and Territorial Development (PNTD). The
financial support from the GEF, has PNTD approach focuses on dialogue and
been promoting a 'Land Programme'. By negotiation. It creates negotiation tables
mainstreaming locally adapted sustainable where different stakeholders (often with
land management technologies into agro- conflicting interests) can sit together
pastoral and agricultural development to reach a common agreement on the
activities, the Programme intended to development path for their territory.
mitigate the impact of the processes This component of the Land Programme
that are contributing to environmental aims to deliver indirect benefits to more
degradation and rehabilitate affected lands. than 20 000 people.

Now we understand that we have to share

A facilitator
takes a class at our knowledge and help each other so
a Farmer Field
School in Angola nobody is poor.
Mucubal, Tribesperson


Dealing with
pesticides and
pollutants in
Europe and
Central Asia

Total of 215 tonnes

of obsolete pesticides
safeguarded in
Azerbaijan and Belarus

93 experts from
countries trained in
different specialties
(inventory, risk
assessment, safeguarding)
Impact around the world

©Khoshgadam Alasgarova
he mismanagement and increased technical capacity to manage,
accumulation of obsolete pesticides dispose of and prevent obsolete pesticides
and persistent organic pollutants and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
(POPs) poses a real threat to the health stockpiles. It also helped to build national
of people and ecosystems. Although it capacities to strengthen pesticide import
remains difficult to assess the extent of controls and ensure product quality, and
the problem, the limited number of field provided training for government staff so
investigations that have been carried they are better able to identify and address
out point to a worrying increase in weaknesses in the system.
pesticide pollutants.
The project has brought about a greater
Through a GEF-funded project, FAO worked exchange of information and increased
to increase the awareness of the dangers cooperation among the nine participating
of obsolete pesticides in nine countries countries and within the EECCA region.
in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and It has also fostered a more systematic
Central Asia (EECCA): Albania, Armenia, involvement of stakeholders in the area
Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Mongolia, of obsolete pesticides stockpiles, POPs
the Republic of Moldova, Romania and and other chemical waste, and the
the Republic of Macedonia. The project, management of contaminated sites. Policy
implemented in collaboration with a outcomes include the strengthening of
number of international NGOs, provided pesticide legislation.

The project has brought about a greater

exchange of information and increased
A special team takes
care to dispose of cooperation among the nine participating
obsolete pesticides
countries and within the EECCA region

to climate
variability and
change in India
Impact around the world

©FAO/Noah Seelam
Kothuru village, located in India’s Through their active participation in the
Kurnool district, has witnessed FCS, farmers acquired skills in managing
wide-scale fluctuations in climate variability and risks, and test
rainfall patterns, which are threatening adaptation technologies in farming
agricultural production and the systems. Organized by the Bharathi
livelihoods of rural communities in this Integrated Rural Development Society
drought-prone area. The village is one of (BIRDS), the FCS is a year-long school,
the 143 ‘habitations’ in seven districts of which starts with the monsoon season
Andhra Pradesh that were included in the and continues through different cropping
FAO-GEF co-financed project, Reversing seasons. It takes a sustained approach to
Environmental Degradation and Rural engage the community in considering a
Poverty through Adaptation to Climate range of adaptation technologies and best
Change in Drought-Stricken Areas in Southern practices, which have been identified and
India: A Hydrological Unit Pilot Project documented for sharing and scaling up.
Approach. The project, which covered a
population of more than 200 000, aimed to The project built the knowledge base and
strengthen the knowledge and capacities of offered practical experience in integrating
communities to respond to the impacts of climate change adaptation into sustainable
climate variability and climate change. land and water management practices. It
also contributed to the rehabilitation and
Farmers Climate School (FCS) helped local protection of critical ecosystems, improved
farmers build awareness about climate soil carbon sequestration and increased
change and its impacts on rural livelihoods. agricultural productivity.

I decided not to spray any more chemical and

avoid chemical pesticides. Natural extracts
control pests and diseases much more effectively,
and can be prepared at home at very low cost.
From now on I will use local materials to
grow rice crops in the next season and in
the coming years.
A farmer measuring
rainfall levels in Rameswari, a female farmer from R Kothuru village had got into debt when
a rain gauge station investments in fertilizers and pesticides failed to deliver higher yields after
erratic rainfall and low minimum support prices


What FAO does

FAO - 70 years of partnership greater ownership of development interventions.
FAO is the only specialized UN agency working in

AO combines its global convening power all three dimensions of sustainability across all
with technical, monitoring and policy agricultural sectors, and at the critical intersection
expertise. This combination makes it well between agriculture, the environment and people.
positioned to work with development groups and FAO’s broad multidisciplinary knowledge and
support countries to formulate policies based extensive experience is critical to supporting
on solid evidence. The Organization facilitates countries in their efforts to achieve their sustainable
partnerships that scale up action and encourages development objectives.
multistakeholder participation that can ensure

FAO is working towards

Providing evidence-based and policy advice to build sustainable
 agriculture and food systems

 Promoting guidelines, standards and good practices

 Facilitating policy dialogue

Supporting countries in designing and implementing strategies

 and programmes

Reinforcing the capacity of stakeholders and strengthening the

 institutional environment

 Mobilizing resources and investments

 Advancing the generation of data at the global and national level

 Building partnerships and alliances

What FAO does

FAO creates and builds innovative and inclusive exchanging knowledge, promoting best practices
partnerships by leveraging technical know-how, and fostering inclusive participation.
providing locally appropriate solutions and
fostering transparency and accountability. With
the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, the FAO mandate Nourishing people, nurturing the planet
is more essential than ever for addressing global
concerns. Its mandate continues to evolve as the FAO’s vision for sustainable food and agriculture is
links between food insecurity, the degradation of of a world where food is nutritious and accessible for
natural resources, youth unemployment, climate everyone, and where natural resources are managed
change, and other complex global challenges in a way that maintains essential ecosystem
become more evident. FAO facilitates collaborations functions. This vision brings together a number
between governments and a broad range of of approaches for sustainable crop and livestock
stakeholders. It partners with the private sector, production, forestry and fisheries that have several
civil society, producer organizations, cooperatives, elements in common: knowledge sharing and
academia and research institutions to reach capacity building, empowerment, good governance
the shared objectives of developing capacities, and coherence across different agriculture sectors.

Selected FAO-developed approaches

 Save and Grow  Energy-Smart Food for People and Climate

www.fao.org/ag/save-and-grow www.fao.org/energy

 Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock  The Ecosystem Approach

www.livestockdialogue.org www.fao.org/biodiversity/cross-sectoral-issues/
 Sustainable Forest Management conservation
and use of forests  Transforming food and agriculture
www.fao.org/forestry/sfm to achieve the SDGs
 Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries
www.fao.org/fishery/code  Sustainable Food Systems Program
 Climate-Smart Agriculture SFCP/Flyer_EN_01.pdf)
 The Code of Conduct for the Responsible
 Global Soil Partnership use of Pesticides
www.fao.org/globalsoilpartnership www.fao.org/agriculture/crops/thematic-
 Sustainable Land Management


Participatory policymaking Monitoring

FAO believes that effective policy is generated FAO provides data and statistical support to
and implemented through inclusive dialogue. The approximately 200 countries. FAO statistics can
Organization often leads or hosts major inter- be used by governments in formulating and
agency and multistakeholder alliances. Examples supervising policies and by farmers in their
include the UN System Standing Committee on planning and economic decision-making. As part
Nutrition, the Committee on World Food Security, of its work to assist country efforts to measure
the UN High Level Task Force on Global Food progress towards the SDGs, FAO is helping to
Security, UN-Energy, UN-Water and UN-Oceans. strengthen national capacities in this area. This
Accountable and transparent multistakeholder support ensures that data are comparable and
platforms create a common space to voice and aggregated at subregional, regional and global
shape solutions that meet shared objectives. These levels. FAO is custodian UN agency for 21 of 230 SDG
platforms also help mobilize capacities, information, indicators across SDGs 2, 5, 6, 12, 14 and 15. Along
technologies and financial contributions, and with strengthening statistical measures for hunger,
increase access to productive resources. malnutrition and agriculture, FAO is developing,
with partners, a set of indicators and tools that
capture the sustainable use of natural resources
across multiple SDGs. Examples include:

Committee on ◆◆ EX-Ante Carbon Balance Tool (EX-ACT) is an

appraisal system developed by FAO that provides

World Food Security

estimates of the impact of agriculture and
forestry development projects, programmes and
policies on the carbon balance.

Widely recognized as a model approach to ◆◆ Open Foris, hosted by FAO, is a collaborative

multistakeholder engagement, the FAO- effort involving private and public institutions,
hosted Committee on World Food Security which provides free and open source solutions for
(CFS) is the foremost inclusive international environmental monitoring.
and intergovernmental platform for all
stakeholders to work together to ensure ◆◆ Collect Earth is a free and open source
food security and nutrition. The CFS application for land monitoring developed by FAO
brings together representatives from civil with the support of Google Earth. It gives users
society and cooperatives, the private sector access to multiple, freely available repositories of
and businesses, scientific and academic satellite imagery.
institutions, donors and philanthropic
foundations to discuss policy alongside ◆◆ The System of Environmental-Economic
government delegates, who ultimately Accounting for Agriculture, Forestry and
take decisions. The CFS supports countries Fisheries (SEEA-AFF) is a statistical framework
to implement negotiated cross-cutting that facilitates the description and analysis of
policy products. Significant policy products agriculture, forestry and fisheries as economic
implemented in recent years include the activities and their relationship with the
Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible environment. Released in March 2018, the SEEA-
Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries AFF is critical for quantifying and monitoring
and Forests in the Context of National Food natural capital.
Security, and the Principles for Responsible
Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems.
What FAO does

A measure
of sustainability
The definition of sustainability is set to
become more precise with the development of
SDG indicator 2.4.1. The indicator, under FAO
custodianship, will provide governments with
evidence to help determine which types of
agricultural production are environmentally
as well as socially and economically
sustainable; where and how to intensify
production; and how to extract greater yields
with fewer inputs. The development of this
indicator could be catalytic to the success of
the 2030 Agenda, providing a sustainability
benchmark that can be universally applied.

The Agricultural Integrated Survey (AGRIS)

is a farm-based modular multi-year
survey program that aims to accelerate
the production of disaggregated data
on agricultural production as well as
on the economic, environmental and
social dimensions of farms, including
smallholder farms.


System-wide capacity
development for
country- driven
ligned with the GEF cross-cutting corporate from incorporating a step-by-step CD approach
strategy on capacity development (CD),¹ with innovative methodologies2 during project
FAO believes that robust and system- formulation and implementation. Findings reveal
wide CD approaches are essential to enhance that the project quality increased substantially
the impact, sustainability and scale of GEF through complementing the biophysical with
projects through deepening country ownership, socio-economic and institutional elements, more
commitment and mutual accountability for results. effective and needs-based CD interventions across
Supporting countries through system-wide CD people, institutions and policies as well as enhanced
interdependently empowers people, strengthens country ownership, commitment and subsequent
organizations and enhances the enabling policy sustainability of results. See for instance Lao PDR
and institutional framework based on assessed (www.fao.org/capacity-development/news-list/
needs. For GEF, 15 country projects have benefited detail/en/c/418534/).

¹ www.thegef.org/topics/capacity-development

2 See for instance “Enhancing Capacities for a Country-Owned Transition towards Climate Smart Agriculture” (www.fao.org/climate-
smart-agriculture-sourcebook/enabling-frameworks/module-c1-capacity-development/c1-overview/), “Institutional Capacity
Development Assessment Approach for National Adaptation Planning in the Agriculture Sectors” (www.fao.org/3/I8900EN/i8900en.pdf),
“Capacity development at multiple levels for effective implementation of Sustainable Land Management” (www.fao.org/3/a-i6085e.pdf),
“Measuring Capacity Development Results- What and How” (www.fao.org/3/a-i5243e.pdf)

FAO and the GEF
Partnering for Sustainable Agriculture and the Environment

Write to us on faogef@fao.org or
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© FAO, 2018