108. We reaffirm our commitments regarding the right of everyone to have access to safe, sufficient and nutritious food, consistent with the right to adequate food and the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger. We acknowledge that food security and nutrition has become a pressing global challenge and, in this regard, we further reaffirm our commitment to enhancing food security and access to adequate, safe and nutritious food for present and future generations in line with the Five Rome Principles for Sustainable Global Food Security adopted in 2009, including for children under two, and through, as appropriate, national, regional and global food security and nutrition strategies.
109. We recognize that a significant portion of the world?s poor live in rural areas, and that rural communities play an important role in the economic development of many countries. We emphasize the need to revitalize the agricultural and rural development sectors, notably in developing countries, in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable manner. We recognize the importance of taking the necessary actions to better address the needs of rural communities through, inter alia, enhancing access by agricultural producers, in particular small producers, women, indigenous peoples and people living in vulnerable situations, to credit and other financial services, markets, secure land tenure, health care, social services, education, training, knowledge and appropriate and affordable technologies, including for efficient irrigation, reuse of treated wastewater and water harvesting and storage. We reiterate the importance of empowering rural women as critical agents for enhancing agricultural and rural development and food security and nutrition. We also recognize the importance of traditional sustainable agricultural practices, including traditional seed supply systems, including for many indigenous peoples and local communities.
110. Noting the diversity of agricultural conditions and systems, we resolve to increase sustainable agricultural production and productivity globally, including through improving the functioning of markets and trading systems and strengthening international cooperation, particularly for developing countries, by increasing public and private investment in sustainable agriculture, land management and rural development. Key areas for investment and support include sustainable agricultural practices; rural infrastructure, storage capacities and related technologies; research and development on sustainable agricultural technologies; developing strong agricultural cooperatives and value chains; and strengthening urban-rural linkages. We also recognize the need to significantly reduce post-harvest and other food losses and waste throughout the food supply chain.
111. We reaffirm the necessity to promote, enhance and support more sustainable agriculture, including crops, livestock, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture, that improves food security, eradicates hunger and is economically viable, while conserving land, water, plant and animal genetic resources, biodiversity and ecosystems and enhancing resilience to climate change and natural disasters. We also recognize the need to maintain natural ecological processes that support food production systems.
112. We stress the need to enhance sustainable livestock production systems, including through improving pasture land and irrigation schemes in line with national policies, legislation, rules and regulations, enhanced sustainable water management systems, and efforts to eradicate and prevent the spread of animal diseases, recognizing that the livelihoods of farmers, including pastoralists, and the health of livestock are intertwined.
113. We also stress the crucial role of healthy marine ecosystems, sustainable fisheries and sustainable aquaculture for food security and nutrition and in providing for the livelihoods of millions of people.
114. We resolve to take action to enhance agricultural research, extension services, training and education to improve agricultural productivity and sustainability through the voluntary sharing of knowledge and good practices. We further resolve to improve access to information, technical knowledge and know-how, including through new information and communications technologies that empower farmers, fisherfolk and foresters to choose among diverse methods of achieving sustainable agricultural production. We call for the strengthening of international cooperation on agricultural research for development.
115. We reaffirm the important work and inclusive nature of the Committee on World Food Security, including through its role in facilitating country-initiated assessments on sustainable food production and food security, and we encourage countries to give due consideration to implementing the Committee on World Food Security Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security. We take note of the ongoing discussions on responsible agricultural investment in the framework of the Committee on World Food Security, as well as the principles for responsible agricultural investment.
116. We stress the need to address the root causes of excessive food price volatility, including its structural causes, at all levels, and the need to manage the risks linked to high and excessively volatile prices in agricultural commodities and their consequences for global food security and nutrition, as well as for smallholder farmers and poor urban dwellers.
117. We underline the importance of timely, accurate and transparent information in helping to address excessive food price volatility, and in this regard take note of the Agricultural Market Information System hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and urge the participating international organizations, private sector actors and Governments to ensure the public dissemination of timely and quality food market information products.
118. We reaffirm that a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system will promote agricultural and rural development in developing countries and contribute to world food security. We urge national, regional and international strategies to promote the participation of farmers, especially smallholder farmers, including women, in community, domestic, regional and international markets.
1. In the past few years, agriculture has risen once more to the top of national and international policy agendas. Agriculture lies at the centre of sustainable development. It plays a crucial role in addressing the food security needs of a growing global population and contributing to the progressive realization of the right to adequate food and is inextricably linked to poverty eradication and attainment of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals. To this end, there must be mobilization of the political will and commitment of Governments and other relevant stakeholders, at the international and national levels, to revive the agricultural sectors in developing countries.
2. Boosting agricultural productivity, improving soil quality, ensuring the safety of food and, as appropriate, enhancing the nutritional quality of food is essential and needs to be done in ways that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable. Moreover, a comprehensive approach integrating post-harvest storage and processing to reduce losses and add value, distribution and marketing infrastructure to link to markets and capacity-building at all stages, particularly in developing countries, is needed. Farmers and farm workers, female and male, especially small, and resource-poor, indigenous people and rural communities, need to be central actors in a green revolution in a sustainable way, with a sound balance and mutually beneficial linkages among small- and large-scale agricultural enterprises.
3. Such a revolution should be implemented by vitalizing sustainable agriculture and rural development in developing countries, in particular in Africa and the least developed countries. It needs to take into account national priorities and mutually beneficial linkages among farms enterprises of all scales adapted to site-specific agroecosystems and climate, building on local knowledge and experience while availing of the best available science, technology and know-how.
4. These efforts should include creating and promoting an enabling environment to increase and sustain investment in agricultural sectors of developing countries, as well as to ensure that trade is supportive of agriculture. Market access for agricultural products should be substantially improved, the parallel elimination of all forms of export subsidies and disciplines on all export measures with equivalent effect should be ensured, and trade-distorting domestic support should be substantially reduced, in accordance with the mandate for the Doha Round and the Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration on the Doha Work Programme, adopted at the Sixth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization, held in Hong Kong, China, from 13 to 18 December 2005. Special and differential treatment for developing countries shall be an integral part of all elements of the Doha Round and shall enable them to effectively take account of their development needs, including food security and rural development.
5. Agriculture is also dependent on climate and sensitive to climate change. Sustainable agricultural practices as well as sustainable forest management can contribute to meeting climate change concerns. Sustainable soil, land, livestock, forest, biodiversity and water management practices, and resilient crops are essential. To this end, international, regional and national efforts to strengthen the capacity of developing countries to enhance agricultural productivity and to promote sustainable practices in pre-harvest and post-harvest agricultural activities are urgently needed.
6. The following actions will be required at the local, national, regional and global levels in accordance with national priorities and legislations:
(a) Enhance agriculture production, productivity and sustainability. In that context:
(i) Employ science-based agricultural approaches, and local and indigenous knowledge, while undertaking research and development, to improve plant varieties, livestock, and soil. Encourage development and adoption of locally appropriate farming systems and agricultural practices;
(ii) Promote the use of soil conservation and improvement techniques, including integrated nutrient management and nutrient use efficiency, especially to prevent degradation of vulnerable land and restore degraded land;
(iii) Promote sound water management and saving in agriculture through efficient irrigation, water harvesting and storage, treatment and reuse;
(iv) As appropriate, support countries to strengthen research in areas of growing market demands, such as organic agriculture;
(v) Encourage the production and use of sustainable bio-based products in agriculture;
(vi) Expand public investments and incentives, in particular for small-scale producers in developing countries, including women, to increase production of a wide spectrum of traditional and other crops and livestock, and to accelerate the transition to sustainable production;
(vii) Recognize that forests and trees outside forests provide multiple economic, social and environmental benefits, and emphasize that sustainable forest management contributes significantly to sustainable development and poverty eradication;
(viii) Recognize the importance of achieving the objectives of the International Treaty of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and the full implementation by its Parties;
(ix) Recognize the importance of achieving the objectives of the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources and its implementation by committed countries;
(x) Conserve and use sustainably biodiversity in order to strengthen the resilience of agriculture and enhance food security in accordance with international obligations as well as national laws and regulations with regard to fair and equitable sharing of benefits;
(xi) Encourage the adoption of measures for the management and control of invasive species;
(xii) Provide targeted and timely technical assistance and support to farmers, especially small-scale farmers, including women, in developing countries for accessing affordable inputs;
(xiii) Encourage and support safe and effective integrated pest management strategies for agriculture;
(xiv) Enhance international knowledge-sharing, cooperation, capacity-building and support on sustainable agriculture, including the exchange of good agricultural practices;
(xv) Assist countries in the enhancement of the nutritional quality of foods, where appropriate;
(xvi) Underline the need for greater access to microfinance, including microcredit, in developing countries, in particular for small farmers, which can contribute to increasing agricultural productivity and rural development;
(xvii) Assist developing countries, especially those affected by natural disasters, in the development and design of risk management systems for agriculture, including crop insurance policies;
(xviii) Take action to reduce the loss of pollinators, including through international cooperation and partnerships;
(xix) Increase awareness of non-trade distorting models where farmers are encouraged to adopt practices that would restore, maintain and enhance ecosystem services;
(b) Create a strong enabling environment for sustainable agriculture. In that context:
(i) Raise the share of government budgets devoted to agriculture, as appropriate, and encourage donors to respond to requests from developing countries to increase the share of official development assistance for agriculture and rural development, as appropriate;
(ii) Encourage greater direct investment, including foreign direct investment consistent with national agricultural and land-use policies and international obligations, in the agriculture sector in developing countries, in particular in Africa, to support their efforts to boost sustainable agricultural production, in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals;
(iii) Underscore the importance of support to agricultural research, and calls for continued support to international agricultural research systems, especially for sustainable agriculture, including through the international research centres of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, as well as other relevant international organizations;
(iv) Strengthen research education and extension that advances the practice of sustainable agriculture and rural development. Improve linkages among research, instruction in schools and universities, and diffusion of knowledge by extension services;
(v) Expand agricultural extension services to help smallholders to access and take advantage of modern information and communications technology;
(vi) Strengthen multi-stakeholder participation and partnerships in the development and implementation of the sustainable agriculture and rural development practices;
(vii) Provide increased technical assistance to developing countries to strengthen national innovation capacity, training and extension services in sustainable agriculture, fish, livestock and integrated crop-forest and crop-livestock production systems;
(viii) Support the capacity of developing countries to rehabilitate and develop rural and agricultural infrastructure sectors;
(ix) Provide access for small and resource-poor farmers to the legal system and legal services;
(c) Manage sustainably competing uses of water and land resources. In that context:
(i) Support the implementation of sustainable and efficient water resources development and management schemes, including integrated water resources management within each country, and, where appropriate, through international cooperation, and improve irrigation efficiencies, ground water and on-farm soil, and water management practices, including for drinking water to overcome water shortages, improve water quality, and enhance food security;
(ii) Emphasize that it is essential to address the challenges and opportunities posed by biofuels, in view of the world?s food security, energy and sustainable development needs, noting ongoing efforts in this regard at the international, regional and national levels;
(iii) Promote continued research and development with a view to continuously enhance the sustainability of biofuels and other bioenergy sources, including through South-South, North-South, and triangular cooperation, and through the exchange of information and technical cooperation;
(iv) Foster expanded scientific and technical cooperation, including North-South and South-South cooperation, in the development, inter alia, of sustainable bioenergy production, arid and semi-arid agriculture, and in combating desertification;
(v) Assist developing countries to enhance their capacity to implement sustainable land management policies and programmes;
(d) Develop sustainable agricultural value chains and improve farmers? and agro-industry enterprises access to and participation in markets. In that context:
(i) Sustainably develop, in accordance with national circumstances and capabilities, the production and marketing of high-value and quality food staple crops and their processing. Create plans to increase the quantity and quality of the production of small-holder farmers as well as its value in local markets, including by increasing the contribution of local communities? products with the view to substantially increase the income of farmers, in particular smallholder and family farmers;
(ii) Assist developing countries to enhance their capacity to develop agro-industry;
(iii) Diffuse more widely pre- and post-harvest technologies to enable farmers in developing countries, including small-scale and women farmers, to realize greater value from their crops;
(iv) Support efforts to enhance food quality and safety and reduce wastage along the food chain by improving food handling, food testing, processing equipment, storage techniques, cold chain systems and transportation infrastructure;
(v) Encourage strong rural-urban linkages and partnerships between countryside and communities, to enhance livelihoods and food security;
(vi) As appropriate and in accordance with national conditions, build efficient and effective agricultural marketing institutions, including small-scale market infrastructure, and distribution networks, and enhance the availability of market information to farmers and farmer organizations through the effective use of information and communications technologies;
(vii) Advance the process of regional and global trade integration, including in Africa, thereby expanding markets and permitting economies of scale in agro-processing and agricultural input production;
(viii) Improve market access for high value-added agricultural exports, including processed agricultural exports, of developing countries;
(ix) Strengthen the assistance from the United Nations system and all relevant international organizations, appropriate to their mandates, to developing countries, to put in place the policies and measures to help farmers, particularly small-scale producers, increase production and integrate with local, regional and international markets;
(x) Enhance coordination and coherence among the United Nations system and all relevant international organizations, while respecting their individual mandates, in providing capacity building to small holder farmers in developing countries;
(e) Provide secure access to food and social safety nets. In that context:
(i) Encourage the development and implementation, as appropriate, of national, regional and international food security strategies for developing countries;
(ii) Invite international financial institutions and other funding agencies to put in place, as needed, streamlined procedures for timely disbursal of funds for food and agricultural input purchases;
(iii) Strengthen and coordinate the international community?s response to the global food crisis and longer-term support to sustainable agriculture.
13. Following the significant work already undertaken, coherence should continue to be enhanced between and within international processes and institutions having an impact on agriculture, food security and rural development, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Food Programme and International Fund for Agricultural Development, while noting the work already undertaken by the United Nations Secretary-General?s High-level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis.
14. Policy options and practical measures to expedite implementation should be participatory, multidisciplinary, multisectoral and mutually reinforcing. Policy options should take into consideration the interlinkages among the issues of the thematic clusters as well as cross-cutting issues in order to realize synergies and co-benefits.
15. The eradication of poverty and hunger remains the overarching objective of sustainable development. To this end, the immediate objective should be to meet the Millennium Development Goal of halving, by 2015, the proportion of the world?s people whose income is less than one dollar a day and the proportion of people who suffer from hunger in accordance with the Millennium Declaration target.
16. National sustainable development strategies should address in an integrated manner the social, economic and environmental pillars. These strategies should address, inter alia, the social dimension of globalization, the challenges of international migration, gender equality, multi-stakeholder engagement and policy coherence, as well as strategic assessments, in accordance with national legislation.
17. Revitalizing agriculture and promoting rural development can make an important contribution to eradicating poverty and hunger and to achieving food security as well as to improved health, the empowerment of women and the creation of productive employment opportunities for women, youth, indigenous peoples and local communities. Actions are needed to:
(a) Improve funding and strengthen public health systems in order to better combat, in particular, communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS;
(b) Increase investment in education infrastructure, and promote universal and free access to primary education and development of human resources capacity through appropriate education and training programmes in particular for rural youth in poor and vulnerable communities and expand access to education opportunities at all levels;
(c) Promote education and extension services related to agriculture and the food value chain in rural areas at all levels;
(d) Improve the knowledge base for national and regional policy responses to environmental threats to health by strengthening international capacity-building initiatives that assess health and environmental linkages;
(e) Undertake measures to improve and sustain the livelihoods of vulnerable groups such as women, youth, children, seniors, nomadic pastoralists, indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and people living in very remote areas in developing countries;
(f) Empower rural women and promote land ownership and secure land tenure for women farmers; target capacity-building strategies at women farmers and women-headed households;
(g) Strengthen the human resources and institutional capacity of small island developing States and Africa for integrated rural development and sustainable management of natural resources, including in coastal zones and marine fisheries, wetlands, and build the capacity of small island developing States and Africa?s rural communities to help themselves, including by empowering women and youth;
(h) Promote the role of local authorities in partnership with other major groups to exchange information, build networks and create markets for small farmers, especially women and youth.
18. All countries and the international community should strive to manage biodiversity, water, land, and forest in a sustainable manner that also supports ecosystem functions, for the benefit of present and future generations and to facilitate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
19. The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation sets out three overarching objectives of, and essential requirements for, sustainable development. Fundamental changes in the way societies produce and consume are indispensable for achieving global sustainable development. Actions include:
(a) Promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns, taking actions, including through the Marrakech Process, with developed countries taking the lead, with all countries benefiting from the process and taking into account the Rio principles including, inter alia, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities;
(b) Encouraging and promoting the development of ten-year frameworks of programmes in support of regional and national initiatives, to accelerate the shift towards sustainable consumption and production, to promote social and economic development within the carrying capacity of ecosystems by addressing and where appropriate, delinking economic growth and environment degradation through improving efficiency and sustainability in the use of resources and production processes and reducing resource degradation, pollution and waste, for deliberation at the eighteenth and nineteenth sessions of the Commission on Sustainable Development. In this regard, all countries should take action, with developed countries taking the lead, taking into account the development needs and capabilities of developing countries through mobilization, from all sources, of financial and technical assistance and capacity-building for developing countries;
(c) Supporting sustainable agricultural production including alternative methods of farming;
(d) Encouraging science-based approaches, such as life cycle analyses, which can help promote more sustainable production practices and offer consumers more sustainable consumption choices;
(e) Promoting education, awareness raising and information, as these can change consumers? behaviour and thus function as a means towards more sustainable lifestyles.
20. Climate change is an urgent global priority that has emerged as a key interlinkage that must be addressed in the context of sustainable development in accordance with the principle of common and differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. It impacts all themes under consideration in the current Commission on Sustainable Development cycle namely agriculture, land, rural development, drought, desertification, and Africa. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the key instrument for addressing climate change. Deliberations on this issue at the Commission should not prejudice the ongoing negotiations under the Framework Convention. In this regard, take actions to:
(a) Support the integration of climate change adaptation measures and disaster risk reduction strategies in agricultural and rural development strategies, sustainable land management and action plans to combat drought and desertification, in particular in developing countries;
(b) Support the development, transfer and diffusion of new technologies in developing countries, across the six themes as appropriate, including, inter alia, for resilient crop varieties and soil management methods to decrease vulnerability to climate change;
(c) Implement the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States in a manner that addresses climate change adaptation needs.
21. As contained in many outcomes of major United Nations conferences and summits such as the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, the provision of means of implementation is critical to achieving global, regional and national policies in various areas, including the thematic areas of this cycle. The means of implementation encompass a range of policy options and practical measures. To complement local and national actions, international cooperation is essential. The internationally agreed development goals including those contained in the Millennium Declaration and Agenda 21, as well as in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, will require significant financial resources as elaborated in the Monterrey Consensus, including through new and additional financial resources, in particular to developing countries, to support the implementation of national policies and programmes developed by them, improve trade opportunities, access to and transfer of environmentally sound technologies, awareness-raising, and capacity-building. Actions are needed to:
(a) Enhance availability and effective use of finance for sustainable development. In that context:
(i) Call for the fulfilment of all official development assistance commitments, including the commitment by many developed countries to achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of gross national income for official development assistance to developing countries by 2015, and to reach the level of at least 0.5 per cent of gross national income for official development assistance by 2010, as well as the target of 0.15 0.20 per cent of gross national income for official development assistance to least developed countries, and urge those developed countries that have not yet done so to make concrete efforts in this regard in accordance with their commitments, recognizing the essential role of official development assistance, and the importance of other sources of financing for development, and deliver on commitments made in the Monterrey Consensus of the International Conference on Financing for Development;
(ii) Increase efforts to improve the quality of official development assistance and to increase its development impact. The Economic and Social Council Development Cooperation Forum, along with recent initiatives, such as the High-level Forums on Aid Effectiveness which produced the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and 2008 Accra Agenda for Action, make important contributions to the efforts of those countries, which have committed to them, including through the adoption of the fundamental principles of national ownership, alignment, harmonization, and managing for results. Bearing in mind that there is no-one-size-fits-all formula which will guarantee effective aid assistance, the specific situation of each country needs to be fully considered;
(iii) Enhance multilateral support, in particular from the Global Environment Facility and international financial institutions, and simplify Global Environment Facility procedures;
(iv) Create an enabling environment at all levels for public and private capital flows, including foreign direct investment, taking into account national policies, to boost economic growth and contribute to technology transfer, employment generation and infrastructure development;
(v) Continue to address all relevant issues regarding external debt problems, including through the United Nations, and consider ways to explore enhanced approaches of sovereign debt restructuring mechanisms based on existing frameworks and principles, with broad creditors? and debtors? participation and ensuring comparable burden-sharing among creditors, with an important role for the Bretton Woods institutions;
(vi) Improve access to finance, including microfinance, in particular to local communities, farmers, and small businesses;
(vii) Support and encourage good governance at all levels recognizing that it is essential for achieving sustainable development;
(b) Support the world trading system, recognizing the major role trade plays in achieving sustainable development. In that context:
(i) Promote a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory, and equitable multilateral trading system;
(ii) Provide duty-free and quota-free market access for all least developed countries in accordance with previous commitments;
(iii) Assist developing countries, particularly least developed countries, with the aim to help developing countries with trade policies and regulations, trade development, building productive capacities, trade-related infrastructure, trade-related adjustment and other trade-related needs;
(c) Enhance and promote capacity-building efforts and promote the transfer of technologies to developing countries. In that context:
(i) Implement targeted capacity-building programmes in areas relevant to the thematic cluster, their interlinkages and the cross-cutting issues, in coordination with local, national and regional institutions;
(ii) Strengthen South-South, North-South and triangular cooperation and enhance support from the United Nations development system in promoting such cooperation to enhance financial resources, comprehensive capacity-building, exchange of information and know-how and technology transfer;
(iii) Implement fully the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity-building, and continue to work towards achieving the goals contained in Agenda 21, including those in chapter 34;
(iv) Increase investments in training, research and development, in particular on sustainable practices and technologies, including agricultural technologies, and accelerate the transfer and diffusion of such technologies, information, methods, practices to reach all users, including farmers, women, youth and indigenous people and those in remote rural areas;
(v) Build capacity for land-use planning aimed at managing land within ecological capacity taking into account long-term potential, soil information and integrating scientific and indigenous knowledge;
Follow-up on agriculture and rural development
2. Calls upon Member States to strengthen the capacities of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme, within their mandates, to provide increased assistance to developing countries, in particular in Africa, on sustainable agriculture and rural development and food security, and requests the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, in collaboration with the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme to follow up the implementation of the provisions of this decision on agriculture and rural development;
Follow-up on land, drought and desertification
3. Further calls upon Member States to support and strengthen the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification for the implementation of the Ten-Year Strategic Plan and Framework to Enhance the Implementation of the Convention, and encourages enhanced coherence among United Nations programmes, funds, agencies and entities working on desertification, drought and land issues, in cooperation with the Convention secretariat;
Follow-up on Africa
4. Decides to devote, in 2012 and 2016, without prejudice to the programme, organization and methods of work of the Commission adopted at its eleventh session, a separate segment at its review sessions, to monitor and follow up the implementation of its decision on Africa taken at the Commission?s seventeenth session.
1. Agriculture as an economic sector is being considered by the Commission on Sustainable Development at its eighth session from the broad perspective of sustainable development, highlighting the linkages between economic, social and environmental objectives. As contained in Agenda 21, particularly chapter 14, and the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, adopted by the General Assembly at its nineteenth special session, agriculture has to meet the fundamental challenge of satisfying the demands of a growing population for food and other agricultural commodities, especially in developing countries. The particular focus of the discussion has been promoting sustainable agriculture and rural development (SARD), in accordance with the principles of the Rio Declaration
on Environment and Development and the internationally agreed objectives contained in chapter 14 of Agenda 21 as well as, inter alia, the Rome Declaration on World Food Security and the World Food Summit Plan of Action adopted by the World Food Summit (Rome, November 1996). The basis for achieving SARD in all countries is contained in these and other commitments; what is needed is their full implementation at all levels.
2. Agriculture has a special and important place in society because it ensures the production of food and fibre, is essential to food security and to social and economic development, employment, maintenance of the countryside, and conservation of land and natural resources, and helps sustain rural life and land. The major objectives of SARD is to increase food production and enhance food security in an environmentally sound way so as to contribute to sustainable natural resource management. Food security ? although a policy priority for all countries ? remains an unfulfilled goal. About 790 million people living in developing countries and 34 million in industrialized countries and in countries with economies in transition are undernourished. While some improvement in the situation has recently been noted, the international community must be concerned that the average annual decrease of undernourished people is insufficient to achieve the target set at the 1996 World Food Summit to reduce by half the number of undernourished by 2015 (Plan of Action, para. 7).
3. Progress in poverty eradication is critical to improving access to food and promoting food security. About 1.5 billion people in the world live in poverty and recent trends indicate this number could rise to 1.9 billion by 2015. In addition, the gap between rich and poor is widening, and the poor in general ? especially women, disadvantaged groups, rural people living in poverty and indigenous communities ? are being increasingly marginalized. The inextricable link between hunger and poverty means that the goals of achieving food security in the context of SARD and pursuing the eradication of poverty, among both urban and rural people living in poverty, as agreed, inter alia, at the World Summit for Social Development (Copenhagen, 1995), have to be addressed in an integrated manner. It remains essential to continue efforts for the eradication of poverty, through, inter alia, capacity-building to reinforce local food systems and improving food security. The concept of SARD offers such an approach.
2. Priorities for action
(a) Implementation of sustainable agriculture and rural development (SARD) goals
4. Governments are encouraged to complete the formulation and elaboration of national strategies for sustainable development by 2002, as agreed in the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21. Local Agenda 21 and other local sustainable development programmes should also be actively encouraged. In this regard, Governments are encouraged to integrate agricultural production, food security and food safety, that upholds food security, environmental protection and rural development as central elements in those strategies.
5. All Governments are urged to reaffirm their individual and collective commitments to achieving food security, particularly through sustainable development of domestic food production, combined with the importation, where appropriate, and storage of food, and to reaching the important goal of reducing the number of undernourished people by one half by 2015, as agreed at the World Food Summit. In this regard, Governments and international organizations are encouraged to make available and provide technical and financial assistance to effectively support the achievement of food security in developing countries.
6. Governments are urged to develop coherent national policy and legal frameworks for sustainable rural development, with the emphasis on, inter alia, socio-economic diversification, employment, capacity-building, participation, poverty eradication, empowerment and partnerships. Governments should take a cross-sectoral approach to integrating agriculture in rural development frameworks and strategies so as to maximize synergies and improve coherence. In particular, Governments are encouraged to assess the effects of agriculture on ecosystems.
7. Governments are urged to promote agricultural practices based on natural resource management, inter alia, through integrated farm input management, agro-ecological, organic, urban and peri-urban agriculture and agroforestry, with a view to providing sustainable management of all types of production systems and other benefits, such as soil, water and land conservation and agro-biodiversity enhancement and recognizing the need for technical and financial assistance to developing countries to this end. Environmentally sound traditional and local knowledge should be recognized, protected and promoted.
8. Governments are encouraged to continue studying the economic, social and environmental aspects of SARD, the major objective of which is to increase food production in a sustainable way and enhance food security, based on chapter 14 of Agenda 21, avoiding unjustifiable trade barriers and taking into account the discussions in the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and other international organizations.
9. Governments are encouraged to pursue an ecosystem approach to SARD, taking into account, inter alia, the actions necessary to mitigate the negative impacts and to enhance the positive impacts of agriculture and animal production on natural ecosystems, in particular on those with high biodiversity. In this regard, it is important that Governments and international agencies continue developing studies on the impact of agriculture on forests with the objectives of identifying appropriate activities and recommendations. The international community is urged to support, inter alia, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, particularly in Africa, and its Global Mechanism which should also contribute to conserving and rehabilitating the natural resources in lower-potential land and to controlling land degradation, especially in developing countries.
10. Governments are urged to pay particular attention to the social dimension of SARD, including health protection. Governments should take fully into account the interests of small-scale farmers and agricultural workers, including the effects of agricultural practices on human health and safety in terms of both consumption and production.
11. Taking into account countries? common but differentiated responsibilities and their specific national and regional development priorities, objectives and circumstances, the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, within its operational requirements, is encouraged to promote the use of its relevant mechanisms to support initiatives in line with national programmes promoting SARD that result, inter alia, in reduced greenhouse emissions or carbon sequestration, as well as increased investments in energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources.
12. The Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, particularly in Africa, and the governing body of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), within their established work programmes and operational programmes, are encouraged to promote the use of their relevant mechanisms to support SARD-related initiatives, in line with national programmes, that result, inter alia, in the conservation and sustainable use of agro-biodiversity.
13. The Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and Governments are encouraged to support the strengthening and effective implementation of the work programme of the Convention on agricultural biological diversity and to support FAO and other relevant institutions in their roles in the implementation of this work programme.
(b) Access to other resources
14. Governments are encouraged to adopt and implement measures that guarantee access to technology and research, in particular for women, disadvantaged groups, people living in poverty, and indigenous and local communities, in order to ensure a sustainable use of land and water resources. Access to credit, particularly through rural microcredit schemes, is also important.
(c) Poverty eradication
15. All Governments and the international community are urged to implement the relevant commitments they have entered into for the eradication of poverty, including those contained in the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development adopted by the World Summit for Social Development, and to further promote income-generation through agriculture to achieve this goal in accordance with SARD. Special emphasis should be given to those zones with high levels of poverty and high biodiversity.
(d) Financing for SARD
16. The financing for the implementation of Agenda 21 is expected to be met, in general, from domestic resources. All Governments are urged to provide an enabling environment for mobilizing domestic and international resources.
17. Additional international financial support will be very important for developing countries. The international community is urged to fulfil the commitments undertaken for the provision of financial assistance for promoting SARD as set out in Agenda 21. Developing countries and their partners should make particular efforts to ensure that a substantial share of official development assistance (ODA) is directed to the agricultural and rural development sectors in developing countries, especially in the least developed countries and net food importing countries, in accordance with national development strategies in recipient countries, given that ODA provided to these sectors has been steadily declining during the past two decades.
18. The international community, including the United Nations system and the international financial institutions, is urged to provide support to institutional reform and development of market infrastructure and access for achieving SARD in developing countries, in particular the least developed countries, and countries with economies in transition.
19. Governments and the international community, including the United Nations system, are urged to assist developing countries, in particular the least developed countries, in developing strategies and implementing measures to attract and to promote private capital flows and investment in SARD directed to a wider range of developing countries, in particular the least developed countries, and countries with economies in transition, and to support the private sector?s decision to direct a larger share of this capital to agriculture and rural development.
(e) Technology transfer and capacity-building
20. Governments, relevant international organizations and the private sector are urged both to continue and to increase their contribution to capacity-building and the transfer of appropriate technology, in particular environmentally sound technology, to developing countries and countries with economies in transition, as well as to promote partnerships for fostering sustainable agriculture and food security and promoting rural development.
21. International financial institutions are encouraged to further promote the transfer of technology and capacity-building, with emphasis on the allocation of funds to enable developing countries to achieve food security through enhanced agricultural production, including food storage systems and agro-food industries.
22. Relevant international, regional and national bodies and the private sector are encouraged to support developing countries in their efforts to increase research and to achieve national integrated natural resource management, appropriate technology and sustainable agricultural methods to achieve the objectives of food security and SARD, including participatory approaches, and to disseminate information on the results of their research and its applicability. Research should be carried out in a cooperative way involving both developed and developing countries.
23. Governments and the international community are encouraged to promote and share natural disaster early warning systems and enhance national capacities to prevent and mitigate the effects of natural disasters.
24. Governments are encouraged to explore, using transparent science-based risk assessment procedures, as well as risk management procedures, applying the precautionary approach, as articulated in principle 15 of the Rio Declaration and recalled in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the potential of appropriate and safe biotechnology for enhancing food security for all and sustainable agricultural techniques and practices, taking into account possible effects on the environment and human health.
25. Governments are urged to sign and ratify the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity and to support its effective implementation.
26. Governments are encouraged to develop the appropriate legal frameworks, and administrative and other measures and put into action appropriate strategies for SARD, the protection of biodiversity, and the risk analysis and management of living modified organisms.
27. Governments and United Nations organizations are encouraged to promote only those applications of biotechnology that do not pose unacceptable risks to public health or the environment, bearing in mind ethical considerations as appropriate.
(g) Genetic resources
28. Governments are urged to strengthen their efforts for the sustainable use, conservation and protection of genetic resources. In this regard, Governments are urged to finalize the negotiations on the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, as soon as possible, and to implement the Global Plan of Action for the Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture adopted by the Leipzig Technical International Conference on Plant Genetic Resources, and to implement and actively contribute to the further development of the Global Strategy for the Management of Farm Animal Genetic Resources. Governments are further encouraged to strengthen their efforts in effectively implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity, with the support of their development partners.
(h) Integrated pest management and integrated plant nutrition
29. Governments are urged to promote only the safe and sustainable use of plant protection products and plant nutrition in agricultural production and to strengthen practical ways to enhance the application of integrated pest management and integrated plant nutrition. All stakeholders, including farmers, the private sector and international organizations, are encouraged to form effective partnerships with Governments, including those that provide capacity-building assistance for this purpose.
30. Sanitary and phytosanitary measures are relevant to SARD. Their implementation must be in accordance with World Trade Organization agreements.
(i) Desertification and drought
31. Combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought are crucial elements of SARD. Governments and relevant international organizations should promote the integration of national action programmes to combat desertification, developed under the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, particularly in Africa, into national strategies for sustainable development.
(j) Access to land and security of land tenure
32. Recognizing the existence of different national laws and/or systems of land access and tenure, Governments, at appropriate levels, including the local authorities, are encouraged to develop and/or adopt policies and implement laws that guarantee to their citizens well-defined and enforceable land rights and promote equal access to land and legal security of tenure, in particular for women and disadvantaged groups, including people living in poverty and indigenous and local communities.
(k) Emergency preparedness
33. International agencies and other relevant organizations should assist Governments and regional entities, as appropriate, in developing and building capacity for the development and effective use of systems for early warning, natural disasters and environmental monitoring. Efforts to improve resilience of both agricultural and social systems dealing with natural hazards are also encouraged.
(l) Water resources
34. Water resources are essential for satisfying basic human needs, health and food production, energy, and the restoration and maintenance of ecosystems, and for social and economic development in general, and SARD.
3. International cooperation
35. Commodity exports, particularly primary commodity exports, are the mainstay of the economies of many developing countries in terms of their export earnings, the livelihood of their people and the dependence of general economic vitality on these exports. Commodity earnings instability continues to be problematic. Programmes that enhance commodity-based diversification in developing countries, in a manner supportive to sustainable development, inter alia, through improved market access, particularly for least developed countries, can contribute to increase foreign exchange earnings and employment, as well as provide increased income from value-added production.
36. The Commission stresses the need to implement the Marrakesh Ministerial Decision on Measures Concerning the Possible Negative Effects of the Reform Programme on Least Developed and Net Food-importing Developing Countries, the comprehensive and integrated Plan of Action for the Least Developed Countries of the World Trade Organization and the joint commitment by the heads of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the World Trade Organization to work together to assist developing countries in their adjustment process.
(b) Information exchange and dissemination
37. Governments and relevant international organizations are urged to disseminate widely, and to promote the access of farmers and those engaged in agriculture to, information on relevant sustainable agricultural practices, technologies and markets, inter alia, through capacity-building programmes, by utilizing information technology. In this context, special attention must be paid to the needs of women, marginalized groups and indigenous and local communities.
(c) United Nations and other international activities
38. FAO and other relevant international organizations, particularly the World Bank and IMF, are urged to assist countries in developing concrete policies and actions for the implementation of Agenda 21 concerning sustainable production and farming methods aimed at achieving the goals of the World Food Summit and of SARD. In particular, FAO is encouraged to develop a cross-sectoral programme on organic agriculture as part of its contribution to SARD.
39. Relevant international organizations are also urged to assist countries in developing policies for providing food security.
40. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is encouraged to strengthen its assistance to rural communities in developing countries in support of their efforts to achieve SARD, primarily as a means to eradicate rural poverty.
41. Relevant organizations and bodies are encouraged to make further efforts, with special attention to the gender perspective, in developing methodologies and improving coordination for data collection, indicators analysis, monitoring and evaluation of public and private efforts to support SARD.
42. Governments are urged to ratify the relevant legal international instruments, if they have not already done so, and to implement them in order to promote SARD.
43. In this regard, Governments are urged to finalize the negotiations on the international legally binding instrument for the implementation of international action on certain persistent organic pollutants (POPs) as soon as possible.
44. The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) is invited to increase research and pursue partnerships in integrated natural resource management and to disseminate the results.
45. Effective implementation of the SARD objectives requires participation of a wide range of stakeholders. Empowerment, participation and partnerships are critical to success in achieving SARD, in particular involvement of women, bearing in mind their important role in SARD. Governments and relevant international organizations are therefore urged, as appropriate, to further develop innovative institutional mechanisms to ensure effective stakeholder participation in decision-making related to SARD.
46. As part of the ongoing review of progress towards SARD and within existing structures and resources, FAO and the Commission secretariat, in consultation with Governments, relevant international organizations and all major groups, are invited to continue the stakeholder dialogue on SARD, including facilitating the adequate and meaningful participation of stakeholders from developing countries. In preparing for the tenth session of the Commission and the 10-year review of the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, this dialogue should emphasize the identification of specific examples and the development of case studies that illustrate or support the principles of SARD.