(1) Organizational Reforms In December 2016, the FAO Council endorsed structural reforms to the organization’s architecture with the following changes: (1) the creation of a deputy director-general for programmes, to elevate and strengthen the program management function and better link it with technical knowledge, resource mobilization, statistics, and operations, with a new Office of Chief Statistician to allow the coordination of statistical functions that cut across technical and operational work; (2) renaming of the former deputy director-general (coordinator for natural resources) as deputy director-general (climate and natural resources); and (3) under the latter, the establishment of a Climate, Biodiversity, Land and Water Department, encompassing the existing divisions dealing with climate and environment and with land and water, to raise the profile and strengthen the FAO’s work on climate change adaptation and mitigation. Also in December, the FAO opened in Beirut, Lebanon, a new sub-regional office for the Mashreq Countries, where the degraded food security situation is largely linked to the increased refugee influx caused by conflict and migration in the Middle East. (2) Food and Nutrition (A) Enhancement of Nutrition The 2014 second International Conference on Nutrition adopted the Rome Declaration on Nutrition and its companion Framework for Action. The Rome Declaration invited the UN General Assembly (UNGA) to consider declaring an international Decade of Action on Nutrition from 2016 to 2025. In response to this request, on 1 April, the UNGA proclaimed, through Resolution 70/259, the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016–2025). The FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO) were mandated to: (1) co-lead the implementation of the decade, in collaboration with the World Food Program, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the United Nations Children’s Fund; (2) develop a work program for the decade using coordination channels such as the UN Systems Standing Committee on Nutrition and the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), and in consultation with other international and regional organizations and platforms; and (3) produce biennial reports for use by the UN secretary-general to inform the UNGA about the decade’s implementation. In July, the decade was launched in New York, and a further advocacy event was arranged in September during the seventy-first session of the UNGA. In this connection, at its October session, the CFS decided to scale up its role in advancing nutrition within its mandate. To this end, it endorsed a framework to step up its contribution to the global fight against malnutrition in all of its forms, providing a vision and a work plan leading to concrete outcomes for 2017 and beyond. As a follow-up to the second International Conference on Nutrition, in December, the FAO and the WHO co-hosted an International Symposium on Sustainable Food Systems for Healthy Diets and Improved Nutrition. The symposium, which was held in Rome, concentrated on three themes: (1) supply-side policies and measures for increasing access to healthy diets; (2) demand-side policies and measures for increasing access and empowering consumers to choose healthy diets; and (3) measures to strengthen accountability, resilience, and equity within the food system. The symposium also provided an opportunity for government delegates, non-state actors, and international institutions to discuss the initial draft of the work program for the Decade of Action on Nutrition. In October, the FAO and the Pan-African Parliament signed a memorandum of understanding for the establishment of the Pan-African Parliamentary Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. This initiative is part of a broader partnership strategy aimed at stepping up collective efforts and mobilizing key actors to end hunger and malnutrition by 2030 in Africa. (B) Food Security and Peace Since 2009, the FAO has collaborated with the UN Peacebuilding Fund to support activities and programs that contribute to building lasting peace in countries emerging from conflict. This year, the FAO launched an initiative to link food security and peace within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes: (1) providing technical leadership in food and agricultural policies to promote peace, rural development, and food security (for example, support to Colombia in the context of the peace agreement); (2) briefing the UN Security Council on the interdependencies between food security and peace; and (3) convening an advisory board of Nobel Peace Laureates to raise awareness and champion action integrating food security with peacebuilding. In May, the FAO Regional Conference for the Near East adopted a ministerial declaration stressing that ‘there can be no food security without peace, and no lasting peace without food security.’ As part of this initiative, various papers were produced, including Food Security and Peace: Discussion Note; Human Security and Food Security: Policy Note; and Peace and Food Security: Investing in Resilience to Sustain Rural Livelihoods amid Conflict. In the wider context of peace related to food security, the FAO expanded its work on drivers and impacts of migration in the agricultural sector with a view to strengthening the positive contribution of migrants, within countries and across borders, to poverty reduction, social stability, and resilience of rural households. In this respect, two papers were issued this year: Migration, Agriculture and Rural Development: Addressing the Root Causes of Migration and Harnessing Its Potential for Development and Migration and Protracted Crises: Addressing Root Causes and Building Resilient Agricultural Livelihoods. (C) Right to Food As part of the FAO Right to Food Study series, three publications were issued this year. Two of them focus on gender in relation to food security in specific national contexts, with illustrations from Africa and Asia, namely L’importance du genre dans les processus politiques pour garantir le droit ā l’alimentation: Cas du Sénégal et du Togo and The Impact of Gender Policy Processes on the Right to Food: The Case of Cambodia. Both papers put forward concrete proposals to further integrate gender components that are likely to promote the realization of the right to adequate food in the respective countries. The third publication, Análisis de los marcos jurídicos en materia de alimentación escolar: El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras y Nicaragua, was developed under the legal component of a project that supports the Hunger-Free Latin America and the Caribbean Initiative. Following a review of existing legislation related to school feeding in these four countries of Central America, the study identified issues that need to be regulated in order to design a comprehensive legal framework on school feeding. On the other hand, The Rights to Social Protection and Adequate Food: Human Rights-Based Frameworks for Social Protection in the Context of Realizing the Right to Food and the Need for Legal Underpinnings was issued as FAO Legal Paper 97. Stressing the importance of a human rights-based approach to social protection in relation to the right to adequate food, the paper explores the right to social protection under UN human rights treaties and standards and describes associated key issues, including the need for ‘legally enforceable rights, clear institutional responsibilities, transparency of eligibility criteria and application and termination procedures and recourse mechanisms.’ The paper contributes to the debate on whether social protection programs should be statutorily founded and human rights based and how to determine the need for passing dedicated social protection legislation. It argues that when social protection programs are not anchored in appropriate legislation, they lack adequate funding, predictability, and sustainability. Conversely, when such programs are underpinned by suitable legal tools, their efficiency is increased on a long-term basis, and the delivery of social protection becomes a ‘social contract’ between the state and the people. The paper is grounded in the FAO PANTHER principles: participation, accountability, non-discrimination, transparency, human dignity, empowerment, and the rule of law. (D) Sustainable Diets for Health and the Environment Plates, Pyramids, Planet: Developments in National Healthy and Sustainable Dietary Guidelines: A State of Play Assessment was published by the FAO jointly with the Food Climate Research Network. Through the 2014 Rome Declaration on Nutrition, countries committed to ‘enhance sustainable food systems by developing public policies from production to consumption and across relevant sectors to provide year-round access to food that meets peoples’ nutrition and promotes safe and diversified healthy diets.’ The overarching message of this study is that good diets are key for both health and the environment and that guidelines promoting such win–win diets help to tackle two pressing challenges: securing good nutrition for all while addressing climate change. The study found that most existing food guidelines fail to address the environmental impacts of dietary choices. So far, only a few countries have issued dietary guidelines that make clear links to environmental sustainability in addition to promoting good eating habits. Hence, the study suggests that countries that have adopted food guidelines should incorporate sustainability into them, while countries that do not already have them in place are in a unique position to develop integrated dietary guidelines from the outset. To this end, the study provides guidance on how to conduct the process of developing sustainable dietary guidelines and how to ensure that they have a real effect on food consumption and the environmental impact of diets. Finally, the study identifies areas for further research needed to fill knowledge gaps. (E) Codex Alimentarius At its session held in Rome in June and July, the Codex Alimentarius Commission adopted new and revised food quality and safety standards and related texts. It approved several items for new work, including priority lists of pesticides for evaluation or re-evaluation as well as proposals for the discontinuation of work and for the revocation of existing standards and related texts. It also agreed to establish an Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance and to adjourn sine die the Committee on Fish and Fishery Products. During the session, the new FAO/WHO Codex Trust Fund was officially launched. The adopted standards and related texts included, inter alia, the following: (1) Code of Practice for Processing of Fish Sauce; (2) Code of Practice for Fish and Fishery Products (section on sturgeon caviar); (3) Guidelines for the Control of Non-typhoidal Salmonella spp. in Beef and Pork Meat; (4) Guidelines on the Application of General Principles of Food Hygiene to the Control of Foodborne Parasites; (5) Methods of Analysis: Infant Formula and Formulas for Special Medical Purposes Intended for Infants; (6) Specifications for the Identity and Purity of Food Additives; (7) Maximum level for inorganic arsenic in husked rice; (8) Food additive provisions of the General Standard for Food Additives (GSFA); (9) Revision of the GSFA Food Category 01.1 ‘Milk and Dairy Based Drinks’ (renamed ‘Fluid Milk and Milk Products’) and its consequential changes; (10) Annex I: Examples of Microbiological Criteria for Low-Moisture Foods When Deemed Appropriate in Accordance with the Principles and Guidelines for the Establishment and Application of Microbiological Criteria Related to Foods; (11) Revision of Sections 4.1.c and 5.1.c of the General Standard for the Labelling of Food Additives When Sold as Such; (12) Revised Food Additives Section of the Standards for Cocoa Butter, Chocolate and Chocolate Products, Cocoa (Cacao) Mass (Cocoa/Chocolate Liquor) and Cocoa Cake and Cocoa Powders (Cocoas) and Dry Mixtures of Cocoa and Sugars; (13) Amendments to Food Additive Provisions in Standards for Fish and Fishery Products (Standard for Canned Tuna and Bonito) and Standard for Canned Crab Meat; (14) Amendments to Section 7.4: Estimation of Fish Content of the Standard for Quick Frozen Fish Sticks (Fish Fingers), Fish Portions and Fish Fillets—Breaded or in Batter; (15) Amendment to Section 11: Processing of Salted and Dried Salted Fish of the Code of Practice for Fish and Fishery Products; and (16) Amendments to the Annex of CAC/GL 2-1985: Definition for Recognised Authoritative Scientific Bodies. (3) Sustainable Rural Development (A) Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) The GIAHS initiative was launched in 2002 by the FAO to safeguard unique traditional agricultural heritage systems and their associated agrobiodiversity. As an integrated policy framework, the GIAHS aims to secure formal recognition of such heritage systems and underpin action plans for their preservation. So far, thirty-six GIAHS sites have been designated in fifteen countries across the world, namely Algeria, Bangladesh, Chile, China, India, Iran, Japan, Kenya, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Tanzania, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates. This year, the GIAHS governance and working arrangements have been streamlined to facilitate smooth operations through the establishment of a single Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) for a two-year period. Mandated to provide scientific advice on the GIAHS program and on the selection of GIAHS sites, the SAG held its inaugural meeting in February and, in July, approved revised guidelines on the designation and certification of GIAHS sites. (B) Labour Standards in Rural Employment Farming, livestock, forestry, and fisheries provide livelihoods for over 85 percent of rural people. Nearly 80 percent of the working poor live in rural areas, which are home to half of the world’s population and where unemployment, underemployment, poor remuneration, poor working conditions, and exposure to occupational hazards prevail, with agriculture being one of the most dangerous sectors in terms of the safety and health of workers. To reduce rural poverty, the FAO strives to improve opportunities for the rural poor to access decent farm and off-farm employment by supporting the implementation of internationally accepted labour standards related to rural employment. At national and international levels, rural workers are not adequately protected in labour laws or practices. Thus, there is a need to adopt legal frameworks that lay out labour standards and assign institutional responsibilities. In this context, the Assessment of International Labour Standards That Apply to Rural Employment: An Overview of the Work of FAO Relating to Labour Protection in Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries was published this year as FAO Legal Paper 100. Identifying core standards, protection gaps, and operational challenges, the paper focuses on domestic implementation of international standards. Besides reviewing relevant international instruments and analysing labour protection gaps, the paper puts forward some labour standards that should be integrated in generic or sectoral policy and legal frameworks governing work in agriculture. Related to this study, the FAO also published a brief entitled The Right to Adequate Food and the Right to Decent Work: Joint Work in Rural Areas, which argues that consolidating the synergies between the two rights, through a human rights-based approach, can enhance the impact of food security, rural development, and poverty reduction interventions. (C) Guide for Responsible Investment in Agriculture The Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (RAI), adopted by the CFS in 2014, promote the complementary goals of encouraging responsible public and private agricultural investment to enhance livelihoods, promoting human rights, and mitigating risks to food security and nutrition. They delineate the core elements of what makes investments responsible, address the major responsibilities of stakeholders, and serve as a framework to steer their actions. This year, Promoting Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems: Guide to Assess National Regulatory Frameworks Affecting Larger-Scale Private Investments was issued as Legal Paper 101. Offering a methodology for reviewing national legal and institutional frameworks related to responsible investments in agriculture and food systems, the guide identifies key areas of regulation within a thematic context, putting an emphasis on large-scale private investments in primary agriculture, which often involve the allocation of long-term rights to natural resources that require safeguards to ensure that interested actors are not adversely affected over an extended period of time. While the RAI are not legally binding, this guide provides options for decision makers to determine how they could be formally incorporated into existing or new legislation and institutions related to agricultural investment. (D) Legal Guide on Governance of Tenure Intended to support the use of the 2012 Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT), Responsible Governance of Tenure and the Law: A Guide for Lawyers and Other Legal Service Providers was published by the FAO this year as Governance of Tenure Technical Guide 5. The VGGT recognize that the law is an important vehicle for translating international standards into real change. Targeted at all those interested in understanding the role of law in giving effect to the VGGT, this guide offers direction on how to use the law to promote responsible governance of tenure of land, fisheries, and forests. Building on the legal provisions of the VGGT, it provides specific guidance in four areas, namely: (1) how to appraise legal frameworks to assess the extent to which they are in line with the VGGT; (2) how to prepare or revise legislation where needed; (3) how to ensure that legislation is duly implemented; and (4) how to handle dispute settlement. The guide also illustrates how using the law to implement the VGGT involves a variety of actors, processes, tools, and drivers. Overall, the guide aims to enhance the legal protection of legitimate tenure rights and to strengthen the rule of law as a key human rights principle, while further reinforcing the legal underpinnings for the enjoyment of the right to adequate food. The FAO also supported the preparation, by and for civil society organizations, of the People’s Manual on the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security: A Guide for Promotion, Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation. The manual is intended to help take ownership of the VGGT, raise awareness on their contents, understand their relevance for local communities, and translate their principles into concrete action at field level. (E) Effective Governance of Pastoral Lands Also underpinning the VGGT, Improving Governance of Pastoral Lands was issued this year as Governance of Tenure Technical Guide 6. Describing the various pastoral systems found worldwide, the guide shows that planned herding of livestock is fundamental for sustainable management of rangelands. As herd movements are essential for viable pastoralism, mobility is a widespread strategy to tackle the uncertainty and heterogeneity of rangeland resources, along with communal tenure practices, both of which create complex customary tenure arrangements requiring sophisticated policy responses. The guide provides a range of solutions for safeguarding pastoral tenure within rapidly changing contexts in which traditional patterns of livestock mobility are transforming. In three sections, the guide covers: (1) issues and challenges for securing pastoral governance of tenure; (2) improving governance and strengthening human capabilities; and (3) developing policy and legal frameworks for sustainable pastoralism, including options to underpin the governance of pastoral land. (F) Gender-Equitable Legal Frameworks for Land Tenure FAO Legal Paper 98 was issued under the title Developing Gender-Equitable Legal Frameworks for Land Tenure: A Legal Assessment Tool. Gender-equitable policy and legal frameworks can support national programs for gender equality in secure land rights, along with a strong empowering effect on women. In this regard, delivering effective legal advice requires a clear understanding of the gaps and discrepancies in the legislation pertaining to gender and land. This paper introduces a legal assessment tool (LAT) for gender-equitable land tenure that was developed by the FAO’s Gender and Land Rights Database to deliver policy and regulatory advice to countries working towards gender-equitable land tenure. The LAT tackles such issues as the articulation between statutory law and customary law, women’s legal capacity, equality of rights with respect to nationality, property, and inheritance, women’s representation in formal and customary land institutions, and so on. In three parts, the paper: (1) discusses the legally and non-legally binding international standards developed in multilateral processes, highlighting good practices of direct relevance for gender-equitable land tenure; (2) describes the evaluation process of LAT, its scope and methodology, as well as the main features of a tool specifically designed to measure the extent to which the legislation of a country fosters gender-equitable land tenure; and (3) provides the results from the application of LAT in three African countries: Madagascar, Morocco, and Sierra Leone. (G) Non-Judicial Resolution of Land Disputes In 2015, Sierra Leone adopted its national land policy. Inspired by the VGGT, the policy aims to reform the country’s dual land tenure system, in which customary and statutory norms co-exit, while ensuring equitable access to land for all and stimulating investment for national development. However, dispute resolution mechanisms still reflect the dualistic nature of the tenure system, as evidenced by FAO Legal Paper 99: Non-Judicial Grievance Mechanisms in Land-Related Disputes in Sierra Leone: Analytical Assessment within the Framework of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security. Based on field surveys conducted in 2014–15, this study found that a bifurcated land dispute resolution system operates in the country. While the High Court has unlimited jurisdiction under the formal system, traditional chiefs play a major role under customary tenure. And within or straddling both systems, public, private, and community mechanisms are also involved in land dispute settlement. Although non-judicial customary tools show some vulnerabilities, they remain the most accessed dispute resolution mechanisms. Traditional processes sometimes ignore statutes that provide better protection for women’s tenure rights, enforcing instead customs that undermine their access to land. However, being cheap, quick, and accessible, non-judicial grievance mechanisms continue to be an important means of land dispute resolution, notwithstanding their shortcomings. (H) Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains In March, the FAO and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development launched Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains, a document that seeks to promote responsible business conduct and due diligence along agricultural supply chains. The guidance aims to ensure that agricultural operations contribute to sustainable development, poverty reduction, food security, and gender equality, while observing existing related standards, including the 2011 Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the 2012 VGGT, and the 2014 RAI. The guidance calls on enterprises to enhance accessibility and availability of safe and nutritious foods and sets forth a framework for risk-based due diligence for enterprises to: identify, assess, and prioritize risks in the supply chain; design and implement strategies to respond to such risks; and account for and report on how they address the adverse impacts of their activities. The guidance also recommends that enterprises strive to improve environmental performance by: preserving biodiversity, ecosystem services, and genetic resources; reducing greenhouse gas emissions; increasing resilience of food systems, resource use, and energy efficiency; minimizing waste generation; and combatting air, soil, and water pollution. (I) Sustainable Cereal Production Published this year by the FAO, Save and Grow in Practice: Maize, Rice, Wheat—A Guide to Sustainable Cereal Production provides a model of ecosystem-based agriculture that aims to increase cereal yields while rendering production systems more sustainable and resilient to the impacts of climate change. Intended as a contribution towards the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG-2 that calls for the sustainable increase of agricultural production, the guide focuses on the world’s most important cereal crops: maize, wheat, and rice. It outlines the constituting elements of the FAO’s Save and Grow model—that is, conservation agriculture, healthy soil, improved crops and varieties, efficient water management, and integrated pest management, which must all be fully integrated to maximize benefits. This approach is illustrated through various case studies of Save and Grow in practice, namely combating maize pests in East Africa; implementing slash-and-mulch production systems in Central America; inter-cropping of legumes to increase wheat yields around the world; combining fish cultures and rice paddies in Asia; and using zero-till practices to preserve soil cover in Central Asia. Ultimately, the guide explores the way forward in scaling up the Save and Grow model, stressing the need for fundamental changes in governance and the adaptation of technologies to site-specific conditions. Key challenges include: supporting seed systems; adapting technological innovations to small-holder needs; encouraging farmer investment in sustainable production systems; and enhancing agricultural education and training. (J) Property Valuation and Taxation Issued in February, Land Tenure Journal 2/15, co-published by the FAO and the World Bank, was dedicated to property valuation and taxation in Europe and Central Asia. This thematic issue is a compendium of good practices and lessons learned in connection with the 2012 VGGT, which emphasize the key role of property valuation and taxation for effective financing of decentralized levels of government and the local provision of services and infrastructure, while promoting broader social, economic, environmental objectives of sustainable development. Besides an overarching summary, nine country case studies are presented from Albania, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Moldova, the Netherlands, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, and Turkey. These country experiences indicate that mass valuation systems are beneficial beyond taxation, serving multiple purposes from increasing access to real property market information to improving the accuracy of corporate and public asset values and providing a benchmark for fair compensation. Value-based property taxes can play an important role in financing local governments as well as in national tax systems. (K) Action Plan on Anti-Microbial Resistance In May2015 , the World Health Assembly adopted a Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance and called for strengthened collaboration between the FAO, the World Organization for Animal Health, and the WHO to address anti-microbial resistance (AMR) in the spirit of the ‘One Health’ approach. In June 2015 , the FAO Conference endorsed the same call for cooperative action through Resolution 4/2015. As a result, the FAO Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance 2016–2020 was developed this year. Supporting the implementation of the WHO-led Global Action Plan and covering the multi-dimensional aspects of mitigating the impact on, and the contribution of, the food and agriculture sectors to the threats posed by AMR, the FAO Action Plan aims to assist member states to develop and implement National Action Plans to combat AMR. It focuses on four major areas: (1) improving awareness on AMR and related threats; (2) strengthening governance related to AMR and anti-microbial use (AMU) in food and agriculture; (3) developing capacity for surveillance and monitoring of AMR and AMU in food and agriculture; and (4) promoting good practices for the prudent use of anti-microbials in food and agricultural systems. In September, world leaders further committed to these collective efforts at a high-level meeting on AMR convened in New York by the UNGA. (4) Genetic Resources (A) Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture Co-hosted by Indonesia and Norway, with support from the Secretariat of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), a Global Consultation on Farmers’ Rights took place in Bali in September. Bringing together policy and legal experts representing farmers’ organizations, governments, non-governmental organizations, the seed industry, and international organizations, the consultation reviewed the issues affecting the fulfilment of farmers’ rights under the treaty and recommended that the treaty’s Governing Body consider establishing an ad hoc working group to guide and assist parties in the implementation of farmers’ rights, which should be tasked to: (1) identify national measures to enhance the realization of farmers’ rights, including the right to save, use, exchange, and sell farm-saved seeds and (2) develop voluntary guidelines on the realization of farmers’ rights at the national level. During this year, five more contracting parties joined the ITPGRFA, including Guyana, Chile, Tuvalu, Argentina, and Bolivia. The latter is among the seventeen mega-diverse countries in the world and holds 18,434 ex situ accessions of great value to agricultural biodiversity, including more than 3,000 accessions of quinoa, 1,500 of potatoes, 1,400 of corn, and 1,000 of peanuts. Also ratified by the United States in December, the ITPGRFA will become effective for this country in March 2017. This will represent a major milestone towards universal membership of the treaty, with the United States possessing some of the largest crop genebank collections used worldwide in support of global food security. (B) Access and Benefit-Sharing Elements of Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture In April, the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA) released a report entitled ABS Elements: Elements to Facilitate Domestic Implementation of Access and Benefit-Sharing for Different Subsectors of Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. The report aims to support governments in considering policy, legislative, or administrative measures for access and benefit sharing (ABS) to take into account the special role of genetic resources for food and agriculture (GRFA) in food security, while complying with international ABS instruments such as the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from Their Utilization. As this protocol provides limited guidance on how to reflect the special features of GRFA in domestic ABS measures, the CGRFA put in place a process to develop the ABS elements in 2013, which the FAO Conference welcomed in 2015. The report stresses that ABS measures contribute to achieving food security and improving nutrition, highlighting that GRFA diversity is critical for the productivity, adaptability, and resilience of agro-ecosystems. It proposes steps that governments may take when developing, adapting, or implementing ABS measures addressing GRFA, including the assessment of the concerned sectors of GRFA; the consultation of relevant stakeholders who hold, provide, or utilize GRFA; the integration of ABS measures with food security and sustainable agricultural development policies, strategies, and institutions; the consideration and evaluation of options for ABS measures; communication and awareness-raising measures; and ex ante assessment and monitoring of the effectiveness and impact of ABS measures for GRFA. To facilitate the national implementation of ABS for GRFA, the report encourages governments to consider access to, and utilization of, GRFA; access to traditional knowledge associated with GRFA; fair and equitable sharing of benefits; institutional arrangements; and compliance monitoring. (5) Plant Protection and Pesticide Management (A) International Plant Protection Convention At its session held in Rome in April, the Governing Body of the International Plant Protection Convention, the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM), adopted various texts regarding the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures. These included the following documents: (1) Amendments to the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measure 5 (ISPM-5) on Glossary of Phytosanitary Terms (1994-001); (2) ISPM-37 on Determination of Host Status of Fruit to Fruit Fly (Tephritidae) (2006-031); (3) PT 20 Irradiation Treatment for Ostrinia nubilalis (2012-009) as Annex 20 to ISPM-28 on Phytosanitary Treatments for Regulated Pests; and (4) PT 21 Vapour Heat Treatment for Bactrocera melanotus and B. xanthodes on Carica Papaya (2009-105) as Annex 21 to ISPM-28 on Phytosanitary Treatments for Regulated Pests. In addition, the CPM noted that the Standards Committee, a CPM subsidiary body that oversees the standard-setting process, adopted on behalf of the CPM the following five diagnostic protocols as annexes to ISPM-27 on Diagnostic Protocols for Regulated Pests: (1) Diagnostic Protocol 08 (DP-08) on Ditylenchus dipsaci and Ditylenchus destructor (2004-017); (2) DP-09 on Genus Anastrepha Schiner (2004-015); (3) DP-10 on Bursaphelenchus xylophilus (2004-016); (4) DP-11 on Xiphinema americanum sensu lato (2004-025); and (5) DP-12 on Phytoplasma (2004-018). Moreover, the CPM adopted the Framework for Standards and Implementation, a working document designed to record standards and other related tools that support implementation of the International Plant Protection Convention and International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures in order to facilitate harmonization. During a special event, the CPM discussed risks associated with the movement of sea shipping containers and how these risks could be addressed through a new standard on minimizing pest movement by sea containers. The CPM also discussed the proposed International Year of Plant Health in 2020 and agreed that the themes for the years leading to the international year would be: (1) Plant Health and Food Security in 2016; (2) Plant Health and Trade Facilitation in 2017; (3) Plant Health and Environmental Protection in 2018; and (4) Plant Health and Capacity Development in 2019. At a subsequent meeting held in Rome in November, the Standards Committee approved for adoption by the CPM in 2017 draft ISPMs on: (1) international movement of wood (2006-029); (2) international movement of growing media in association with plants for planting (2005-004); (3) international movement of seeds (2009-003); and (4) international movement of used vehicles, machinery, and equipment (2006-004). The Standards Committee also approved, for adoption by the CPM in 2017, draft Annex 1 to ISPM-20 on Arrangements for Verification of Compliance of Consignments by the Importing Country in the Exporting Country (2005-003). (B) Recommended Listing of Pesticides under the Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade (PIC Convention) Meeting in Rome in September, the Chemical Review Committee of the PIC Convention adopted draft decision guidance documents for inclusion in Annex III to the Convention of two additional pesticides: carbofuran, one of the most toxic carbamate pesticides and carbosulfan, a highly toxic pesticide. The committee also recommended the listing in Annex III of carbofuran (suspension concentrate at or above 330 grams active ingredient per litre) as a severely hazardous pesticide formulation. The committee’s listing recommendations will be forwarded for decision to the eighth Conference of the Parties to the PIC Convention, which is scheduled to be held in Geneva in 2017. (C) Guidelines on Highly Hazardous Pesticides Jointly with the WHO, the FAO issued the Guidelines on Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) under the International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management (Code of Conduct). In 2006, the FAO Council endorsed participation by the organization in the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) and requested that FAO activities related to pesticide risk reduction include the progressive banning of HHPs. This call resulted in the formulation of criteria that define HHPs by the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Management, which led to an agreed definition for HHPs, with specific references to HHPs subsequently made in the Code of Conduct when it was revised in 2013. The HHPs criteria and definition encompass a broader range of pesticides than those addressed by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and the PIC Convention. In 2015, the SAICM’s International Conference on Chemicals Management recognized HHPs as an issue of global concern and called for concerted action to address them, with emphasis on promoting agro-ecologically based alternatives and strengthening national regulatory capacity to conduct risk assessment and management. These guidelines expand upon the provisions dealing with HHPs in the Code of Conduct, contained in Articles 3.6, 5.1.6, 6.1.1, 7.5, and 9.4.10. They aim to assist countries in interpreting and applying these articles effectively in order to reduce the risks posed by HHPs. Through the guidelines, governments are encouraged to review their existing lists of approved pesticides, identify the HHPs in use, assess the risks involved, and respond appropriately to reduce such risks to users, consumers, and the environment. (6) Climate, Fisheries, Forests, Soils, and Water (A) Climate Change Strategy Formulated this year, the FAO’s Climate Change Strategy was discussed by the relevant governing bodies of the organization. Translating the FAO’s core mandate into strategic choices and action priorities at global, regional, and national levels, the strategy envisages a world in which food and agricultural systems and dependent livelihoods have become resilient to the impacts of climate change through adaptation measures and mitigation options. Intended to support member nations in achieving their commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement and their priorities under the Sustainable Development Goals, the strategy is grounded in guiding principles relating to social inclusion, environmental sustainability, and results-oriented action, namely: leave no one behind; give precedence to food security, poverty reduction, and sustainability; support policy mainstreaming and integration; promote evidence-based scientific approaches and ecosystem-based approaches; learn from experience; and lead by example. The strategy guides the FAO’s action to achieve three mutually reinforcing outcomes: (1) enhanced capacities of member nations on climate change through FAO leadership as a provider of technical knowledge and expertise; (2) improved integration of food security and nutrition, agriculture, forestry, and fisheries considerations within the international agenda on climate change through reinforced FAO engagement; and (3) strengthened coordination and delivery of the FAO’s work on climate change. To implement the strategy, a plan of action sets out the results to be delivered for each expected outcome. In December, the FAO Council welcomed the strategy and made recommendations for its refinement, with a view to its finalization in 2017. (B) World Fisheries Developments The 2009 FAO Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing went into force in June, following its required ratification by twenty-five parties. At its July session, the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) welcomed the entry into force of the agreement and urged non-parties to join it. COFI also encouraged parties to convene an inception meeting to address various aspects of the implementation of the agreement, including arrangements for the creation of an ad hoc working group to periodically report and make recommendations to parties on funding mechanisms. In addition, COFI called on the FAO to establish points of contact for reporting and exchange of information. In this context, the FAO set up an inter-regional technical cooperation program and a global capacity development umbrella program to support logistical and legal aspects of translating the agreement into practice. Furthermore, COFI supported the development by the FAO of technical guidelines on methodologies and indicators for the estimation of the magnitude and impact of IUU fishing. Finally, COFI approved a proposal to declare an International Day for the Fight against IUU Fishing. At its December session, the FAO Council further welcomed the entry into force of the 2009 agreement and endorsed a draft resolution on Observance of the International Day for the Fight against IUU Fishing on 5 June, to be submitted to the FAO Conference for adoption in 2017. COFI also recommended the declaration of an International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture, which was subsequently endorsed by the FAO Council in December through a draft resolution entitled International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture in 2022, which is to be submitted to the FAO Conference for adoption in 2017. (C) Community Forestry The FAO Forestry Paper 176, Forty Years of Community-Based Forestry: A Review of Its Extent and Effectiveness, provides a comprehensive look at the evolution of community-based forestry (CBF), which includes government-led initiatives and formalized customary processes intended to increase the role of local people in governing and managing forest resources. This study covers social, economic, and environmental dimensions in a range of CBF activities, including decentralized and devolved forest management, small-holder forestry schemes, community–company partnerships, small-scale forest-based enterprises, and indigenous management of sacred sites of cultural importance. Over time, CBF has grown in popularity, stemming from the concept that local communities, when properly empowered, can organize autonomously to use natural resources and manage them sustainably. While various forms of CBF have evolved across countries, all involve a degree of participation by small holders and community groups in planning and implementation. The publication examines the extent of CBF regimes globally and regionally and assesses their effectiveness in delivering on key biophysical and socio-economic outcomes by moving towards sustainable forest management and improving local livelihoods. Focusing on formal CBF regimes that are legally defined, it also recognizes widespread informal regimes of CBF. The study found that, while CBF regimes are a major modality of forest management worldwide, they are generally performing below expectations and could do much better if all of the conditions required were met, including stronger political will. (D) Forestry Bodies At its July session, the FAO Committee on Forestry (COFO) agreed to set up a Working Group on Dryland Forests and Agrosilvopastoral Systems, which was later welcomed by the FAO Council in December. Draft terms of reference for the working group had been considered by a preparatory meeting during the Drylands and Forest and Landscape Restoration Monitoring Week held in April in Rome. Among other tasks, this new working group will promote the protection, restoration, and sustainable management of drylands forests and agro-silvopastoral systems as well as the enhancement of viable livelihoods and of environmental and socio-economic resilience. COFO also encouraged the FAO International Poplar Commission (IPC) to continue its reform process, which had been initiated in 2012. The proposed reform aims to expand the IPC’s geographic, biological, and technical scope and to restructure its working parties to strengthen the linkage with broader environmental and developmental issues, while attracting more funding options for an enlarged membership and outreach of the commission’s mandate. At its September session held in Berlin, the IPC mandated its Executive Committee to pursue the reform process with a view to concluding it by 2018. (E) Forestry Guidelines Forests and trees in urban and peri-urban environments contribute significantly to the management of resilient landscapes, helping to make cities safer, healthier, wealthier, and more pleasant, diverse, and attractive. To support cities in reaping the benefits of such improvements in quality of life, the FAO developed Guidelines on Urban and Peri-Urban Forestry, which were published this year as Forestry Paper 178. After a conceptual overview of urban and peri-urban forestry (UPF), the guidelines: (1) present the governance, policy, and legal enabling environment for UPF; (2) provide guidance on UPF planning, design, and management for the provision of goods and ecosystem services; (3) offer advice for optimizing UPF contributions to address such challenges as climate change, food security, human health, and well-being; and (4) describe policy actions required and other accompanying measures for successful UPF programs. From a broader perspective, Voluntary Guidelines on National Forest Monitoring and Assessment were endorsed by COFO in July and further welcomed by the FAO Council in December. Designed as a technical reference intended for public and private entities concerned with national forest monitoring, the guidelines provide a general framework and a set of decision-support tools for planning and implementing a multipurpose National Forest Monitoring System grounded in scientifically sound practice and taking into account national information needs and reporting requirements. (F) Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management In 2015, the FAO Global Soil Partnership initiated the process of developing Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management (VGSSM), which are intended to cover all types of agricultural systems and to address the maintenance or enhancement of the services they provide, such as food production, water, and climate regulation. At its fifth working session held in March in Rome, the Global Soil Partnership Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils (ITPS) finalized the draft VGSSM on the basis of feedback from online consultations on the zero draft as well as thematic input from ITPS members. In endorsing the draft VGSSM, the ITPS decided to add a glossary to the guidelines and clarify their scope and put emphasis on agricultural soils, while addressing other ecosystem services. Recognizing that the document focuses on scientific and technical guidelines, the ITPS noted that the Open-Ended Working Group on the VGSSM would fine tune policy-relevant elements. Thereafter, they were finalized and adopted by the Global Soil Partnership General Assembly in May. Subsequently, the VGSSM were endorsed by COFO in September and by the FAO Council in December. Besides setting out their scope and objectives, the VGSSM address: soil erosion; soil structure; soil cover; soil nutrients; soil biodiversity; soil water; soil contaminants; and the minimization of the loss of agricultural soils. The guidelines also cover communication, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation issues. (G) Water Tenure Exploring the Concept of Water Tenure, published this year as Land and Water Discussion Paper 10, addresses questions such as the meaning of water tenure and if this notion could be useful for the development of natural resources policies and practices. The paper conceptualizes water tenure as ‘the relationship, whether legally or customarily defined, between people, as individuals or groups, with respect to water resources.’ It proposes a typology of water tenure arrangements, which include both those defined by formal law (for example, ‘traditional’ formal water rights, ‘modern’ formal water rights, regulatory licensing, common-hold water tenure, and so on) as well as those not legally delineated (for example, customary law water tenure, water tenure under religious law, informal tenure, and so on). The paper argues that thinking in terms of water tenure is beneficial in that it: (1) allows one to take a holistic approach to understanding relationships with water resources, thus significantly contributing to policy development; (2) presents nuanced means of recognizing different kinds of relationships among people and water resources by accepting that there are fundamental normative and cultural differences at play; (3) offers the possibility of negotiation and compromise at the policy level, with the potential to facilitate more sensitive analyses of water use; (4) is coherent with approaches used with other natural resources, such as land, whose tenure systems are similar; (5) strengthens multi-disciplinary approaches to addressing water resource problems; and (6) focuses on water users, the most important actors in a bottom-up relationship, as compared to an approach based on water rights, which is top-down and state-led. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yearbook of International Environmental Law – Oxford University Press
Published: Dec 28, 2017
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