10 July 2009

A GFAR E-NEWS FEATURE

The L’Aquila Statement on Global Food Security 

The “L’Aquila” Joint Statement on Global Food Security - “L’Aquila Food Security Initiative (AFSI)” released today, 10 July 2009, highlights deep concern among the world’s largest economies about global food security (click here to read it). It reiterates the urgent need for decisive action to free humankind from hunger and poverty. The statement connects food security with economic growth, social progress, political stability and peace and advocates increased and targeted investment to enhance agricultural productivity. It links the need for effective actions on global food security to those related to climate change, sustainable management of water, land, soil and other natural resources, including the protection of biodiversity. It also emphasizes the need for cross-cutting, inclusive approaches involving all relevant stakeholders at global, regional and national levels and highlights the need for particular attention to smallholders, women and families and on expanding knowledge and training among many other areas.

            
US President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso speak at a working breakfast; G8Website/ANSA Photo: Ciro Fusco

 L’Aquila and Agricultural Research 

The L’Aquila Statement also recognizes the fundamental need to increase and improve investments, both financial and human, in agricultural research and for more effective and efficient sharing of information and knowledge related to agriculture and its development. Improving global food security also requires effective institutions to turn new knowledge into real development impact.  The Statement recognizes the need for improvements in the way agricultural systems and agricultural research are governed and supported. It seeks to build on existing International Organizations and International Financial Institutions, making use of their comparative advantage, enhancing their coordination and effectiveness and avoiding duplication. The statement expresses support for the UN High Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis, and for the fundamental reform processes underway in the FAO, the Committee on World Food Security, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research and the global agricultural research system through the Global Forum on Agricultural Research.

             

 

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi; G8Website/ANSA Photo: Ciro Fusco

 GFAR, a mechanism for change

The Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) provides a key vehicle for taking forward processes of change in the way agricultural research and innovation processes are prioritized, governed and implemented around the world, to increase and speed up their contribution to obtaining and sustaining global food security. Stakeholders in GFAR work together to better meet the enormous challenges of the needs of the poor through the generation, access and use of agricultural knowledge and technologies, recognizing also that agricultural practices are deeply embedded in cultures and require long-term sustainability.
Working together means establishing common development goals, but there are many ways of achieving these ends through different forms of innovation.  Partners involved, whether civil, private or public, have vastly differing objectives and visions of what is required to achieve food security and other crucial impacts through agriculture. GFAR provides the objective, inclusive and open platform for their interaction to forge new ways forward between partners and between sectors.  This requires new investments, not just more funding, but also investments in new ways of working and new human capacities to meet the needs of the future. Together we need to enable new connections, new institutions and new processes to mobilize all partners.

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French President Nicolas Sarkozy with Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev; G8Website/ANSA Photo: Ciro Fusco

How are we doing this?

Taking forward the intent for collaborative action expressed in the L’Aquila Statement, from this year, GFAR is leading the organization of a major process of consultation, learning and feedback, the Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD). This process aims to better equip today’s agricultural research to meet the needs of tomorrow.  The GCARD is more than just a Conference - its a multi-year process of learning and continuous updating of the global agricultural research for development (AR4D) system. Our aim is to improve and create new ways of working together to enhance the development value of research.  The GCARD process will strive to develop a new global agricultural research system, driven by tangible development outcomes and bringing together all those involved in agricultural research for development (AR4D) to deliver real change through agricultural research and innovation to better meet the needs of the world’s poor.  

To read more about how GFAR is recognized in contributing to global food security, please see the “G8 Efforts towards Global Food Security” by the G8 Experts Group on Global Food Security by clicking here


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