Members approve new Department of Climate, Biodiversity, Land and Water, plus work plan that better syncs with the SDGs
The 155th session of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) Council that held recently in Rome, Italy has endorsed the creation of a new department focused on climate change and approving a fine-tuned strategic framework that fully aligns the organisation’s work with the 2030 Global Agenda.
Starting next year, the new Department of Climate, Biodiversity, Land and Water will lead FAO’s efforts to support countries in adapting food systems to climate change and fulfilling their commitments made under the Paris Climate Treaty. It will also oversee all FAO work related to the sustainable management of land and water resources which underpin global food production.
Speaking at the council closing session, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva thanked its members for endorsing the adjustments to FAO’s working structure, “And for recognising the urgency to enable FAO to better focus on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the Paris Agreement.”
The FAO Reviewed Strategic Framework represents a light recalibration to the organisation’s work plans to reflect recent global developments – particularly the new 2030 Sustainable Development Goals that are now driving the international development agenda. It incorporates SDG metrics, indicators and targets indicators directly into FAO’s own progress monitoring framework.
The Council also approved the creation of a new office of the Chief Statistician to ensure a standardised approach to data reporting across FAO and agreed with the proposal to appoint an additional Deputy Director-General position, charged with overseeing the organisation’s work related to technical cooperation, resource mobilisation, partnerships and South-South cooperation.
The newly approved strengthened management structure will bolster FAO’s ability to deliver technical and other assistance to countries as well as improve the quality of data used to monitor and evaluate progress.
The Council is the executive arm of FAO’s top-level governing body, the Conference of Members. Made of up 49 member nations elected for staggered three year terms, the Council convenes between sessions of the main conference to provide advice and oversight related to programmatic and budgetary matters.