Agroecology recognised for the first time by all UN Member States

A milestone for Biovision and a crucial step towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): The UN and its 193 Member States have resolved to place greater emphasis on agro-ecological principles in order to encourage globally sustainable food systems.

Since the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012, the Biovision team for political dialogue and advocacy has been active on the international stage, arguing that sustainable agriculture and agroecology should be more firmly anchored in the political agendas of individual countries. Ecological agriculture and the sustainable use of natural resources are essential if we are to stop the loss of biodiversity, combat hunger and finally to make progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In a resolution on “Agricultural Technology for Sustainable Development” passed at the end of November, the UN General Assembly has for the first time advocated a greater emphasis on agroecology in order to encourage sustainable food systems. This represents a success for the work of Biovision in New York over many years. We have long argued that agro-ecology should be a central plank of action to fight hunger and malnutrition, particularly as 2016 saw a further rise in the number of hungry people to 815 million. Michael Bergöö, our policy adviser for Agenda 2030 explains: “Of course, recognition of agro-ecology in a UN resolution does not mean that our work is done. It will, however, give even greater legitimacy to our demands in future as we can refer to a document signed by all UN Member States”.

As early as next year, Biovision will have an opportunity to activate this ground-breaking decision by the UN General Assembly: From 2018, the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) will play a key role in implementing agro-ecological methods, starting at an international symposium on agroecology in Rome in April 2018 “Scaling Up Agroecology to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.

For more information see the UN Report “Agricultural Technology for sustainable development”.