Communiqué of the 2021 Global Forum for Food and Agriculture:

GASL and LEAP are key research and technology-transfer cooperation networks for tackling food insecurity and climate change

On 22 January 2021, the 76 Ministers’ delegations participating in the  Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA), themed  “How to feed the world in times of pandemics and climate change?”, expressed on a communiqué their support to the role of  global cooperation to strengthen the sustainability of agri-food systems.

As the world population grows and hunger and malnutrition persist, the communiqué focused on the need to significantly strengthen cross-sectoral, multilateral cooperation and solidarity for access to food, preservation of the planet and prevention of future pandemics.

The ministers recognized the essential role of the agricultural sector for sustaining its activities and livelihoods during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ministers further pledged their support to assist farmers and especially smallholders in their recovery and to help enhance their resilience.

In order to achieve sustainable production and solutions to address hunger and famines the communiqué reaffirmed the ministers’ commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and SDG 2 “Zero Hunger” and highlighted the importance of strengthening innovation, research and science-based approaches.

To minimize food security risks caused by restrictions measures the ministers committed to support the functioning of international trade and markets while ensuring food safety measures based on international standards and strong cooperation between countries as well as supply chains. 

The communiqué emphasized the integrated and cross sectorial One Health approach to prevent future pandemics and recognized livestock as pivotal in ensuring food nutrition and security and sustainable livelihoods for millions of people. In order to protect food safety and animal health the ministers stressed the need for appropriate domestic and wildlife veterinary services, international emergency response capabilities and effective biosecurity systems.  

The ministers also recognized the responsibility to take climate action while ensuring the provision of adequate and sustainably produced food for the world’s population. Enhanced sustainable production methods that look at soil, nutrients use, biodiversity and genetic resources are considered as essential.

Finally, the communiqué emphasized the crucial role of innovations as well as the transfer of technology to improve productivity and sustainability by strengthening research and innovation cooperation networks and international initiatives such as the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA), the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock (GASL), the Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance (LEAP), and the International Wheat Initiative. 

You can read the full communiqué here.