FAO leads international efforts to defeat hunger, serving both developed and developing countries. It helps developing countries and countries in transition to improve agriculture, forestry and fishery practices to ensure food and nutrition security for all. FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy strategies, priorities, norms and standards around its three Global Goals:
- Reduction of the absolute number of people suffering from hunger, progressively ensuring a world in which all people at all times have sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life;
- Early elimination of poverty and the driving forward of economic and social progress for all, with increased food production, enhanced rural development and sustainable livelihoods;
- Sustainable management and utilisation of natural resources - including land water air, climate and genetic resources - for the benefit of present and future generations.
To defeat hunger, FAO serves its member countries, particularly those affected by disasters, to improve sustainable agriculture, livestock, forestry, aquaculture, fisheries and natural resource management.
The FAO together with the World Food Programme (WFP) head the Food Security Cluster (FSC) which has been established to coordinate the food security response during a humanitarian crisis, addressing issues of food availability, access and utilisation.The Global Support Team includes FAO, WFP, NGO and Red Cross and Red Crescent members.
Disaster Reduction Goal
Among its five new priorities, FAO’s strategic objective on risk reduction and crisis management is to increase the resilience of livelihoods to shocks and threats affecting food and agriculture. FAO humanitarian and development work comprises tackling risks and crises from natural hazards, trans-boundary plant pests and animal diseases, socio-economic shocks, and protracted crisis.
FAO’s approach to DRR is linked to FAO’s work on long term development and humanitarian assistance. It promotes institutional capacity development, hazard and food early warning systems, as well as good practice and technology in agriculture, forestry, fisheries and natural resource management, to prevent and mitigate the adverse impacts of crises on the most vulnerable people and ecosystems. FAO’s goals for DRR are to reduce vulnerability and enhance resilience of agricultural livelihoods to threats and emergencies, and to protect and strengthen the food and nutrition security of farmers, fishers, pastoralists and foresters. This includes to:
• Support the enabling environment of member states, with appropriate legislation, policies and institutional frameworks for disaster risk reduction in agricultural sectors, and to strengthen the institutional capacities to implement these;
• Provide, strengthen and harmonize food and nutrition security information and early warning systems to monitor the multiple threats to food security and to enhance decision-making in preparedness and response, policy, advocacy, programming, prioritization, targeting;
• Develop capacities at all levels in preparedness, to improve response to, and recovery from, future threats to food and nutrition security, and to reduce their potential negative impact on livelihoods;
• Reduce the underlying risks to food and nutrition security and build the resilience of livelihoods through the application of good practices, processes and technologies in farming, fisheries and forestry.
Policies and Programmes in DRR
FAO’s current Strategic Framework, launched in 2008 includes a corporate Strategic Objective on Disaster and crisis risk management for “improved preparedness for, and effective response to, food and agricultural emergencies”. FAO’s Medium Term Plan (2010-2013) specifically identifies three key organizational results related to:
1. Disaster prevention and mitigation and preparedness (DRR);
2. Emergency response and rehabilitation; and
3. Transition and linkages to development.
These multidisciplinary results foster interdisciplinary action along a continuum of work on humanitarian, investment, policy and development assistance. Each organizational result is coordinated by a dedicated multi-disciplinary technical team and implemented in the regional and country offices.
In that context, FAO has consolidated its DRR work into a new Framework Programme (Resilient Livelihoods, Disaster Risk Reduction for Food and Nutrition Security) on DRR which is organized into four main pillars that are closely in line with priority areas of the HFA:
• Institutional strengthening & risk management governance for food and agriculture sectors;
• Information and early warning systems on food & nutrition security and trans-boundary threats;
• Preparedness for effective response and recovery in agriculture, livestock, fisheries & forestry;
• Application of good practices, processes & technologies for mitigation & prevention in farming, fisheries and forestry.
Membership in Key Networks
• Inter-Agency Standing Committee-IASC
• United Nations Development group-UNDG
• International Consortium on Landslides
• Fire Management Actions Alliance
• Mountain Partnership
• Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping System
• Global Early Warning and Response System for Major Animal Diseases
• Land Degradation Assessment in Drylands
• One Health
• Alliance Against Hunger and Malnutrition
• Livestock emergency guidelines and standards-LEGS
• Integrated Food Security Phase Classifi cation-IPC
Ministries and/or departments of Agriculture, Forestry, Livestock, Fisheries and Environment and related extension services, research institutes, universities, NGOs, municipalities and farmers' organizations.
Making disaster risk reduction a policy priority, institutional strengthening (HFA 1)
Institutional strengthening and good governance for disaster risk reduction and crisis management in agriculture, fisheries, livestock, forestry and natural resources is a priority area of work within FAO.
Risk assessment and early warning systems (HFA 2)
Information and early warning systems on food and nutrition security and trans-boundary threats ensure that member countries are better equipped with high quality data and information, and analytical capacity, to take decision and anticipate and prevent food crises.
Education, information and public awareness (HFA 3)
FAO’s knowledge management strategy for risk management aims to substantially increase awareness, knowledge sharing, understanding and visibility of the importance of DRR in the fight against hunger. It aims to fill the knowledge gaps on the impacts of DRR measures on agriculture, nutrition and food security and to advocate for greater commitment from the international community for coherent global, regional, national and local action for vulnerable smallholders.
Reducing underlying risk factors (HFA 4)
To adequately protect agricultural livelihoods, it is critical to reduce the underlying risks and to build the resilience of farmers, pastoralists, fishers, foresters. FAO supports member countries to reduce the negative impact of natural hazards and other threats through the application of appropriate technologies and practices in agriculture, forestry and fisheries, as well as sound natural resource management practices and sustainable use of ecosystems.
Preparedness for effective response (HFA 5)
FAO supports member states with different preparedness capacities and measures in agriculture, fisheries, livestock and forestry. This includes, for example, assisting countries to develop food safety contingency and response plans, supporting preparedness planning and simulation exercises for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza.
Disaster Risk Reduction Focal Point(s)
Mr. Dominique Burgeon, Director, FAO Emergency and Rehabilitation Division, Rome
Mr. Stephan Baas, Technical Officer, FAO Natural Resource and Climate Change Division, Rome (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mrs. Sylvie Wabbes, Programme Officer, FAO Emergency and Rehabilitation Division, Rome (email@example.com)