FAO Adopts Immediate Plan of Action to Address Crucial Challenges

The FAO Conference in session. 22 November 2008: The 35th Special Session of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Conference, which convened from 18-22 November 2008, in Rome, Italy, has adopted a three-year Immediate Plan of Action (IPA), which will implement an agenda for “reform with growth” as recommended by an independent external evaluation completed last year.

The Plan provides for enhancing FAO governance and improving its

performance through streamlined management, and by focusing more

closely on core objectives and functions. It is expected to equip FAO

to deal with the crucial challenges it must address, including hunger

and poverty reduction, food crises, climate change, bioenergy and the

impact of the ongoing financial crisis on agriculture. The IPA

introduces a results-based framework for all FAO's work, consisting of

global goals, strategic objectives, organizational results and core


Strategic objectives relating to the impact of climate

change include: sustainable management of land, water and genetic

resources, and improved responses to global environmental challenges

affecting food and agriculture; and improved preparedness for, and

effective response to, food and agricultural threats and emergencies.

The section on organizational results includes a box with indicative

impact focus areas, including: action towards global food security in

the context of the current food crisis and climate change; and coping

with scarcity of land and water resources, including the implications

of climate change, with a special emphasis on Africa.

The section on

core functions defines the means of action and modalities to achieve

these results, and describes strategies for coherent approaches, which

are complemented by two functional objectives: effective collaboration

with member States and stakeholders; and efficient and effective

administration. The IPA further lays out strategies and timetables for

reforming FAO's governing bodies, systems and organizational

structures, as well as further actions to improve the effectiveness of

FAO governance. The Plan's Annex provides a summary of costs, savings,

resource requirements and implementation schedule. [FAO press release] [Resolution and Immediate Plan of Action]