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UNEP, IFAD Launch Resource Management Policy, Call for Support for Sustainable Agriculture

1 June 2011: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) called for a dramatic increase in support for sustainable agriculture, including to smallholder farmers, as a way to drive green growth and reduce poverty, on the occasion of the launch of the Environment and Natural Resource Management (ENRM) Policy.

Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, noted that agriculture is at the center of a transition to a resource-efficient, low-carbon green economy and that sustainable agriculture can address other challenges, such as climate change and biodiversity loss. Kanayo F. Nwanze, IFAD President, highlighted that smallholders in developing countries – the majority of whom are women – work on ecologically and climatically precarious land. Elwyn Grainger-Jones, IFAD's Director of Environment and Climate, added that investing in sustainable smallholder agriculture leads to  environmentally sound and climate-smart increases in agricultural production.

Both Steiner and Nwanze stressed that the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) can provide a major opportunity for the international community to recognize the role of farmers in informing the sustainable development agenda and generate the momentum for supporting policies and investments. [UNEP Press Release] [IFAD Press Release]