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China hosts international meeting to promote sustainable agriculture

DATE:2016-09-02       SOURCE:Xinhua News Agency

To promote dialogue and share experiences on implementing Agroecology approaches in Asia and China, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) and partners met on 29 to 31 August 2016, in Kunming, China.


The International Symposium on Agroecology for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems has been co-organized by FAO and CAAS, and in cooperation with the Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, with the support of the Government of France.


In his message from the Director General of FAO, Ren Wang, Assistant Director-General stressed that: “Agroecology is based on the 3 pillars of sustainable development, which is aligned with FAO’s Common Vision for sustainable food and agriculture and contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.The Sustainable Development Goals tell us that, by 2030, we need to shift to sustainable food systems that produce more with less environmental, economic and social costs. In this context, Agroecology offers an innovative solution”.


Agroecology has a strong scientific base and is increasingly receiving attention from governments. In September 2014, FAO convened a global symposium on Agroecology for Food Security and Nutrition. This was followed in 2015 by three regional meetings in Brazil, Senegal and Thailand. This year, the symposium on Agroecology in China has brought together stakeholders from academia, policy and civil society to better understand the role and potential of Agroecology.


The Chinese government attached great importance to Agroecology and a series of policies have been released in recent years. “As the national leading institution, CAAS is committed to improving China’s food security and nutrition by research and innovation, and attached great importance in Agroecology. CAAS has launched four collaborative innovation initiatives, namely heavy metal pollution control, black soil conservation, water saving for grain production, the integrated technology-based green producing, which use the principle and philosophy of Agroecology in major grain and meat producing areas to address the rampant diminishing agricultural resources”, said by CAAS Vice President Wu Kongming.


During this Symposium, participants highlighted many Agroecological initiatives and practices which have a positive impact on the reduction of rural poverty, hunger and malnutrition, promotion of sustainable agricultural development, conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, improving soil fertility, increasing resilience of agriculture to climate change, and expand work opportunities for rural communities – all of which are essential for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.


“With the aim of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and building a future that leaves no one behind, we believe that Agroecology can contribute to improving food security and nutrition situation at global, regional and local levels and create the conditions for the emergence of the zero hunger generation”, said Vincent Martin, FAO representative in China, DPRK and Mongolia.


China's 13th Five-year Plan sets a clear goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Agroecology becomes a key component of China’s “ecological civilization”, a priority for the government. The symposium attracted participants from across Asia as well as Europe and North America, reaching the goal of continuing the efforts made by FAO and CAAS to promote dialogue around the scientific basis and the experiences of implementing Agroecology in Asia and China.

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