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© Photo: FAO

FAO and PARLATINO working together to promote responsible investment in agriculture and food production in the face of the COVID-19 crisis

  |   SUN Country Network, SUN UN Network

© Photo: FAO

The Agricultural, Livestock and Fisheries Commission of the Latin American and Caribbean Parliament (PARLATINO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have jointly agreed to increase responsible investment in agriculture and food systems with the aim of mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the urgency of increasing responsible agricultural investment. Now more than ever, we need greater and better investment to rebuild our economies, support communities’ capacity for resilience and maintain the food supply chain,” said Marcela Villarreal, director of the FAO’s Division of Associations.

The FAO will provide PARLATINO with a practical guide on Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (CSA-IAR), setting out detailed recommendations and examples of concrete actions.

The two organizations have also agreed to issue a joint statement promoting CSA-IAR principles in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

“Sustainable investment and the CSA-IAR principles will form a priority of our joint 2020 work plan, with implementation supported by Spanish Cooperation and the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID),” explained Silvia Gioppo, Argentine Senator, PARLATINO’s Deputy Secretary for Commissions and FAO focal point.

Creating an environment conducive to responsible agricultural investment

© Banco Mundial/Maria Fleischmann

The CSA-IAR principles offer guidance on how to promote investment that will improve food and nutritional security, inclusive economic development and the sustainable use of natural resources.

These are guidelines that will help mitigate and recover from the effects of the current pandemic, rebuilding more productive food systems that will have greater resilience in the face of future crises.

“The CSA-IAR principles require a normative, legal, regulatory and institutional environment conducive to mobilizing these investments. A conducive environment is, in fact, one of the main factors that will determine the volumes and results of agricultural investment,” commented Villareal.

The importance of creating an environment conducive to responsible investment in the food system has already been recognized by parliamentarians around the world in the Declaration of the Global Parliamentary Summit against Hunger and Malnutrition, signed in the Spanish Parliament in 2018.

This declaration was signed by legislators from more than 60 countries, as well as from the European Parliament, PARLATINO, the Latin American and Caribbean Parliamentary Front against Hunger, the Interparliamentary Union and the Mercosur Parliament (PARLASUR).

Role of parliamentarians in responsible agricultural investment

According to Luis Lobo, the Technical Officer for the Spanish-FAO Programme in Latin America and the Caribbean: “Not only can parliamentarians pass laws to guarantee sustainable investment – thus benefiting communities, vulnerable and environmental groups – they can also exert political control to ensure that these policies are implemented.”

Lastly, Cuban parliamentary member Rolando González, PARLATINO’s Secretary of Commissions, commented that: “The PARLATINO – FAO alliance is a worthwhile and extremely useful practice, a vital form of collaboration that enables us to come together to resolve problems common to our countries.”

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