FAO’s 37th Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean region ended on Friday (1 April) in Quito, Ecuador, underscoring the importance of sustainable agrifood systems, prosperous and inclusive rural societies, and sustainable and resilient agriculture.
Participants of the five-day conference included the President of Ecuador, Guillermo Laso, the Prime Minister of Haiti, Ariel Henry, the Vice President of Ecuador, Alfredo Borrero, 41 ministers and 23 deputy ministers, and the Director-General of the FAO, Qu Dongyu.
“The Latin America and the Caribbean region played a fundamental role during the pandemic to ensure that the health crisis did not become a food crisis,” the FAO Director-General said in his statement. “Your success had a positive global impact and you must continue with the same effort across your agrifood systems to the benefit of global food security,” he said.
During the Conference, countries shared their innovations and the measures they are taking to transform their agrifood systems and have agreed on three main regional priorities - building sustainable agrifood systems to ensure healthy diets, lifting rural population of Latin America and the Caribbean out of poverty and transforming the region’s agriculture so that it is resilient and adapted to climate change.
“The way in which you develop your agriculture, forestry, fishery and livestock will impact the global climate as well as the ecosystem and the biodiversity of each of the countries in the region,” Qu said.
FAO will help countries formulating policies and programmes to ensure access to safe and nutritious food, and promote healthy diets in support of the 104 million people living with obesity and the 60 million people affected by hunger.
Nearly 600 people participated in the Conference in person, including representatives of the private sector, academia, civil society and the United Nations System, and more than 34,000 people did so online. The Member countries chose Guyana as the host country for the next Regional Conference, which will take place in 2024.
On the side-lines of the conference, the FAO Director-General visited a rural community where family farmers produce diversified food while protecting and restoring biodiversity, in a combination of science, education and agritourism.
Located just 50 km outside of capital Quito, in the Area of Conservation and Sustainable Use in Perucho, the Finca Hostería Isabuela is supported by the Andean Landscapes Project, focused on promotion of the integrated management of landscapes for sustainable livelihoods in the Ecuadorian Andes.
The project has been implemented through FAO’s Hand-in-Hand Initiative, in partnership with the Ministry for Agriculture and Livestock and the Ministry for Environment, Water and Ecological Transition of Ecuador, with THE financial support of the European Union.
The Andean Landscapes project seeks to provide rural communities with the opportunity to solve the problem of deforestation, land degradation and mismanagement, promoting collaboration mechanisms to establish effective intersectoral governance that favors synergies between climate change, biodiversity, food security and poverty reduction strategies and objectives. The project is carried out in four provinces in Ecuador: Pichincha, Imbabura, Cotopaxi and Bolívar.