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Food Safety and the Environment

An outstretched hand with grains of wheat falling into it.

 

Food Safety

Agriculture, food and nutritional safety and rural development are highlighted as key sectors in Spanish development cooperation policies. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization for the United Nations (FAO) there are over 800 million people throughout the world who suffer from chronic hunger and malnutrition. We are currently facing the challenge of satisfying a growing demand for food from a population that will reach 9 billion in 2050. In addition, a new set of serious threats to agriculture have also arisen, such as climate change and irresponsible management of natural resources (water, land, biodiversity), or the volatility of agri-food product prices (2008 crisis).

Our main lines of work are as follows:

  • We establish basic guidelines for Spain's positioning on food and nutritional safety in the context of the international agenda and the national plan.
  • We monitor and take part in global initiatives such as the FAO, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), which all support the Food Safety Committee.
  • We coordinate Spanish participants in the definition of food safety policies, according to their respective fields of activity (Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment-MAGRAMA, Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation-AECID, civil society, etc.).
  • In terms of the creation of the Post-2015 development agenda, Spanish Cooperation is playing a vitally important role having led, together with the FAO and the WFP, the thematic consultations on Hunger, Food Safety and Nutrition.

The Environment 

Today, environmental challenges are of unprecedented importance. In recent years, the International Community has warned that climate change and sustainable development are two of the greatest challenges that we are currently facing. That is, climate change, the accelerated loss of biodiversity and desertification are a threat to global food safety, human health and even State security and peace. Protecting the environment is a challenge that a globalised world must respond to with shared approaches and strategies, increasing investment and innovative methods.

Within this context, human development has been proposed as a possible solution. The fundamental idea behind this proposal is that our problems cannot be resolved unless social imbalances, structural economic inequality or the system of political institutions are tackled alongside problems of an environmental nature.

The protection of the Environment is one of the most important areas for multiplying results. In fact, it has been one of the top priorities of our international cooperation activities from the offset.  As such, our main activities in this field are as follows:

  • We create basic guidelines for Spain's positioning on environmental sustainability in the context of the international agenda and the national plan for cooperation policy.
  • We monitor and take part in a range of global initiatives, such as the UNEP and the Rio+20 Summit , in addition to various international processes and agreements on climate change and development.

We coordinate Spanish participants in the definition of development and environmental sustainability policies, respecting the other parties involved in this work (MAGRAMA, The Climate Change Office, AECID, civil society…)