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G20 Agriculture Ministers' Declaration 2017

Towards Food and Water Security: Fostering Sustainability, Advancing Innovation
January 22, 2017, Berlin
[PDF]
See also G20 Agriculture Ministers' Action Plan

1. We, the G20 Ministers of Agriculture, highlight the G20 economies' role as major actors in the global food system, which represent about 60 percent of all agricultural land and about 80 percent of world trade in agricultural products. We acknowledge that this entails a great responsibility for contributing to global food security and improved nutrition.

2. We emphasise there are a number of significant challenges that must be met if stable supplies of safe, nutritious and affordable food are to be provided for the global population, that is expected to reach 8.5 billion by 2030; these challenges include climate change, urbanisation, conflict and the limited availability of energy and natural resources, such as land and water, and their increased degradation.

3. We, the G20 Ministers of Agriculture, are committed to supporting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement[1] adopted in 2015, in order to cope with these challenges. We aim to raise awareness of the vulnerability of the agricultural sector to the impacts of climate change and the role of agriculture in sustainable development and the progressive realisation of the right to an adequate standard of living including the right to adequate food.

Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

4. We underscore the importance of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a global plan of action that calls for input by all relevant stakeholders. We take seriously our responsibility to achieve the agriculture-related goals (especially SDG 2) and targets in order to end hunger, ensure global food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. We underline that sustainable and resilient agriculture contributes significantly to achieving a wide range of SDGs, including through its links to food security and nutrition, poverty eradication, health, women´s empowerment, employment, economic development, climate change and the environment, including soil and biodiversity.

Implementation of the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement[1]

5. The adoption in December 2015 of the Paris Agreement1 and its early entry into force in November 2016 mark milestones in climate policy. As G20 Ministers of Agriculture, we commit to supporting the implementation of the Paris Agreement1. We emphasise the need for agriculture and forestry to adapt to climate change and also emphasise their role in its mitigation. We will strive to enhance their adaptation and mitigation capacity as well as strengthening their resilience to climate change. At the same time, we must ensure that agriculture will be able to fulfil its role to provide food security and nutrition for the growing global population. We should strive to contribute to the formulation and communication of long-term low greenhouse gas development strategies.

6. We also welcome the Marrakech Action Proclamation that was issued at the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, which calls on all Parties to strengthen and support efforts to eradicate poverty, ensure food security and take stringent action to deal with climate change challenges in agriculture. We will continue to actively contribute to negotiations on agriculture under SBSTA (Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice to UNFCCC) during the next intersessional meeting in Bonn.

Agriculture and water

7. We emphasise that water is an essential production resource for agriculture and is therefore critical for feeding the growing world population. We highlight that agriculture, comprising crop production, livestock and aquaculture, accounts for about 70 percent of global freshwater withdrawals. Agricultural water-use efficiency will need to improve if water availability is not to limit capacity for increased global food production. Climate change and rising competition for water will further increase pressure on water resources in many regions and have a negative impact on vulnerable rural populations. Water scarcity and excess water threaten agriculture and food security and nutrition. This can contribute to political and social instability and to large-scale migration. Accordingly, in 2016, the World Economic Forum identified "water crises" as a key global risk factor.

8. We need to ensure that the rising demand for food, feed and renewable resources does not result in an unsustainable increase in water use by the agricultural sector. For this reason, we are committed to policy approaches that foster increased agricultural productivity while ensuring that water and water-related ecosystems are protected, managed and used sustainably. We need to ensure that farmers are a key part of this process and of the solution.

9. We commit to support the achievement of the relevant water-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 6, which aims inter alia at substantially increasing water-use efficiency, ensuring sustainable withdrawals, improving water quality and implementing integrated water-resource management. As G20 Ministers of Agriculture we will focus our commitment on water issues related to sustainable and improved agricultural productivity, while recognising the need for our contribution to sustainable water use and management in the entire food value chain.

10. We will build in this regard on the agricultural policy outcomes of the Mexican G20 Presidency in 2012 and water-related commitments at UN level. We note the outcome of 9th Berlin Agriculture Minister's Conference held during the Global Forum on Food and Agriculture 2017 and are committed to the following goals:

11. We underscore that farmers need sustainable supplies of water and need to manage agriculture's impact on water supplies to ensure sufficient quantity and quality of water across the watershed. Given the growing competition for water supply between agriculture and other actors, we therefore aim at coordinated action and policy coherence for improving water governance across sectors, in particular with regard to extraction, distribution, recovery and application systems.

12. We aim to improve water-use efficiency in agriculture through improved policies with due regard to regional and local conditions. We will promote the use of site-adapted and efficient methods and technologies in order to optimise yield per drop and reduce water losses and wastage. This includes water delivery and application such as irrigation technologies, cropping systems and crop varieties.

13. We underscore that the agricultural sector must contribute to achieving good quality of water and water-related ecosystems. Therefore we aim to foster the efficient and environmentally friendly use of all agricultural inputs and the application of sustainable agricultural production practices, including livestock husbandry, soil management and water conservation.

14. We will promote activities and innovations, such as long term planning, investments in technologies and practices and ecosystem-based measures, that will make the agricultural sector more resilient to water-related risks such as droughts, flooding, salinisation and declining water quality, which are further compounded by climate change.

15. We will ensure that the initiatives and measures described in this declaration and action plan regarding water and agriculture will not impose unjustifiable barriers to trade and will respect our WTO commitments.

Information and communication technologies (ICT) in agriculture

16. We acknowledge the potential and increasing importance of ICT for improved food chain efficiency, productivity and sustainability of agriculture, improved animal husbandry practices and for adaptation and mitigation strategies in the context of climate change. We emphasise ICT's potential to enhance the quality of life and improve business opportunities in rural and remote areas. The discussion on ICT in agriculture initiated at the G20 Agriculture

Ministers' Meeting in Xi'an under the Chinese presidency in 2016 should also be continued in this regard.

17. We also recognise that ICT is key to and an important approach to innovation and sustainable agriculture, but it also harbours some challenges, most of which are not specific to agriculture, food and nutrition. We ask the ministers responsible for the digital economy to give due consideration to the needs of agriculture. We welcome the reports and the proposals of FAO and IFPRI on the mapping of existing initiatives in the area of ICT in agriculture and the current OECD activities to identify emerging policy issues and support for the establishment of an exchange mechanism on ICT applications in agriculture.

Research collaboration and knowledge-sharing

18. We invite the working group that is being established based on decisions taken by the Meeting of Chief Scientists (MACS) in Xi'an, China, in 2016, to develop a proposal on the guiding principles for the establishment of Global Research Collaboration Platforms (GRCPs). We also ask the working group on Agricultural Technology Sharing (ATS) to continue its work on the mapping and analysis of existing knowledge and information-sharing mechanisms. We expressly welcome these initiatives and suggest that the resulting findings and proposals be presented to the G20 Ministers in their next meeting.

Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS)

19. We acknowledge that AMIS, launched in 2011 by the G20 Agriculture Ministers, constitutes an important part of the international institutional food commodity information and analysis architecture. We welcome its contributions to improving transparency of international commodity markets and its role in assessing food price volatility. Successful collaboration with the Group on Earth Observations Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOGLAM) initiative, which joined AMIS in June 2016, contributes to these objectives. We underscore that reliable information on supply and utilisation balances concerning food commodities is very important for sound assessment of how well markets are supplied. We suggest sharing of best practices by the member countries. We encourage active participation in AMIS by all members of G20.

Combating Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

20. We acknowledge that emergence of AMR is an increasing threat to global health. Therefore agriculture must provide an important contribution to containing the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance in line with the 'one health' approach. We reiterate our support for the implementation of the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance published by the WHO in collaboration with OIE and FAO and encourage the relevant international bodies to take their work forward. We welcome the outcomes of the 2016 United Nations General Assembly High Level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance.

21. In order to globally strengthen the 'one health' approach in the G20 countries we propose regular engagement and exchange of views between relevant authorities from the fields of human health, animal health, agriculture and environment. This should be carried out as far as possible within existing fora and in coordination with the tripartite partnership of WHO, OIE and FAO. We recognise the need to strengthen analysis and sharing of international scientific evidence for the development, transmission and control of antimicrobial resistance in food, agriculture and the environment, including voluntary transfer of technology on mutually agreed terms in this area. We will strive to restrict the use of antibiotics[2] in veterinary medicine to therapeutic uses alone. Responsible and prudent use of antibiotics[2] Still subject to ratification in some countries.

in food-producing animals does not include the use for growth promotion in the absence of a risk analysis. We welcome the work to tackle AMR under the G20 health stream, developed with the support of the OECD, WHO, FAO, and OIE in response to the Leaders' call in Hangzhou. We look forward to the outcomes of the upcoming G20 Health Ministerial Meeting in this regard.

Agricultural trade and investment

22. We recognise that strengthening agricultural trade and promoting responsible agricultural investment are important for progress towards sustainable agricultural development, food security and nutrition and inclusive economic growth. We are ready to continue the active promotion of responsible agricultural investment, in line with the CFS-VGGT, the CFS-RAI and the OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains and the G20 Action Plan on Food Security and Sustainable Food Systems. We encourage consistent efforts by the private sector and other stakeholders to engage in dialogue and exchanges. We welcome the efforts and results made by the G20 Agricultural Entrepreneurs Forum in June 2016 and other innovative cooperation modalities to involve stakeholders in cooperation and promote investment facilities.

23. We underline that making markets function better can contribute to reducing food price volatility and enhance food security. We underscore that it is vital for farmers to be profitable and, along with consumers, have access to national, regional and international markets. The profitability of agricultural producers and processors is crucial for a successful agricultural sector and for continued investment in production systems.

24. Additionally, we support having an open, rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory and inclusive agricultural trading system. We commit to work constructively with all WTO Members with the objective of achieving progress in agricultural negotiations with a view to balanced outcomes at the next WTO Ministerial Conference hosted by Argentina in 2017 and beyond.

Conclusion

25. We reaffirm that we should have regular meetings of the G20 Agriculture Ministers. We commit to implement the enclosed G20 Agriculture Ministers' Action Plan 2017 entitled "Towards food and water security: Fostering sustainability, advancing innovation". Under the Argentinian Presidency we will conduct a stock-taking of actions launched by the G20 Agriculture Ministers since the G20 French Presidency. We task the G20 Agriculture Deputies to agree on terms of reference for this exercise under the German Presidency.

26. We reaffirm our commitment to the implementation of the G20 Action Plan on Food Price Volatility and Agriculture, the G20 Food Security and Nutrition Framework and the G20 Action Plan on Food Security and Sustainable Food Systems in close coordination with the Development Working Group.

27. We recognise that profitable and sustainable agricultural enterprises, at all scales, are best able to contribute to the outcomes we have committed to, and emphasise that sound agricultural policies and investments are critical to achieving sustainable agricultural development. We therefore reaffirm our support of the G20 Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, endorsed by the 2016 G20 Hangzhou Summit, and of the G20 Guiding Principles on Global Investment Policymaking.

28. We will continue to implement our past commitments made at the G20 Agriculture Ministers' Meetings and other relevant fora, especially regarding information and communication technologies (ICT), research and development, collaboration and voluntary knowledge transfer, the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS), food loss and waste (FLW), antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and agricultural trade and investment.

[1] Still subject to ratification in some countries.

[2] Noting differences in the G20 country definitions of the term "antibiotics" and referring here to those antibiotics with an impact on human health, including those antimicrobials that are critically important for human medicine as defined by the WHO.

Source: Germany's Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture


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