To convene and support multisector actors towards adoption, upscaling and mainstreaming of agroecology and agrobiodiversity in the agri-food system.
An agroecologically transformed agri-food system
The Intersectoral Forum on Agrobiodiversity and Agroecology (ISFAA) is a multistakeholder and multi-sectoral platform that brings together stakeholders ranging from government, farmer organizations, civil society organizations (CSOs), private sector, research and academia, and the donor community to dialogue on and find common sustainable solutions to the bottlenecks and challenges facing our food system. It focuses on the conservation of agrobiodiversity and adopts agroecology as a unifying concept to address the challenges of conventional agriculture and to transition our food systems in pursuit of sustainable food and nutrition security.
Achieving food and nutrition security in a sustainable manner requires different stakeholders and sectors to come together. Traditionally, food production is often the mandate of the agriculture ministry and farmers, biodiversity conservation is the mandate of the ministry of environment and environmentalists, while health and nutrition is left the health ministry, with little integration between them. This sectoral or ‘silo’ approach does not auger well for the achievement of sustainable food and nutrition security. ISFAA was established with a view to bridge this gap by creating a dialogue platform bringing together all the relevant stakeholders to strategically and harmoniously promote sustainable agricultural policies, research, and practices that simultaneously mainstream biodiversity and environmental conservation in agriculture and the food system.
With initial support from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) under the global project ‘Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Agrarian Landscapes’, ISFAA was officially launched in August 2020 amid the Covid pandemic.
The broad aim of the proposed inter-sectoral forum is to provide a platform through which stakeholders at the intersection of biodiversity conservation and agricultural production can interact and dialogue. The specific objectives are to
1. Link policymakers, researchers, practitioners, and end-users working in agrobiodiversity and agroecology
2. Create awareness on the importance of biodiversity to agricultural production and threats to biodiversity from agriculture and advocate for the mainstreaming of biodiversity and agroecology in agrarian policies and landscapes
3. Advice the national and county governments on developing and implementing appropriate policies, legislations, programmes, and projects
4. Ensure strategic, wide, and meaningful stakeholder and public participation in decision-making, including in relevant international processes and commitments
5. Promote production of relevant research by enhancing co-creation and co-production of knowledge between researchers and other stakeholders, including farmers
6. Document, share, and disseminate best practices, knowledge, information, and technologies (‘solutions’) on amongst stakeholders and the general public
7. Monitor and review progress towards implementation of key environmental, agricultural, health, and related national and global goals and targets
8. Maintain a record of relevant agrobiodiversity and agroecology projects at national and county levels, guide and harmonise their implementation in consultation with the relevant stakeholders
9. Fundraise and mobilize resources to undertake the above and any additional activities
10. Make policy recommendations on topical issues as necessary