Strengthening FAO-CIHEAM cooperation in the Mediterranean
FAO Headquarters, Rome, Italy
October 19, 2023
It is on the occasion of the FAO Science and Innovation Forum 2023 that the signing ceremony of the new memorandum of understanding between CIHEAM and FAO took place. The objective of this Agreement is to provide a framework for collaboration between the Parties to advance their common goals and objectives in the effective transition to more sustainable Mediterranean food systems in the region.
The Secretary General of CIHEAM, Mr. Teodoro Miano, expressed his thanks to the Director General of FAO, Mr. Qu Dongyu, as well as Mrs Ismahane Elouafi, first Chief Scientist of the FAO and Mrs Marcela Villarreal, Director of FAO’s Partnerships and UN Collaboration Division for their constant support to CIHEAM and for the significant efforts made in drafting the protocol. As he recalled, there is more than 45 years of history of collaboration between the two organizations serving the Mediterranean populations.
A critical period in the Mediterranean
The strengthening of their partnership, as provided for by the protocol, comes at a critical time in the Mediterranean region and calls for converging efforts to respond to emerging food challenges. Indeed, in addition to historic droughts and severe heat waves, several countries in the region have been hit by large-scale natural disasters while populations have to face high inflation in food prices.
“The Mediterranean region is the scene of multiple climatic, socio-economic and political crises which will worsen if agricultural cooperation and sustainable food security do not become a regional priority. Today FAO and CIHEAM are joining forces and banking on their complementarities to support countries to accelerate the urgent necessary transitions” indicated Mr. Teodoro Miano.
The scope of this new memorandum of understanding makes it possible to carry out actions in several related areas such as food security, trade, distress migration prevention, training and empowerment of women and young people, sharing of expertise and knowledge for the establishment of greener, resilient and sustainable food systems, sustainable production and consumption or even for the responsible management of coastal zones and the promotion of small-scale fishing.
Driven by common objectives and strong in the multi-actor approach that they defend, FAO and CIHEAM contribute to making their complementarities an effective lever for raising awareness and mobilizing Mediterranean stakeholders, political dialogue and implementation of projects anchored in the territories.
One of the results of this long-term collaboration is the establishment in 2021 of a tripartite agreement, involving CIHEAM, FAO and UfM, successively extended to the PRIMA Foundation, leading to the promotion of an initiative Multi-Stakeholder for Sustainable Food Systems in the Mediterranean (SFS-MED platform), a project affiliated with the Sustainable Food Systems program of the UN One Planet network, within the One Health framework.
CIHEAM organized with FAO several independent SFS-MED dialogues in preparation for the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UN-FSS). Together, they co-published in 2021 the report entitled “Food systems transformation : Processes and pathways in the Mediterranean. A stocktaking exercise”, co-developed training activities for staff and institutional figures, and co-organized international conferences on different topics important to the Mediterranean region: empowerment capacities of rural women; cooperatives and producer organizations strengthening; modes of Mediterranean food consumption and the Mediterranean diet; emerging threats to plant health (Xylella Fastidiosa and red palm weevil) or even sustainable management of natural resources, land, soil and water.
Find out more about the inter institutional collaboration between FAO and CIHEAM