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Sustainability call at agriculture forum

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner has called on Europe to lead by example on sustainable agriculture at the 9th Forum for the Future of Agriculture (FFA2016) held in Brussels.


By ensuring the EU Common Agricultural Policy is fully in line with the new global sustainability agenda, and through other initiatives and investments along the food supply chain, Europe can “pull its weight” towards sustainable farming, Mr Steiner told 1200 participants at the event.


Rapid action is needed if the world is not to lose the very foundation of our food-producing economy, stressed Mr Steiner, highlighting how topsoil equivalent to 40 times the weight of Mount Everest is washed away each year for example – while it can take hundreds of years to regenerate a single centimetre.


“The answer cannot just be ‘we need to produce more food’,” he concluded.


The UNEP Executive Director’s keynote address was delivered after an opening statement from Janez Potočnik, Chair of FFA 2016 and former European Commissioner for the Environment, and an introductory video message by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.


The forum took place on 22 March and brought together various high-level speakers from the world of politics, NGO’s, private sector and academia to discuss agricultural sustainability and its link to the environment.


Mr Steiner’s opening keynote address can be read in full here while his interview with FFA TV can be watched here.


You can also watch Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s introduction to FFA2016 here.


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