The latest Policy Partnership on Food Security (PPFS) Meeting was held on 25–27 February 2017 in Nha Trang, Viet Nam. At the meeting, PPFS members updated each other on their domestic policies to achieve food security and their initiatives involving private sector participation relative to the “Enhancing Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture in response to Climate Change”
priority, which is one of the thematic priorities of Viet Nam’s host year that links directly with the work of APEC economies for implementing the APEC Food Security Roadmap towards 2020. In this context, the thematic clusters of PPFS’s work for 2017 will focus on the following areas:
- Addressing the relationship between food security and climate change;
- Sustainable natural resources management,
- Sustainable rural–urban development,
- Facilitation of investment in agriculture and regional food market, and
- Harmonization of food safety standards and food-loss control.
Among the notable outcomes of the meeting was an endorsement of the PPFS 2017 Work Plan to conduct projects and activities for food security. It was also decided that a High Level Policy Dialogue on Enhancing Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture in response to Climate Change (HLPD-FSSACC) will be held on APEC Food Security Week in the city of Can Tho in August 2017. There were also deliberations on how to move forward with the drafting of the Action Plan to implement the two important initiatives from PPFS 2016, namely the “APEC Framework for Multi-year Program on Food Security1 and Climate Change” and “APEC Strategic framework on Rural-Urban Development to Strengthen Food Security and Quality Growth.”
The Second joint PPFS-OFWG meeting was conducted on 27 February 2017, at the margins of the PPFS meeting, to exchange policies and strategies oriented to strengthen the agricultural, aquaculture and fisheries sectors to attain food security. The meeting identified aquaculture, water resources management, development of coastal communities and MSMEs, fisheries food loss and waste, and fish feed as some of the potential areas for cross-fora collaboration.
The next PPFS meeting will take place in the city of Can Tho, Viet Nam, during the APEC Food Security Week in August 2017.
Action Plan to implement APEC Framework for Multi-Year APEC Program on Food Security and Climate Change
The PPFS is developing the Action Plan to implement the APEC Framework for a Multi-Year APEC Program on Food Security and Climate Change. The multi-year program seeks to promote a coordinated regional effort at addressing the closely linked challenges of food security, development, and climate change adaptation and mitigation. Utilizing APEC’s existing infrastructure, the program is expected to be a joint effort of multiple APEC working groups, including the Policy Partnership on Food Security (PPFS), the Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group (ATCWG), and the Oceans and Fisheries Working Group (OFWG) to foster cooperation among policy and technical-level experts on the food security – climate change relationship. APEC food security groups also have the opportunity to partner with and utilize related expertise of the Policy Partnership on Science, Technology, and Innovation (PPSTI) and the APEC Climate Center. The program also intends to engage and draw upon expertise from the private sector, academia, and other regional and global multilateral organizations.
The objectives of the program are to:
- Enhance the capacities of APEC economies in developing and disseminating approaches to addressing the food security – climate change relationship
- Increase knowledge of adaptation, mitigation, and sustainably increasing productivity and incomes through targeted capacity building activities
- Utilize the current APEC structure to provide means for APEC economies to better share experiences and promotes cooperation in the development of approaches to addressing the food security – climate change relationship, based on identified capacity gaps
Action Plan to implement APEC Strategic Framework for Rural-Urban Development to Strengthen Food Security and Quality Growth
The PPFS is developing the Action Plan to implement APEC Strategic Framework for Rural-Urban Development to Strengthen Food Security and Quality Growth. The Framework aims to enhance rural–urban development linkages to advance food security and inclusive growth that benefits both rural and urban areas. Developing such linkages will require a comprehensive approach while taking into consideration of a variety of factors including farming typology, sustainable development, place-based approach, inclusive value chains, and gender and social inclusion.
The objectives of the Framework are to:
- Improve farm and off-farm income by strengthening farmers’ and fishers’ capacity building, diversifying crops and improving infrastructure, trade facilitation, financing and better connectivity
- Conserve and enhance natural resources and promote their sustainable use by applying policies for the integrated management of resources, such as soil, biodiversity, forestry, marine, aquatic resources and landscapes, particularly in response to climate change and natural disasters
- Close gaps in access to services between rural and urban areas by improving the quality of social infrastructure, rural-social capital and fostering the welfare of vulnerable populations, including the poor, the ageing, women, and the youth
- Promote urban – rural administrative efficiency through approaches that emphasize inter-institutional management, multisector and multi-level coordination and cross-cutting development policies
Projects for 2017: The PPFS aims to conducts activities and projects to meet the objectives of the 2017 Work Plan. The PPFS will conduct the following APEC and self-funded projects:
1. Workshop on Strengthening APEC Cooperation on Food Security and Climate Change (April and June)
2. Workshop on Challenges for Water and Food Security in a Context of Climate Change in the APEC Region (August)
3. Seminar on Food Value Chains to foster the rural-urban development in APEC region (August);
4. Workshop on Sharing Rural Development Experiences for Food Security and Quality Growth (August)
5. Workshop on sharing smart agriculture practices utilizing ICT under the Smart Agriculture Initiative for Sustainable Growth (August)
6. Workshop on Smallholders and SMEs' response to new climate scenarios regarding sustainable water use as a contribution to Food Security (November)
APEC Food Security Road Map towards 2020
The long-term goal is the attainment of a regional food system structure by 2020 which will provide APEC member economies with lasting food security, as well as enhance their food supply efficiency and provide more affordable food for lower income consumers. APEC economies will strive to reduce food loss and waste by 10 per cent compared with the 2011-2012 levels in the Asia-Pacific economies and aim to advance beyond the Millennium Development Goal for 2015 to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
Closely linked with other APEC working groups and committees, the PPFS is implementing the following strategies to achieve these goals:
- Sustainable Development of the Agricultural and Fishery Sectors
- Facilitation of Investment and Infrastructure Development
- Enhancing Trade and Markets
- Reducing food loss and waste
- Improving food safety and nutrition.
Several APEC committees and working groups work on topics relating to food security, including the Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) and its subgroup the Food Safety Cooperation Forum (FSCF), the Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group (ATCWG), the Ocean and Fisheries Working Group (OFWG), and the High Level Policy Dialogue on Agricultural Biotechnology (HPLDAB).
With most APEC economies dominated by small scale farmers and small-scale fisheries, PPFS is also focusing on improving farm efficiency for all farmers, including small holders.
Improving Food Safety
Through the APEC Food Safety Cooperation Forum and together with the APEC Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance, APEC is working to enhance food safety standards and food testing capacities in the region through laboratory training. For example, in a recent APEC project, scientists in Chile and China received in-laboratory training on innovative rapid detection methods for salmonella and e-coli bacteria. For more information, see the recent APEC Bulletin article on improving food safety.
Reducing Food Loss and Waste
Together with the APEC Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group, APEC is strengthening public-private partnerships to reduce food losses in the supply chain (an initiative led by Chinese Taipei). According to the United Nations, roughly one-third of the edible parts of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, which is about 1.3 billion tons per year.
Over a five year period, this project aims to address post-harvest losses at all stages of the entire food supply chain in the APEC region by strengthening public-private partnerships. As part of the first phase of the project, a workshop was held in 2013 in Chinese Taipei that identified key issues and challenges in post-harvest food losses, formulated a preliminary methodology on food crops, and deliberated on strategies and action plans for APEC economies. Building on these outcomes, expert consultations and seminars to strengthen PPP to reduce food losses in the supply chain were held to tackle various topics—examples of these seminars are Fruit and Vegetable in 2014, Fishery and Livestock in 2015, and Food Loss and Waste at consumer level in 2016.
Based on outcomes from these workshops, the project will continue to revise the drafted methodology of the APEC food losses assessment. The final phase of the project in 2017 will generate policy recommendations, action plans, a toolkit and dataset, and a consolidated methodology of APEC’s food losses assessment—culminating in a high-level policy dialogue meeting in order to achieve APEC food security goals. See news release for more information.