New Zealand leads new global sustainable agriculture declaration

New Zealand has agreed a declaration along with other members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that commits members to working together to boost sustainable agriculture and food systems, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said today in Paris.

The ‘Declaration on transformative solutions for sustainable agriculture and food systems’ was adopted at the OECD Committee for Agriculture on 4 November. The meeting was co-chaired by Damien O’Connor and Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau.

“The OECD Committee for Agriculture is an important forum where New Zealand is helping lead a vital transition to sustainable agriculture,” Damien O’Connor said. 

“The Declaration will see OECD countries identify opportunities and challenges facing food production and share ways to tackle them. 

“It includes ensuring food security and nutrition for a growing global population, along with addressing environmental challenges in an inclusive manner.

“With adverse events becoming more frequent, unpredictable and severe, we know as a group that to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss, farmers and growers need to be supported to boost their resilience.

“Importantly, the declaration contains a strong endorsement of the rules-based multilateral trading system, which is critical for New Zealand’s economic success.

“Our exports benefit from us being regarded as one of the most efficient food producers. The steps we’re taking to reduce climate impacts from production are world-leading and will also deepen our credentials with high-value consumers.

“That effort includes introducing a system to incentivise reductions of methane and nitrous oxide at the farm-level.”

Damien O’Connor said the Declaration also commits to addressing several priority areas to achieve the economy-wide goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. These include reducing agricultural emissions, increasing carbon sequestration, and reducing food loss and waste.

“Adopting the Declaration is an important demonstration of solidarity in the lead up to the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP27) in Egypt,” Damien O’Connor said.

Ministers also condemned Russia’s unjustifiable, unprovoked and illegal war of aggression against Ukraine, and discussed its impact on global food security and the right to adequate food.

The ‘Declaration on transformative solutions for sustainable agriculture and food systems’ can be read here.