Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Conference: 68 ministers adopt final communiqué
The 14th Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Conference at the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) saw 68 agriculture ministers adopt an ambitious final communiqué. The topic is: “Sustainable Land Use: Food Security Starts with the Soil”.
More than 90 percent of global food production depends on soil. Soil provides habitats for soil organisms and is one of the earth’s most important carbon sinks. However, soil quality is increasingly deteriorating and fertile land is becoming more scarce. The challenge is to stop this trend. Cem Özdemir, Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, said: “Healthy soils are our allies in combating global hunger, the climate crisis and the extinction of species. However, they are under pressure: they are severely affected by land sealing and soil degradation. It is, moreover, essential that farmers worldwide have access to land and are able to manage soils over the long term. We need to act now – and we need to act in global solidarity. We have agreed on an ambitious final communiqué. I am pleased that the world speaks with one voice today.”
On 28 January 2022, Federal Minister Özdemir welcomed 67 fellow agriculture ministers from across the globe to the Agriculture Ministers’ Conference, which is hosted by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) during the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture.
A joint communiqué was adopted and presented to:
- Dr. Qu Dongyu, Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
- Ibrahim Thiaw, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
- Gabriel Ferrero de Loma-Osorio, Chair of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS)
- Dr. Luca Montanarella, Chair of the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) Plenary Assembly
The final communiqué sets ambitious goals. The agriculture ministers agree that
- our soils must be protected.
- Progress must be made with climate change mitigation and climate adaptation.
- Soil biodiversity is vital for healthy soils.
- As global land resources are limited, they need to be managed sustainably.
- Fair (rights-based) access to agricultural land should be guaranteed.
- Investment, breeding, research, innovation and digitalisation can play a significant role in making the use of soils more sustainable.
- Resilient and sustainable food systems must be supported.
Ms. Zimmermann from Brazil and Mr. Mununga from Zimbabwe presented the Young Farmers’ Forum statement to the ministers.