2012 APEC Ministerial Meeting on Food Security
1. We, the APEC Ministers responsible for food security, met in Kazan, the Russian Federation, from 30 to 31 May 2012 under the chairmanship of Mr. Nikolai Fedorov, Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation.
2. We welcomed the participation in the meeting of representatives from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the World Food Programme (WFP), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the World Bank (WB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC).
3. Since the First APEC Ministerial Meeting on Food Security in Niigata in 2010, the situation in the field of food security has remained an issue of high importance.
In 2011 the FAO Food Price Index averaged 228 points, which exceeds its maximum value during the food crisis of 2007-20081. According to OECD – FAO estimates, agricultural commodity prices will remain high and volatile until 20202, making it even more difficult to enhance food security.
The number of undernourished people in the world is still high – 925 million in 2010 in comparison with 780 million in the late 1990s3. According to recent UN estimates, the global population is estimated to reach 9.3 billion by 20504, requiring more efforts to raise global food production, and increase the efficiency of domestic and international markets. The situation of food insecurity in this region was further compounded by the increasing frequency of natural disasters often tied with global warming and extreme weather conditions.
4. We welcomed the Policy Partnership on Food Security (PPFS) established in 2011 to provide fuller integration of ABAC as well as relevant private sector and public sector stakeholders into APEC food security efforts in a more substantive manner; and we supported the long-term goal set by the PPFS to attain a food system structure by 2020 that would be sufficient to provide lasting food security to the economies of the region. We are pleased to note that Kazan hosted the first meeting of the Partnership and we expressed hope that this new entity will be the primary APEC consultative forum for consideration of food security policies.
5. We reaffirmed that APEC economies would collectively pursue the shared goals of (i) sustainable development of the agricultural sector, and (ii) facilitation of investment, trade and markets in the Niigata Declaration on Food Security. We further reiterated our support for the Rome Principles on Sustainable Global Food Security. In the follow-up of the Niigata Declaration, we agreed that to strengthen food security at the present stage, it is necessary, inter alia, to focus on the following issues:
increasing agricultural production and productivity;
facilitating trade and developing food markets;
enhancing food safety and quality;
improving access to food for socially vulnerable groups of population;
ensuring sustainable ecosystems based management and combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and associated trade.
Increasing agricultural production and productivity
6. Increasing agricultural production on a sustainable basis is an essential factor of lasting food security in the APEC region. To achieve sustainable agricultural growth, it is necessary to raise agricultural productivity and decrease post-harvest losses, primarily through boosting investment and actively adopting innovative technologies in agriculture. The economies need to respond appropriately to environmental risks such as climate change, to work collaboratively to prevent the global spread of animal and plant pests and diseases that impact production, to promote efficient utilization of agricultural inputs and natural resources in particular land, water and biodiversity, to engage farmers including women, and to strengthen natural disaster preparedness and resilience, in the most suitable manner to specific regions, considering the diversity of environmental conditions world-wide and positive externalities of agriculture. We appreciated the efforts made by APEC members through the work of Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group (ATCWG) and Industrial Science and Technology Working Group (ISTWG) in carrying out the Niigata Action Plan on Food Security to enhance agricultural productivity and resilience to climate change in the region. We welcomed the efforts of the G20 under the Mexican Presidency to tackle sustainable agricultural productivity growth and bridging the gap for smallholder farmers.
7. High food prices contribute to attracting investment in agriculture in the long run. We recognized the need to create an enabling environment to encourage increased public and private investment in agriculture, the key role of responsible private investments, taking note of the catalytic role of public investment that can create appropriate conditions for farmers and other investors. We also recognized an important role for public-private partnership in the field of investment and called on the PPFS to pay close attention to this issue. While most required infrastructure investment in developing economies derives from public budget and resources, we agreed to pursue more sustainable infrastructure investment for agriculture from public-private partnership initiatives. We believe it is necessary to elaborate recommendations in the framework of the Partnership on improving the business climate in APEC economies.
8. Taking note of the positive role of foreign direct investment on increasing agricultural production, productivity and job creation in recipient economies, we appreciated the Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investment (PRAI) elaborated by the World Bank, FAO, IFAD and UNCTAD, and we supported the ongoing extensive consultations on these principles launched within the framework of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). We welcomed the approval of the Voluntary Guidelines for the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests (VG) by the CFS. We also welcomed ongoing works of the international organizations to identify best practices of responsible agricultural investment, in particular pilot projects to field test and operationalize PRAI. We encouraged private investment be carried out in a responsible manner with VG and PRAI being taken into account.
9. Since land, water and other natural resources are limited, it is especially important to encourage the safe development and application of innovative agricultural technologies, including: new high yield varieties of cultivated plants resistant to pests, diseases and climate change; improving animal genetics; the development of biotechnologies; extension services; adaptation of effective pest and disease management measures; and use of resource saving technologies and equipment. This requires a significant increase of long-term investment into agricultural research and development.
According to estimates of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), such investment should be increased more than threefold by 2025. It also requires a commitment to facilitate appropriate access to genetic and genomic data, scholarly publications, and germplasm collections, and to support the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) for conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources. We encourage APEC economies to facilitate such access to the extent allowed by their laws and regulations. We welcomed the focus of G20 and FAO on the issue of agricultural research and innovations. In particular, we supported the efforts made by the Mexican Presidency of the G20 on giving the priority to strengthening R&D coordination and cooperation, encouraging collaborative agricultural research through the mechanism of public-private partnerships.
10. We agreed that it was necessary to increase support, including funding, for agricultural research and development of innovative technologies through domestic and multilateral agricultural research systems. To strengthen these systems, it is important to strengthen domestic research institutes and innovation centers in each member economy, to establish new centers if necessary, and to enhance capacity building activities for researchers in developing member economies. We also agreed that it was necessary to improve the agricultural research system by engaging all stakeholders including farmers. We noted the importance of disseminating and utilizing innovative technologies by farmers in an efficient, effective and market driven manner. We supported better coordination and interaction among domestic research institutes and innovation centers, in particular through the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR). We also noted the importance of interaction among research institutes and innovation centers of APEC economies through a regional network of such institutes and centers so that they could exchange information and research results, and, in cases of mutual interest, collectively develop and introduce innovative technologies. We supported discussions in relevant APEC fora of the measures aimed at providing farmers and local communities with knowledge and practical research outcomes related to innovative agricultural technologies which are consistent with Annex A of the Honolulu Declaration.
We also supported elaboration of measures on using innovative technologies to mitigate and adapt to the impact of climate change on agricultural development and quality of products. In this regard, we welcomed collaborative work of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA), and encouraged APEC economies to enhance their engagement with this initiative.
11. Recognizing that agricultural biotechnologies are useful for increasing agricultural production and productivity, we agreed to promote more intense development and capacity building in the area of agricultural biotechnologies, harmonization of regulations in the field of biotechnologies, science based risk assessment related to agricultural biotechnology, and to improve transparency in decision-making. We reaffirmed our commitment to support implementation of the Action Plan: Facilitating Trade in Products Derived from Innovative Agricultural Technologies in order to fulfill APEC Ministers’ commitment made at the APEC Ministerial Meeting (AMM) held on November 11, 2011. We instructed the High Level Policy Dialogue on Agricultural Biotechnology (HLPDAB) to participate directly in this work including on the low level presence of genetically modified crops. We also supported reviewing implementation of recommendations of the Innovative Agricultural Technology Forum (September 2011) and elaborating proposals for further actions in this field.
12. Taking into account the fact that our region is particularly prone to natural disasters, we underscored the importance of strengthening APEC’s agenda on disaster preparedness and for the recovery of agricultural production and the food supply chain.
Facilitating trade and developing food markets
13. A strategy of strengthening food security can only be effective if it is based on fair and market oriented trade. Therefore, we agreed that one of the key objectives in the food sector is combining efforts to search for efficient ways and tools needed for formation and development of food markets.
14. Agricultural trade plays a key role in achieving food security. To this end, we reconfirmed the value of an open and rules-based multilateral trading system under the framework of the WTO, which provides predictability and stability in agricultural trade. We agreed on the need to sustain the benefits of globalization and open markets, highlighting the crucial importance of encouraging science-based standards, rejecting protectionism and encouraging the development of regionally integrated markets.
We have to ensure the steady supply of food flow in the world market while working towards a longer term stabilization of food supply, thus enhancing productivity and ensuring regional food security. Recognizing that bans and other restrictions on the export of food may cause price volatility, especially for economies that rely on imports of staple products, we reconfirmed the commitments on protectionism made by APEC Leaders.
15. We noted that mitigating the impacts of excessive food price volatility can assist in strengthening global food security. Effective food market monitoring and the exchange of reliable and up-to-date data and information on production volumes, consumption, trade and food reserves will help enhance market transparency and predictability, and mitigate the volatility of food prices.
We appreciated the efforts of Japan on elaborating and launching the Asia-Pacific Food Security Information Platform (APIP) in March 2012. We also welcomed the Action Plan on Food Price Volatility and Agriculture adopted by the G20 Ministers of Agriculture in June 2011 in Paris and its measures, including the establishment of the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS). We agreed to consider opportunities for cooperation between AMIS and APIP, starting with: the establishment of links between the two systems; participation of APEC economies that are beyond G20 and AMIS in the two information systems; and opportunities for further development of a common information system in terms of better functionality, availability, and coverage of more various agricultural commodities markets. We highly appreciated the new initiatives of the ASEAN region to create a new pilot forum on food such as the ASEAN Rice Trade Forum.
16. We noted the importance of transparency and WTO-consistent market regulations as an essential mechanism to enhance agricultural trade and lower volatility risk. We suggested that the APEC Finance Ministers discuss transparency and WTO-consistent market regulations of agricultural financial markets with due account for the activities of G20 and the International Organization of Securities Commissions in this area.
17. Development of food markets infrastructure and their better logistical support are important for the general development and mutual integration of markets, and help cut losses along the whole food supply chain. We noted the importance of attracting targeted investment in the development of food market infrastructure and more advanced post-harvest management, elaborating approaches to improving the operation of food supply chains, including through the development of modern supply chains - the value chains. We confirmed the importance of APEC as a platform for technical cooperation and funding to economies in the field of food market infrastructure development, and post-harvest losses reduction along the whole food supply chain - from production to consumption.
Enhancing food safety and quality
18. We noted that APEC economies had made significant progress in adopting international standards on sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) measures as well as technical regulations on food safety and quality as developed by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). The achieved results strengthen food supply chains in the region and provide new opportunities for developing trade in safe and quality food. We emphasized the importance of encouraging the further development of mutual understanding and recognition among economies regarding the benefits of harmonizing domestic regulations with international standards.
19. We appreciated the effective and multi-faceted work of the Food Safety Cooperation Forum (FSCF) and its Partnership Training Institute Network (PTIN). To improve domestic systems of food safety regulation, it is necessary to better align domestic regulations to international standards, strive to minimize food safety incidents, implement preventive control measures, and build laboratory capacity. We acknowledged the establishment of PTIN training modules on supply chain and good manufacturing practices, more active interaction within the International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN), and increased dialogue and capacity building initiatives in regard to laboratory proficiency. We supported the creation of the World Bank Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP) and encouraged APEC economies to support the GFSP and its multi-donor trust fund, which will be housed at the World Bank and will harness contributions from both the public and private sector to fund GFSP activities.
Improving access to food for socially vulnerable groups of population
20. The objective of food security is not only to facilitate the accessibility of nutritious and sufficient food for people, but also to provide economic and physical access to food for socially vulnerable groups, including those facing emergency food needs due to natural disasters. We urged the economies to intensify dialogue and cooperation on this issue, to strengthen sustainable social protection and social safety nets, to continue searching for new sets of tools to improve them within domestic strategies, to actively engage the collaborative research potential, technical support and aid from the FAO, World Bank and World Food Programme (WFP), and other appropriate international and regional specialized governmental and non-governmental organizations to achieve this goal.
21. In this regard, we encouraged the exchange of best practices on the provision of food for vulnerable populations, including through social and school feeding, the development of local agricultural production in areas of comparative advantage, procurement systems, and the processing industry. We recommended that this topic should be included in the agenda of the ATCWG, PPFS and other relevant APEC bodies.
We agreed to work together and tasked ATCWG, Emergency Preparedness Working Group (EPWG) and ISTWG to enhance the regional capacity to mitigate, prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters. We appreciate the feasibility study on establishing the APEC Food Emergency Response Mechanism (AFERM) and anticipate a follow-up proposal to explore feasible approaches that would complement existing mechanisms.
Ensuring sustainable ecosystems based management and combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and associated trade
22. In the follow-up of the main provisions of the Seoul Oceans Declaration (2002), the Bali Plan of Action (2005) and the Paracas Declaration (2010), we noted the extreme importance of the sustainable management of marine ecosystems, fisheries and aquaculture, and combating IUU fishing and associated trade. For many economies of the APEC region, fisheries and aquaculture are significant components of social and economic wellbeing and contribute significantly to food security. In recent decades, global fishing has faced serious problems – degradation of the marine environment, overexploitation, and IUU fishing have damaged marine ecosystems and depleted fisheries resources.
23. We recognized the importance of strengthening partnerships on a bilateral and multilateral basis on: combating IUU fishing and associated trade as well as destructive fishing practices; improving capture fisheries management and sustainable aquaculture practices; implementing ecosystems based management approaches; reducing excess fishing capacity; enhancement of transparency in fishing regulations; and promoting contributions of small scale fisheries and aquaculture to food security. In this context, we requested Senior Officials and the Ocean and Fisheries Working Group (OFWG) to promote cooperation and exchange information concerning IUU fishing and management measures applied by the Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) and other relevant organizations.
24. We stressed the importance of facilitating sustainable, open and fair trade in products of fisheries and aquaculture. We also emphasized the need to enhance cooperation to combat IUU fishing, to effectively manage marine fisheries and sustainably develop aquaculture production, to promote strengthening of food security and to develop interactions with international organizations, financial institutions and private sector.
25. We noted the progress in carrying out the Niigata Declaration on APEC Food Security and supported the importance of continuing to conduct reviews of the implementation of the Niigata Action Plan. We requested that the APEC Secretariat take stock of the Action Plan implementation. The analysis of the results should take into account both achievements and concerns, and be transmitted to APEC economies, including through APIP.
26. We welcomed the success of the Second APEC Ministerial Meeting on Food Security and expressed our sincere gratitude to the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan for the warm welcome and excellent organization of the Ministerial Meeting.