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FAO and Université Laval announce new partnership - Joint Efforts to Ensure Food Security and Nutrition in the Age of Climate Change

25 September 2017, Quebec  – On the occasion of the International Symposium on Food Security and Nutrition in the Age of Climate Change, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Université Laval (UL) have agreed to strengthen collaboration and synergies, and enter into partnership for a period of three years renewable. A Memorandum of Understanding and a three-year work program are providing a framework for cooperation with the overall goal of enhancing institutional knowledge exchanges to strengthen capacities for improving food security and nutrition through mitigation and adaptation to changing climatic conditions. 

The signing event of the Memorandum of Understanding was held in Quebec (Canada) on 24 September 2017 in presence of Ms. Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director-General Climate and Natural Resources, FAO, and Ms. Sophie D'Amours, Rector, UL.

Concretely, FAO and UL have jointly identified areas of collaborative activities and actions that are of mutual interest and that capitalize on their respective comparative advantages, amongst others to develop and provide technical guidance, data and tools to support FAO Member States' implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions to mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts; strengthen stakeholder capacities to combat desertification through joint development and dissemination of knowledge products and projects on agroforestry and forest tenure; develop technical tools and guidance on food safety and controls, including risk analysis on food laboratories, food sampling and inspection, food safety/quality management, traceability, specific quality schemes and consumer awareness and education; and undertake joint advocacy and build institutional capacities on FAO key themes linked to food security, climate change, and in support of the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

«Global food security and nutrition faces many challenges today – especially from impacts of climate change. This partnership will boost access to innovative knowledge that can help support solutions and build needed capacities in addressing these impacts», states FAO Deputy Director-General, Maria Helena Semedo.

«Through this partnership, Université Laval confirms its support and engagement towards reaching food security for everyone, and maintains the local efforts in reducing climate change impacts and helping the world adapts against them, all essential prerequisite to eradicate hunger on the planet», says Rector Sophie D'Amours.

Actions by all stakeholders are required to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This partnership, with its contribution to SDG 2 to achieve food security and improved nutrition, SDG 13 on action to combat climate change and SGD 15 on sustainably managing forests, is an example of how the SDGs can and will be achieved by working together.

About the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 
Headquartered in Rome, Italy, FAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations system with Strategic Objectives to eliminate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition; make agriculture, forestry and fisheries more productive and sustainable; reduce rural poverty, enable inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems; and increase resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises. Within a framework of five Strategic Programmes, FAO works closely with member nations and a range of partners to achieve these goals.

About Université Laval
Université Laval, located in the world heritage city of Québec, is the oldest French-language university in North America. One of Canada's top research universities, it is ranked 7th among the country's institutions of higher learning, with a research budget of over$332 million last year. Université Laval boasts 3,685 professors, lecturers, and teaching staff who share their knowledge with some 42 500 students, including 25% at the graduate level.

Andrée-Anne Stewart
Media Relations
Communications Department
Université Laval
Cell: 418-254-3141