In September 2015, the UN Assembly adopted the 2030 Development Agenda that outlines the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a comprehensive framework designed to guide development efforts over the following 15 years. In contrast to the former Millennium Development Goals, these goals apply for the first time to industrialised as well as developing and emerging countries. The Agenda 2030 also aims to fight root causes rather than just symptoms. It is an agenda that forces us to break out of our silo mentality.

Agriculture, with its multiple connections to key aspects, such as food security, livelihoods – especially for the rural poor –, ecosystems, climate change and health, is a crucial sector for the achievement of these goals. However, it has been highlighted that a transformation towards sustainable agriculture is necessary to improve the achievement of the SDGs (FAO 2018b, Caron et al 2018).

Biovision was involved in all the relevant pre-negotiations of the Agenda 2030, such as the Rio+20 conference, Addis Ababa Action Agenda, as well as the climate change negotiations in Paris. Biovision was similarly present at the negotiations for Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, where it campaigned, in particular, for SDG 2 “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture”.

Biovision has used strategic alliances and platforms such as the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in Rome and the 10YFP, the UN Programme for Sustainable Food Systems, to strengthen its role as a “pioneer of change” with the aim to contribute to the implementation of the Agenda 2030.

Policy planning and assessment of policy impact is very challenging in the context of the SDGs due to the multi-disciplinary, interconnected and complex nature of the Agenda 2030. The fact that policies in one sector can have an effect on several other sectors and other goals and targets, but not necessarily in a linear way, highlights the need for integrated planning across sectors to develop coherent policies (O’Connor et al. 2016).

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals

Caron, P., Ferrero y de Loma-Osorio, G., Nabarro, D. et al. (2018): “Food systems for sustainable development: proposals for a profound four-part transformation”. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 38(41).

FAO (2018): “Transforming food and agriculture to achieve the SDGs – 20 interconnected actions to guide decision-makers”. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Rome, FAO.

O’Connor, D., J. Mackie, D. Van Esveld, K. Hoseok, I. Scholz, N. Weitz (2016): “Universality and Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development: Early SDG Implementation in Selected OECD Countries”, WRI Working Paper, World Resources Institute, Washington D.C..