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Sustainable agriculture & rural development

Sustainable agriculture & rural development

6th highest number of certified organic farmers - Tanzania’s organically grown success

Globally, the agriculture sector contributes roughly 24% of annual emissions of greenhouse gases*. However, by reducing demand for agrochemicals (the production of which requires high quantities of fossil fuels) organic agriculture takes less of a toll on the environment. The FAO lists this among seven environmental benefits of organic farming, which also include providing sustainability over time (to soil fertility and ecology), complementing the structure and composition of soils, not polluting groundwater sources, and promoting ecological services.

Seychelles: beaches under threat

Lionel Waye-Hive gazes out across the clear blue sea just a few metres from his beachfront home on the island of La Digue, one of the many which make up the Seychelles archipelago. It’s a tourist paradise - golden sand, sparkling water and palm trees. But Lionel is a troubled man.

"Towards a pollution-free planet"

As highlighted in the article on pollution and health, pollution has hit the attention of the public opinion and now governments are asked to proactively address this threat. But this is a global issue, which requires a global common response involving everyone, including the public and, very importantly, the private sector, as well as citizens.

5th African Union-European Union Summit

Every three years, Heads of States and Governments from Africa and the EU meet to take stock of progress made in the implementation of commitments and to provide political guidance for future work. In 2017, the theme of the summit will be ‘investing in youth’.

Fifth Green Growth Knowledge Platform Annual Conference

The Fifth Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP) Annual Conference will be hosted by the World Bank on the topic of sustainable infrastructure. Infrastructure includes water supply and sanitation, flood protection, roads and transport, and energy and telecommunications. Infrastructure has major implications at the household level (health, education and social mobility), the business level (productivity, industrial development), and the global level (climate change, energy, forests, biodiversity and pollution). Ensuring affordable and reliable access to infrastructure remains a major challenge in developing countries, but one that is further complicated by both a changing climate and changing climate policies.

Land degradation tops agenda at major UN conference, China

The European Union and its Member States attended the 13th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Ordos, China (UNCCD CoP13), 6-16 September. The COP adopted a strategic framework for 2018-2030 to guide global efforts to achieve a Land Degradation Neutral world and committed parties to address the role of land degradation as a cause of migration. Moreover, Parties agreed to advance gender equality and women's empowerment in action to promote sustainable land management.


The DEVCO Environment Week took place from 6-10 February 2017. Two back-to-back seminars were organised: from 6-8 February, ‘DEVCO Thematic Seminar on Environment - Implementing the Environmental Dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’; and from 9-10 February, ‘Conservation, development and security’ (co-organised with DG ENV and EEAS).