Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy. FAO is also a source of knowledge and information. We help developing countries and countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all. Since our founding in 1945, we have focused special attention on developing rural areas, home to 70 percent of the world's poor and hungry people.
The responsible management of natural resources is the key to attaining sustainable agricultural and rural development. FAO has long been at the forefront of promoting natural resources management and environmental protection in its work, but, as of 1 January 2007, this commitment has been strengthened by the creation of the new Natural Resources Management and Environment Department. The new Department replaces the former Sustainable Development Department, although its former work in the areas of gender, equity and rural employment will continue to be carried out by FAO’s Economic and Social Development Department. The new Natural Resources Management and Environment Department’s main functions are to support environmental services, to promote the sustainable management and use of land, water, and genetic resources, and to strengthen agricultural research and extension systems. The Department will take the lead in the areas of bioenergy, climate change issues, land and water management, land tenure issues, biodiversity for food and agriculture, and research and extension.