By Livia Pontes, Communications Consultant, FAO-Washington, DC
Last week, delegates from around the world gathered in Washington, DC to attend the annual Global South-South Development Expo (GSSD) and share experiences on “Scaling up South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Sustainable Development.” The GSSD Expo was hosted by the Organization of American States (OAS), and was co-organized by the UN Office for South-South Cooperation.
What is South-South Cooperation? In the past 30 years, countries’ approach to development has changed significantly. Major UN agencies often in charge of coordinating projects around the world have adapted and changed the way they work, focusing on the most effective and sustainable ways to improve livelihoods.
South-South Cooperation (SSC) is part of this new approach: it fosters collaboration among countries in similar development stages facing similar challenges in areas ranging from nutrition to infrastructure. It is about sharing and exchanging development solutions – knowledge, experiences and good practices, policies, technology, and resources – between and among countries in the global South.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) brought together 11 panellists at a special session on “Accelerating the Impact of South-South and Triangular Cooperation on Food Security Post-2015.” FAO staff from Brazil, Rome, China and representatives from governments and NGOs in Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, and Uganda, among others, presented food security and nutrition programs based on the South-South approach.
- Scaling-up conservation agriculture (CA) in Southern Africa, where information tours promoted awareness and best practices for CA among farmers and policy makers;
- The Purchase from Africans for Africa program where family farmers are able to supply nutritious meals for school children, while at the same time promoting local agricultural production and development, based on the Brazilian experiment;
- The promotion of rice-fish systems, tapping ancient Chinese know-how to address production gap and enhance adaptability of Africa’s agricultural landscapes;
- And a school feeding program inspired by Brazil’s successful experiment, which is currently being implemented throughout a dozen countries in Latin America.
SSC enables developing countries to jump-start and benefit from innovations, lessons and good practices, tried and tested elsewhere in the South without having to re-invent the wheel. This development approach has never been more in demand, and major donors such as Brazil, China and Mexico are supporting FAO’s efforts to increase it and foster collaboration among developing countries. Each year, GSSD is hosted in a different country. To learn more about this year’s event and follow-up on progress, visit: http://www.southsouthexpo.org/.
To learn more about FAO’s work in the area of South-South cooperation and the above projects, visit: http://www.fao.org/partnerships/south-south-cooperation/en/
Click here to hear Festus Akinnifesi, Chief of South-South Cooperation talk about South-South Cooperation on CCTV America.