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Climate, Biodiversity, Land and Water Department

The mission of the CB department is to support countries to achieve sustainable food and agriculture and resilience of rural livelihoods. FAO foresees a world in which food and agricultural systems are resilient to the impacts of climate change through adaptation measures and mitigation options. It advocates for large-scale climate finance to back relevant transformations in agricultural sectors and food chains as a key route to a more-sustainable future.

The CB Department acts as the focal unit in FAO for addressing natural resources issues related to agriculture, crops, livestock, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture, under a cross-sectoral approach. It also provides the necessary technical support to operational field activities.

Areas of work


Climate and Environment (CBC)

The Climate and Environment Division (CBC) assists member countries in policy development, planning and response towards the challenges of climate change. This includes the promotion of adaptive capacities and climate resilience, as well as the mitigation of climate change within agricultural sectors, and support to Disaster Risk Reduction in the context of extreme climate risks and extreme events. It guarantees FAO internal coordination and quality enhancement of climate change work across the organization and its Strategic Programmes. The Division also serves as the focal point for the management of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and Global Environment Facility (GEF) portfolios at FAO, as well as a multidisciplinary and global approach to bioenergy.

Contact: Alexander Jones
Thematic Website

Land and Water (CBL)

The Land and Water Division aims to enhance the agricultural productivity and advance the sustainable use of land and water systems, and promote equitable access to these natural resources in a context of complex agricultural transitions. It relies on a strong heritage and expertise in the fields of land and water development and management, accumulated since FAO’s inception in 1945.

FAO's work in land and water is relevant to several dimensions of sustainable development, such as the governance and management of food production systems; the provision of essential ecosystem services; food security; human health; biodiversity conservation; and the mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change.

Contact: Eduardo Mansur
Thematic Website

Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

Hosted in FAO, the Commission provides the only permanent forum for governments to discuss and negotiate matters specifically relevant to biological diversity for food and agriculture. The Commission aims to reach international consensus on policies for the sustainable use and conservation of genetic resources for food and agriculture and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from their use. Since its establishment, the Commission has overseen global assessments of the state of the world’s forest, plant and animal genetic resources for food and agriculture and negotiated major international instruments, including the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

Contact: Irene Hoffman
Thematic Website

Geospatial Unit

Geospatial technology has a fundamental supporting role for the achievement of food security. By the use of remote sensing (photos and data produced from aerial and satellite observations of the Earth) FAO supports countries in creating interactive maps, GIS datasets and provides standards and indicators for regular monitoring of natural resources; methodologies and tools for efficient management, safeguard and resilience of natural resources. Our work supports development plans, growth strategies and decision-making processes in many countries, on issues such as, agriculture production, water governance, forest management, climate change monitoring, ecosystem and biodiversity protection, management of emergencies and disasters.

Contact: Douglas Muchoney
Thematic Website

Globally Important Agriculture Heritage Systems (GIAHS)

The overall goal of the GIAHS Programme is to identify and safeguard Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems and their associated landscapes, agricultural biodiversity and knowledge systems through catalyzing and establishing a long-term programme to support such systems and enhance global, national and local benefits derived through their dynamic conservation, sustainable management and enhanced viability.

Contact: Yoshihide Endo 
Thematic Website

International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources

The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture is an FAO international instrument that promotes the conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biological diversity. Through this legally binding treaty, Member Countries can easily exchange genetic material through facilitated access to the largest global pool of genetic diversity for food security, sustainable agriculture and climate change adaptation. The Treaty ensures that farmers, plant breeders and scientists have access to plant genetic resources and share the benefits, including financial resources, derived from conservation, research and breeding of those materials.

Contact: Kent Nnadozie
Thematic Website