Igor Shcherbak, FAO: “We need to shift the economic paradigm.”

6 July, Moscow, Russian Federation – The “Russian Village-2016” Forum underway in Moscow this week featured a seminar on ““Greening” the economy in Russian villages to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030”, co-hosted by FAO and UNEP.

Officials, scientists, businesspeople, and specialists in agriculture were among the guests at the event, which was organized by the State Duma with support from the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation and the Moscow City Government. 

Photo: Tamara Krasnyuk/FAO

Ms Eugenia Serova and Mr Igor Shcherbak represented the FAO Liaison Office with the Russian Federation at the event.

The head of the UNEP Moscow Office, Mr Vladimir Moshkalo, opened the seminar with a presentation on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) adopted by 193 nations in 2015.

“The agricultural sector plays an important role in the achievement of almost all SDGs, and it is crucial for the achievement ofGoal 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture, Goal 12 (Responsible production and consumption) and Goal 15 (Life on land)”, said Vladimir Moshkalo.

In his presentation on “Green Economy and Agriculture” FAO Senior Consultant Igor Shcherbak highlighted FAO’s leading role in promoting the green economy. He provided an overview of several FAO initiatives in this context, including:

-          Inclusion of food security among the priority areas at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in 2012
-          “Greening the Economy with Agriculture (GEA)” Initiative
-          Analysis on the interactions between the green economy and the food and agriculture sector carried out by FAO
-          Regional (Europe and Central Asia) Initiative on Agri-Food Trade and Regional Integration
-          Initiative on food loss and waste (FLW).

The term green economy stirred an intense debate at the seminar. Seminar participants expressed differing views on the issue.  “Though the UN does not offer a fixed definition of green economy, UN member states agree that it is a mechanism for ensuring sustainable development and a pre-condition for addressing environmental issues. We need to shift the economic paradigm,” stressed Shcherbak.

In Eugenia Serova’s opinion, the idea of green economy is not well understood and accepted in Russia, and FAO’s task, in that regard, is to attract public attention to this issue.

A green economy is not the same as organic farming, or organic food production, which, incidentally, in many cases, requires even bigger investments of resources. A green economy is, first of all, balanced farming with an emphasis on resource saving technologies. To feed the growing world population, estimated to reach 9 billion by 2050, the world will need to boost its food production by 60 percent. We must think of future generations and start saving resources now. The very concept of global development needs to be rethought”, continued Serova.

At the conclusion of the event, the participants agreed that there is no common definition of green economy. They pointed out that Russia has both traditions, and modern approaches and new technologies related to the green economy, but the society at large still needs to be educated about the concept, with the idea of the green economy being promoted on both the national and local levels.

UNEP and FAO agreed to plan and organize other joint events on green economy.

6 July 2016 Moscow, Russian Federation



Forum “Russian Village – 2016”
FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia


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FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia
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