Challenges to change
Reflecting its commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), by 2016, the Republic of Moldova had established preliminary policy frameworks and laid the foundations of institutional mechanisms aimed at accelerating progress towards the achievement of the SDGs.
The country’s ministries, however, had not yet been formally entrusted with the responsibility to adapt and implement relevant Goals, causing a delay in their nationalization process. Furthermore, despite its essential role in this process, the Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment (MoARDE) lacked tools and a clear action plan.
Determined to address these issues, the Republic of Moldova requested assistance from FAO and the UN Country Team.
Mainstreaming sustainable approaches in support of the SDGs
Between 2016 and 2019, FAO, the UN Country Team and MoARDE worked together to spur the Republic of Moldova’s progress towards the SDGs. A preliminary assessment highlighted a set of major issues to be addressed. Among them:
- Insufficient alignment between national policies and the SDGs;
- Lack of methodologies, coverage, accessibility and accuracy of data;
- Limited cross-sectoral coordination and communication; and
- Limited agriculture-related SDG nationalization.
The process of assisting the Republic of Moldova in its nationalization of the SDGs began with identifying relevant and priority targets, as well as adjusting them in order to reflect domestic specificities. Policy-makers, development partners, private sector representatives, civil society leaders and organizations were invited to the initial consultations.
Championing sustainable food and agriculture
FAO supported MoARDE in analysing the Republic of Moldova’s progress towards three SDGs connected to sustainable food and agriculture (SFA): SDG 2: Zero hunger; SDG 14: Life below water; SDG 15: Life on land. These SDGs can offer strong multiplier effects on poverty eradication and, being interconnected with the other goals, can spur progress right across the 2030 Agenda.
Two-year national SDG action plan
The two-year action plan developed with FAO’s support, which contained 14 clear, actionable steps aimed at fostering positive change in the area of food and agriculture, was incorporated in the country’s National Agriculture and Rural Development Strategy.
Enhanced communication and coordination
The MoARDE has redoubled its efforts of achieving the SDGs and is setting up focal points for SDG indicators. The Ministry also focussed on creating a council for the implementation of SDGs related to food and agriculture, and on establishing an institutional mechanism designed to ensure sound communication and coordination among relevant governmental and non-governmental stakeholders – the first of its kind in the Republic of Moldova.
Three technical workshops on SDG implementation and monitoring were organized by FAO in the country. Their goal was to raise awareness of the key role SFA plays in the achievement of the SDGs and to support the government in nationalizing the SDG targets. The workshops also aimed to strengthen relevant national statistical capacities and facilitate dialogue among all stakeholders working towards the 2030 Agenda. These workshops were recognized as the first national examples of stakeholder engagement in cross-sectoral technical discussions on SDG targets and indicators related to the agricultural sector.
FAO continues to support MoARDE in the nationalization, implementation and monitoring of SDGs related to sustainable food and agriculture. By providing technical expertise and supporting evidence-based decision making, FAO assists the Ministry in its tasks of setting national targets, aligning the sectoral policy framework, and monitoring relevant SDG indicators.