Role of Civil society associations in agriculture water and environment
The Representation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Iraq, in partnership with the Al-Aghsan Foundation for Agricultural and Environmental Development, held a workshop and a dialogue platform to strengthen partnership with civil society organizations (CSO) in Iraq.
The workshop was chaired by Dr. Salah Al-Hajj Hassan, FAO Representative in Iraq, and Dr. Khaled Naji, head of the Al-Ighsan Foundation.
Dr. Salah stated that there is more than one association and organization working in the same field, but there is no coordination among them and with other stakeholders.
This workshop should be an initiative to establish a platform to coordinate with CSO working to develop the agricultural, water and environmental sectors and propose solutions to the problems while working on closer coordination with non-governmental organizations, the private sector, civil society organizations and governmental stakeholders, and others.
FAO has a long history of engagement with CSO in the fight against food insecurity, malnutrition and rural poverty, and in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. FAO has been working for many years with civil society organizations in technical work, emergency field operations, training and capacity building, and advocacy for best agricultural practices.
The areas of cooperation in the organization's activities are in field programme, knowledge sharing and capacity development, policy dialogue, joint use of resources in emergency situations, normative activities, and communication and advocacy.
FAO has established mechanisms to ensure the impartiality of the Organization, namely the capacity to provide a neutral forum for discussions and its evidence-based knowledge generating work. FAO is working on identifying potential local CSO partners, and playing a catalytic role in facilitating and supporting increased dialogue with CSOs by providing a neutral space for dialogue and expertise in technically-related discussions
The workshop objectives included the creation a dialogue platform for civil society organizations with FAO and other partners, raising awareness about areas of cooperation and partnership, discussing potential partnerships with civil society organizations, identifying gaps and opportunities, and preparing a future roadmap.