UN Food & Agriculture Organisation partners with University of Galway on climate-smart food systems

Friday, 14 June 2024

University of Galway
Rakesh Muthoo, FAO, Professor Peter McHugh, University of Galway, Professor Qu Dongyu, FAO, and Professor Becky Whay, University of Galway. Back row from left: Professor Charles Spillane, University of Galway, and Hua Yang, FAO. Credit – Aengus McMahon.

Partnership framework creates opportunity to jointly foster education, research and innovation for food systems transformations for zero hunger & climate resilient food systems


 University of Galway has announced a partnership with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation to combat hunger and malnutrition.


Director General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation Qu Dongyu visited the University for the formal signing of the letter of intent with Deputy President and Registrar of Professor Peter McHugh.


The partnership provides the framework for University of Galway to partner more closely with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation on collaborative research, education, innovation and international development activities to support the 2030 Agenda and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by enabling transformation to more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems for better production, nutrition, environment and life.


Deputy President and Registrar Professor Peter McHugh said: “The signing of a letter of intent with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation is a strong symbol of our commitment both in relation to the SDGs but also our work for the public good in line with our values of respect and sustainability. We are now provided with the framework for our University and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation to pursue a vision of a world free from hunger and malnutrition, where food and agriculture contribute to improving the living standards of all, especially the poorest, in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable manner.”


Professor Charles Spillane, from the Ryan Institute at University of Galway who led engagement with the UN FAO, said: “Over the past decade, University of Galway has been working with FAO on a wide range of topics across its divisions and units, especially in relation to climate change, agriculture, food systems and food security. For instance, we have been engaging with FAO on policy processes, such as climate-resilient food systems transformation; research projects such as the EcoFoodSystems project; and through joint research projects with our Masters programmes on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security. Our university looks forward to further deepening of our interdisciplinary partnership activities in support of FAO's mandate and mission over the years ahead.”


Dr Qu served as China’s Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and also as Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, before being elected as the ninth Director-General of the FAO since its foundation in 1945.


On the visit to the University, Dr Qu also met Vice-President International Professor Becky Whay and Professor Frances Fahy, incoming Director of the Ryan Institute, along with academics who lead research groups within the Ryan Institute’s Agriculture, Food Systems and Bioeconomy Research Centre and took part in a Q&A with our agrifood systems postdoctoral researchers, research assistants, PhD and masters students from around the world.




Keywords: Press.

Author: Marketing and Communications Office , NUI Galway
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