Ethical Opportunities In Global Agriculture, Fisheries, And Forestry: The Role For FAO

Darryl R. J. Macer , Minakshi Bhardwaj, Fumi Maekawa, And Yuki Niimura
Publication Date: 
FAO has a unique and essential role in addressing the ethical problems facing humanity and in making these problems into opportunities for practical resolution. A broad range of ethical issues in agriculture, fisheries, and forestry were identified by analysis of the literature and by interviews with FAO staff.
Issues include sharing access to and preserving natural resources, introduction of new technology, conservatism over the use of genetic engineering, ethics in animal agriculture, access to information, food security, sustainable rural development, ensuring participation of all people in decision making and in receiving benefits of agriculture, reducing corruption, and involvement of private and public sectors in decision making. Rather than viewing these issues as problems , they should be viewed as opportunities for debate, learning about others' views, and resolution. The United Nations has an important role to play in how decisions are made in the global ethical debate in food and agriculture. The ethical role of FAO is to promote global food security, balanced conservation, management and utilization of natural resources, and sustainable rural development. FAO should fully and publicly assume its ethical responsibilities, gathering and sharing information on ethics in its areas of mandate, acting as an interactive forum, and providing expert guidance on policy options and choices based on practical ethical analysis.