Group of 7 (G7) Ministers of Agriculture, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), and Science and Technology gathered ahead of the 2016 G7 Summit for a series of ministerial meetings held throughout Japan.
Each group of ministers agreed on a Communiqué or Declaration for the consideration of G7 leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, and the US at the G7 Ise-Shima Summit, which will take place from 26-27 May 2016, in Ise-Shima, Japan.
16 May 2016: Group of 7 (G7) Ministers of Agriculture, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), and Science and Technology gathered ahead of the 2016 G7 Summit for a series of ministerial meetings held throughout Japan. Each group of ministers agreed on a Communiqué or Declaration for the consideration of G7 leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, and the US at the G7 Ise-Shima Summit, which will take place from 26-27 May 2016, in Ise-Shima, Japan.
Agriculture Ministers identified three new challenges at the Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting, which took place from 23-24 April in Niigata, Japan, and was the first Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting since 2009. These challenges relate to: the increasing average age of farmers in developed countries combined with a limited number of younger farmers entering the sector; increased demand for a nutritious, safe and varied food supply, which stresses food supply capacity and demands urban and rural cooperation; and pressures on farming systems and natural resources from climate change and related extreme weather events.
In a Declaration, Agriculture Ministers commit to improving sustainable agricultural production, supporting the sustainability of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, revitalizing rural communities and expanding faming opportunities. The Declaration includes recommendations to achieve these aims, including by: increasing opportunities for women and youth in the agricultural sector in line with SDG 5 (Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls); reducing food loss and waste in line with SDG 12 (Ensure sustainable consumption and production (SCP) patterns); meeting nutrition needs, as called for in SDG 2 (End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture); and promoting the use of reliable data and statistics for agricultural and food security policy. On realizing sustainable agriculture, forestry and fisheries, ministers support actions to support implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement, including sustainable management of biodiversity, forests, land, soil and water to strengthen climate change resilience and ensure agricultural production potential; promoting climate-smart, organic and ecosystem-based agriculture that contributes to biodiversity; promoting sustainable forest management (SFM) and eliminating illegal logging; supporting sustainable fisheries management and combating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
ICT Ministers committed to leverage ICTs to contribute to the 2030 Agenda, particularly in areas such as poverty and hunger, education, climate change and energy, disaster risk reduction (DRR) and resilience, gender equality, health care, sustainable transportation and logistics, and child online protection at the G7 ICT Ministers’ Meeting, which convened from 29-30 April in Takamatsu, Kagawa, Japan. In a Joint Declaration, Ministers encourage several actions to promote access to ICT: bridging digital divides; improving the quality and affordability of ICT infrastructure, products and services globally through investment and fair and transparent policy and legal frameworks that encourage competition; promoting accessibility and digital literacy for everyone; and respecting cultural and linguistic diversity. On promoting and protecting the free flow of information, Ministers encourage actions on: promoting internet openness and cross-border information flows; promoting privacy and data protection; and promoting cybersecurity. On fostering innovation, Ministers supported actions to enable open markets; promote interoperability through standards; promote open data policies; develop human capital; protect intellectual property; facilitate research and development and adoption of emerging technologies.
Science, technology and innovation (STI) are critical for achieving economic and social development and addressing challenges related to agriculture, energy, the environment and health, ministers stressed at the Science and Technology Ministers’ Meeting, which convened from 15-17 May in Tsukuba, Japan. In the Tsukuba Communiqué, Ministers reaffirm support for the principles of inclusive innovation and open science within STI focus areas and propose recommendations on global health; gender and human resource development for STI; the future of seas and oceans; and clean energy. On seas and oceans, Ministers call for actions to support achievement of SDG 14 (Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development). These actions include: the development of an initiative for enhanced global sea and ocean observation to monitor marine biodiversity and climate change; an enhanced ocean assessment through the UN Regular process to develop a consensus view on the state of the oceans; and promote improved global data sharing on ocean and marine data. Ministers also reaffirmed the importance of scientific work to better understand the impacts of marine litter and deep sea mining. On clean energy, Ministers reaffirm the need to achieve low-carbon economies for sustainable development and support further research and development and information exchange on clean energy technology and the utilization of international structures to share information and discuss future collaboration.
Finance ministers and central bank governors will convene in Sendai, Japan from 20-21 May. They are expected to discuss four topics: global economy; international financial architecture; sustainable and inclusive development; and integrity of financial flows. Environment and education ministers also held meetings, which resulted in a Communiqué and a Declaration, respectively, for consideration by the G7 Ministers. An energy ministerial convened under the theme ‘Global Energy Security for Growth’ and adopted a joint statement in which the Ministers express their intention to: “play their full part” in implementing the Paris Agreement on climate change and accelerate work towards transitioning to an energy system that enables a decarbonisation of the global economy; and facilitate investments for secure and sustainable energy. [G7 Website] [Agriculture Ministers’ Declaration] [Joint Declaration by G7 ICT Ministers] [Tsukuba Communiqué] [Finance Ministers’ Meeting Website] [Finance Ministers’ Meeting Agenda] [Energy Ministerial Website] [IISD RS Story on Environment and Education Ministers’ Meeting] [IISD RS Story on Energy Meeting]