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Partnerships Listing

Local and Regional Food Systems

USDA supports food and agriculturally based community economic development, opportunities for farmers and ranchers, access to affordable fresh and local food, and connections between food, agriculture, community and the environment (including rural-urban linkages) by working across the department on programs that support local and regional food systems.

Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP)external site

GBEP brings together public, private and civil society stakeholders in a joint commitment to promote bioenergy for sustainable development. GEBP has agreed on a set of 24 voluntary, practical, and science-based sustainability indicators with the aim of helping countries to assess and develop sustainable production and use of bioenergy. The newly agreed sustainability indicators were presented in a report to the G8 Summit in May 2011. The indicators take a holistic approach to assessing many important aspects of the intersection of bioenergy and sustainability, including greenhouse gas emissions, biological diversity, the price and supply of a national food basket, access to energy, economic development, and energy security. 

Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA)external site

The Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases brings countries together to find ways to grow more food without growing greenhouse gas emissions. USDA has committed to significant funding for expanding agricultural climate change mitigation research through this program.  It is expected that the Alliance will accelerate the international agriculture mitigation research effort for the benefit of all countries.  Since the GRA recognizes agroforestry as a cropping system, the U.S. Agricultural Research Service, and universities are cooperating with Canada to develop the understanding, methods and tools for estimating carbon sequestration and GHG emission from agroforestry practices in North America. 

My Community, Our Earth (MyCOE): Geographic Learning for Sustainable Developmentexternal site

This public-private partnership was initiated in 2002 response to the World Summit for Sustainable Development.  MyCOE enables young people around the world to use geospatial technologies to address sustainable development issues, including biodiversity, climate change, poverty eradication, freshwater supply, and urbanization. The partnership is upgrading with new GIS software, a Geoportal to illustrate changes over time, and the use of new information and communication technologies such as social media in response to the Green Economy theme of Rio+20.

Global Partnership on Nutrient Management (GPNM)external site

The partnership was formed in 2009 at UN CSD 17 by the Governments of the Netherlands and U.S. with UNEP as the Secretariat as a response to the “nutrient challenge” or how to reduce the amount of excess nutrients in the global environment in a manner consistent with global development. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, land-grant universities, and other U.S.-based organizations provide substantial in-kind support to the work of this group. Funding is on the horizon through the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to develop a policy and practice toolbox, build applied models of assessment, and build out the partnership.

North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC)external site

Encourages the health of migratory and pollinating animals in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. and is part of a growing network of countries and organizations that include Brazil, Africa, Columbia, Europe, France, and Columbia.  NAPPC is part of the International Pollinator Initiative that includes FAO, UNEP and GEF resulting from the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD).

Global Rangeland Assessment


Famine Early WarningSystem Network (FEWS NET)external site

Monitors drought and severe weather conditions that may alter the patterns of agriculture globally to stave off large scale famine conditions and promote humanitarian relief. FEWS NET, a U.S. Government-funded (USAID, NASA, NOAA, USGS, and USDA) activity collaborates with international, regional and national partners to provide timely and rigorous early warning and vulnerability information on emerging and evolving food security issues. FEWS NET professionals in Africa, Central America, Haiti, Afghanistan and the United States monitor and analyze relevant data and information in terms of its impacts on livelihoods and markets to identify potential threats to food security.

National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS)external site

This system is led by NOAA, with major contributions by United States Geological Survey (USGS), USDA, and academia (National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska, Lincoln), NIDIS is working with state and local governments to provide the vital information needed for drought early warning and adaptation.  The emerging system is beginning to fill the need for more accessible and relevant drought related information needed to support decision making processes.  A new drought web portal has been launched by NIDIS to provide the very latest data and information describing ongoing conditions, outlooks, and impacts.  

Feed the Future (FTF)external site

Feed the Future (FTF) Initiative’s goal is to sustainably reduce global hunger and poverty around the globe. Announced by President Obama at the London G20 Summit in 2009, FTF (then the Global Food Security and Hunger Initiative) aims to address the root causes of hunger through country-owned and sustained multi-stakeholder partnerships and large- scale, coordinated investments designed to have a lasting impact. Inclusive and sustainable agricultural intensification is a key element of FTF programming, which focuses on increasing farm household (particularly women’s) access to affordable agricultural inputs and innovative techniques, systems, and technologies; sustainable and resilient production systems; and more transparent policy environments. Under FTF, the links between agriculture, improved nutrition outcomes, and the natural environment/climate change will be strengthened through a focused effort to creatively diversify production and diets and improve delivery of nutrition services.

Montreal Process Working Groupexternal site

The Forest Service is an active member of the Montreal Process Working Group, whose 12 members have worked together since 1995 on a voluntary framework of criteria and indicators (C&I) that characterize sustainable management of temperate and boreal forests.

Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restorationexternal site

Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration is a worldwide network of governments, non-governmental organizations, companies, and individuals working to build support for forest landscape restoration around the world.  The United States has been an active participant since 2003, leveraging Forest Service domestic expertise  and “accelerated restoration efforts” on public and private lands ; most recently to help meet the “Bonn Challenge” to restore 150 million hectares of lost forests and degraded lands by 2020. 

Southern Cone Grassland Alliance


Agroforestry for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptationexternal site

Agroforestry for climate change mitigation and adaptation is a cooperative partnership between USDA and Canada’s Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food for research and development of agroforestry science and tools for climate change mitigation and adaptation in temperate North America.  The collaboration recognizes the benefits of agroforestry as a land management approach to help landowners achieve natural resource goals such as improved water quality and more productive soils.  The collaboration will also support the Global Research Alliance on Agriculture Greenhouse Gases, of which both countries are members.  Information will be shared with landowners, managers, and natural resource professionals. 

Urban Waters Federal Partnershipexternal site

The Urban Waters Federal Partnership is an interagency partnership delivered by 12 federal agencies, including EPA, DOI, USDA, HUD, DOT and others.  Its vision is to “revitalize urban waters and the communities that surround them, transforming overlooked assets into treasured centerpieces and drivers of urban revival.”  The partnership aims to integrate and coordinate existing federal assets to improve the environmental and economic health of underserved and distressed communities. It is piloting this approach in 7 cities, where interagency partnership teams have formed and are working with community stakeholders to identify local priorities and opportunities for joint effort.

Green Infrastructure Community of Practice (GI CoP)external site

The Green Infrastructure Community of Practice is a collaborative network of organizations and agencies that are actively involved in promoting and/or implementing the green infrastructure approach to strategic conservation.  The USFS and The Conservation Fund coordinate basic operations and training for the GI CoP.  Green infrastructure is defined as strategically planned and managed networks of protected green space that conserves ecosystem values and functions and provides ecological services of benefit to human populations.  Partners pursue place-based activities including Green Infrastructure assessments and plans at multiple scales. 

SERA-17new window

SERA-17 is an organization to minimize phosphorus losses from agriculture. SERA-17 consists of research scientists, policy makers, extension personnel, and educators. The mission of SERA-17 is to develop and promote innovative solutions to minimize phosphorus losses from agriculture by supporting 1) information exchange between research, extension, and regulatory communities, 2) development of recommendations for phosphorus management and research and 3) initiatives that address phosphorus loss in agriculture.  ARS scientists lead a number of working groups at SERA-17.

Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)external site

The Global Biodiversity Information Facility, co-founded by the United States in 2001, is the conduit for approximately 320 million biodiversity records from 379 data publishers around the world.  These records are primarily geo-referenced occurrences of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine plants, animals, fungi, and microbes, as well as scientific name data.  The integrated presentation of these data, which are managed by a variety of database engines on numerous platforms, is possible because of shared protocols and standards for data and metadata that have been developed by the user-provider community.  These globally shared standards and protocols, which are coordinated and promoted by GBIF, enable application of biodiversity data at all spatial scales and across geopolitical boundaries.  GBIF is one of the few global systems that have demonstrated that data from many distributed providers can be presented to a human or machine user through a single point of access. 

Russell Ranch Sustainable Agriculture Facilityexternal site

Conducts experiments examining the relationships between sustainability and external inputs in an arid climate. The facility has numerous ongoing long-term experiments that study irrigation water, fertilizer, carbon inputs, and farming practices and economic and environmental factors that influence yield and farm viability. Research results provide direction for agricultural policies that affect farm sustainability.

USDA Integrated Pest Management Center

Works in partnership with researchers and educators in the land-grant university system and the private sector to develop and implement new ways to address complex pest management issues. USDA provides funding to support extension IPM implementation and four regional IPM centers, which contribute to the development of safe and effective IPM systems that increase farm profitability, reduce environmental and human health risks, and protect natural resources.