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No peace without sustainable development

Photo credit: FAO

Floods are becoming more common and are devastating for crops and rural livelihoods.

 

Climate change hits poor and hungry people the hardest

Sustainable development is inseparable from peace, FAO Director-General tells Paris climate conference

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva speaking today at the United Nations Climate Conference (COP21) appealed to world leaders to show courage and  resilience by opting for changes that promote a safer, fairer and more inclusive world.

“There will be no peace without sustainable development and there will never be sustainable development while people continue to be left behind and while people are suffering from extreme poverty and hunger,” the FAO Director-General said, adding that “we must demonstrate that we are not afraid” of promoting the changes needed to achieve this.

Graziano da Silva was addressing participants in a COP21 high level meeting on climate resilience and adaptation. This included the launch of  the UN Secretary-General’s new Initiative on Resilience: Anticipate, Absorb, Reshape  (A2R) aimed at boosting countries’ disaster risk reduction efforts.

Climate change “affects all of us, but especially the poorest and hungry people,” Graziano da Silva said, underscoring how smallholders and family farmers are “in the front line”.

The most vulnerable must be helped to adapt to climate change, he added, stressing that in relation to the agricultural sectors, this requires environmentally sound initiatives that must go hand-in-hand with mitigating climate change impacts.

Building resilience by acting before, during and after crises

Droughts, floods, storms and other disasters triggered by climate change have risen in frequency and severity over the last three decades. A recent FAO study shows that in developing countries, some 25 percent of the negative economic impact of these disasters is borne by the crop, livestock, fisheries and forestry sectors alone.

Read the full article: FAO

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.