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FAO leader hails role of agriculture in national pledges, applauds the promise to scale up funding

Photo credit: FAO

School children in Tanzania plant and care for trees as part of an FAO Climate-Smart Agriculture project.

Breakthrough climate agreement recognizes food security as a priority

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva has welcomed the approval of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, saying that “for the first time ever, food security features in a global climate change accord.”

The Agreement recognizes “the fundamental priority of safeguarding food security and ending hunger, and the particular vulnerabilities of food production systems to the impacts of climate change”.

It underlines the need to “increase the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience (…) in a manner that does not threaten food production.”

“This is a game changer for the 800 million people still suffering from chronic hunger and the 80 percent of the world’s poor who live in rural areas and earn their income − and feed their families − via the agriculture sectors. By including food security, the international community fully acknowledges that urgent attention is needed to preserve the well-being and future of those who are on the front line of climate change threats,” Graziano da Silva said.

“FAO commends this milestone decision to move forward on climate change action, which comes on the heels of the new Sustainable Development Agenda and its pledge to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger by 2030. Central to our goal of achieving Zero Hunger, FAO strongly advocates for commitments to protect and enhance food security in a changing climate,” he added. “Our message is simple: we will not reach Sustainable Development Goal 2 on ending hunger − and by extension the entire 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda − without ambitious action on climate change.”

Fighting hunger and climate must go “hand-in-hand,” he said. “FAO is highly encouraged by the fact that agriculture, forestry, fisheries and land use factor prominently in most of the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) − the actions countries intend to take under the new Paris Agreement − and notes that this underscores the need for targeted investment in sustainable agriculture.

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.