Latest IPCC report highlights the critical need to transform agrifood systems as a way to mitigate and adapt to climate change – World

Rome – To adapt to human-caused climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, transforming agri-food systems is essential, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said today in light of the latest report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ( IPCC) was published ).

The synthesis report, the latest of the sixth cycle of assessment reports prepared in collaboration between governments and scientists from around the world, confirms that human activities, mainly through emissions of greenhouse gases, have clearly caused global warming. These include unsustainable energy use, land use and land use change, and consumption and production patterns.

The report highlights that currently 22% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, forestry and land use.

The synthesis also provides a clear way forward, underscoring that the solution lies in climate-resilient development and holistic climate change adaptation policies that also reduce or avoid greenhouse gas emissions.

“Agriculture and food security are already threatened by climate change, particularly in small island developing States, least developed countries and landlocked countries, affecting the livelihoods of smallholder farmers, pastoralists, forest dependents, fishermen, indigenous peoples and women,” said the Deputy Director-General of the FAO, Maria Helena Semedo.

“We must now act on a large scale. Building sustainable and resilient agri-food systems is fundamental to addressing the climate crisis, food insecurity and biodiversity loss,” she stressed.

Climate protection through food and agriculture

Indeed, the IPCC scientists highlight with great confidence that many land, forest and land-use options offer adaptation and mitigation benefits that could be scaled up in most regions in the near future.

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For example, they say, the preservation, improved management, and restoration of forests and other ecosystems offer the greatest opportunity to reverse the economic damage caused by climate-related disasters.

Examples of effective adaptation options include cultivar improvement, on-farm, water management and storage, soil moisture conservation, irrigation, agroforestry, community-based adaptation, farm- and landscape-level diversification in agriculture, and sustainable land management.

The IPCC also points to the importance of integrated approaches to achieve multiple goals, including food security, emphasizing that shifting to healthy diets and reducing food waste, together with sustainable agriculture, will reduce impacts on ecosystems and land for reforestation and restoration of biological diversity can release.

The synthesis also indicates that while climate change policies and laws have improved, policy reach remains limited in some sectors such as agriculture and the barriers to implementation of mitigation measures in agriculture, forestry and others Land use sectors are financial, institutional and regulatory in nature -related.

“The report shows how agriculture can be at the heart of climate protection. It highlights that agriculture is already being affected by climate change and shows that its adaptation is urgently needed to ensure food security and nutrition that leaves no one behind,” stressed FAO Deputy Director-General Semedo.

“Agriculture, including crop and animal production, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture, offers solutions that contribute to both adaptation and mitigation,” she added.

The synthesis also highlights how central water is to all sectors for their adaptation. In this context, FAO supports integrated water resources management to address water-related challenges related to climate change. Looking ahead, the 2023 UN Water Conference is of particular importance for agriculture.

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FAO Strategy on Climate Change

FAO is already working on the report’s recommendations, including promoting climate resilience and adaptation in the agri-food sector.

The FAO strategy on climate change goes beyond food production by taking a holistic view of crops and livestock, forests, fisheries and aquaculture and related value chains, livelihoods, biodiversity and ecosystems, recognizing the vital role of women, youth and indigenous peoples, as essential actors of change.

It takes into account different contexts and realities, including rural, peri-urban and urban areas, and assists countries, where appropriate, in the design, revision and implementation of parts of their country-driven commitments and plans related to agri-food systems, including Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). , national adaptation plans (NAPs), nationally appropriate mitigation measures, long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies, disaster risk reduction plans and other related goals and commitments.

In addition, the strategy considers different dimensions of risk, including the risk of inaction, systemic risks, reducing climate and environmental risks, the specific needs and capabilities of people and communities in vulnerable situations, and integrating climate risk management into FAO’s work areas.

FAO also works as a delivery partner for the Green Climate Fund (GFC), the world’s largest climate fund, tasked with helping developing countries increase and achieve the ambition of their national climate plans.

Since becoming partners in 2016, FAO and GCF have scaled up their climate investments into high-impact projects that make the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors more efficient, inclusive, sustainable and resilient to climate change. The portfolio now exceeds 1 billion.

The organization also works on specific initiatives, including the SAGA and SCALA programs, which focus on climate solutions in some of the most vulnerable parts of the world.

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Another important area of ​​FAO’s work is anticipating and responding to major threats to agri-food systems related to extreme weather events. This includes anticipatory action through early warning systems consisting of extreme weather warnings and forecasts, funding and technical resources.

“COP28 is just around the corner and the IPCC report is the final impetus to take action in the ‘race for a better world’. We have the evidence and the innovative solutions, and we know what works. It is time to break down barriers and build synergies,” said Zitouni Ould-Dada, deputy director of FAO’s Office on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment and focal point for the IPCC.


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