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Latest IPCC report highlights the critical need to transform agrifood systems as a way to mitigate and adapt to climate change
Friday, 2023/03/24 | 08:26:02

FAO’s Strategy on Climate Change 2022-31 supports countries to make agrifood systems more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable


Figure: Climate-smart agriculture is an approach that helps guide actions to transform agrifood systems towards green and climate resilient practices. ©FAO/Believe Nyakudjar.


FAO News; 20/03/2023


Rome - Transforming agrifood systems is essential to adapt to human-caused climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said today in the face of the latest report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).


The Synthesis Report, the last of the Sixth Assessment report cycle, done in a collaborative effort between governments and scientists from all over the world, confirms that human activities, mainly through emissions of greenhouse gases, have unequivocally caused global warming. These include unsustainable energy use, land use and land-use change, as well as consumption and production patterns.


The report underlines that 22% of global greenhouse gas emissions right now come from agriculture, forestry, and land use.


The synthesis also paints a clear way ahead, underscoring that the solution lies in climate-resilient development and holistic measures to adapt to climate change that also reduce or avoid greenhouse emissions.


“Agriculture and food security are already threatened by climate change, in particular in Small Island Developing States, Least Developed Countries and Land-Locked Countries, affecting the livelihoods of smallholder farmers, pastoralists, forest-dependent people, fishers, Indigenous Peoples and women”, said FAO Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo.


“We need to act now at scale. Building sustainable and resilient agrifood systems is fundamental to tackling the climate crisis, food insecurity and biodiversity loss”, she underscored.


Climate action through food and agriculture


Indeed, the IPCC scientists highlight with high confidence that many agriculture, forestry and land use options provide adaptation and mitigation benefits that could be upscaled in the near term across most regions.


For example, - they say- conservation, improved management, and restoration of forests and other ecosystems offer the largest opportunity to counteract the economic damages caused by climate-related disasters.


Examples of effective adaptation options include cultivar improvements, 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 notes the importance of integrated approaches to meet multiple objectives, including food security, and underscores that shifting to healthy diets and reducing food waste, along with sustainable agriculture, can reduce impacts on ecosystems and free up land for reforestation and biodiversity restoration.


The synthesis also points out that while climate change policies and laws have improved, policy coverage remains limited in some sectors such as agriculture, and the barriers preventing the implementation of mitigation measures in agriculture, forestry and other land use sectors are financial, institutional and governance-related.


 “The report shows how agriculture can be central to climate action. It highlights that Agriculture is already impacted by climate change, showing that its adaptation is urgent to ensure food security and nutrition leaving no one behind”, FAO Deputy Director-General Semedo highlighted.


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


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


See more https://www.fao.org/newsroom/detail/latest-ipcc-report-highlights-the-critical-need-to-transform-agrifood-systems-as-a-way-to-mitigate-and-adapt-to-climate-change/en


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