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The climate crisis and accessing finance top agenda at high-level gathering of Small Island Developing States, Least Developed Countries and Landlocked Developing Countries
Tuesday, 2024/02/27 | 08:12:28

FAO 19/02/2024


Colombo - The challenges of achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the perils of the climate crisis and the complexities of leveraging finance were among the topics discussed at a gathering today of ministers from many of the Asia-Pacific Region’s countries most vulnerable to global economic and climate shocks. 


A key purpose of the gathering – a special event forming part of the 37th session of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the Unted Nations (FAO) Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific – was also to canvass views on what countries need from a proposed network bringing them together to jointly address shared challenges.


“The increasing trends of globalization” provide “many advantages and disadvantages,” for the region’s SIDS (Small Island Developing States), LDCs (Least Developed Countries) and LLDCs (Landlocked Developing Countries), FAO Director-General QU Dongyu said in opening remarks. For example, “small-scale farmers and fishery households enjoy increasing access to global markets yet are also extremely vulnerable to the impacts of global economic turbulence as we have recently seen with the cascading impacts of COVID-19 and the increase in prices of food, agricultural inputs, and energy.”


Challenges and opportunities


Among the issues discussed were challenges and opportunities in achieving the SDGs agrifood systems transformation objectives; climate challenges faced by countries and solutions or innovations that can be shared for adaptation or mitigation; experiences with science, innovation and digitalization; as well as successes that can be shared on leveraging finance or developing partnerships for at-scale investment.


Younten Phuntsho, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock of Bhutan, highlighted the logistical challenges his country faces, with global turmoil and crisis a stark reminder of its vulnerability.


Aishath Rameela, Minister of Agriculture and Animal Welfare of the Maldives underlined the problems of soil degradation and biodiversity loss, but also the opportunities brought by the archipelago’s natural beauty and domestic market potential.


Bedu Ram Bhusal, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Development of Nepal, said that for a country like his, access to investment was always limited, despite much advocacy on the issue of climate financing for such a highly impacted country.


Steven Victor, Minister for Agriculture Fisheries and the Environment of Palau, singled out the question of human capacity and people’s attitudes towards farming as a critical issue.


Among the other panelists were Tomasi Tunabuna, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Waterways, Fiji; Emani Fakatimanava-Lui, Associate Minister for Natural Resources, Niue; Titimaea Tafua, Associate Minister for Natural Resources and Environment, Samoa.


See https://www.fao.org/newsroom/detail/the-climate-crisis-and-accessing-finance-top-agenda-at-high-level-gathering-of-small-island-developing-states--least-developed-countries-and-landlocked-developing-countries/en


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