It is my last day at the UNFCCC 23rd Conference of Parties (COP23), and I was able to speak with a representative for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). A noticeable trend at this COP is the importance of protecting food resources and agricultural sustainability, especially for Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The FAO has done a tremendous amount of research on food security and this cannot be discussed without addressing how climate change has impacted this issue.
Climate and Food Security
The extreme weather patterns cause land degradation, which is a major food security issue. Africa and Southeast Asia have been hit the worst, and reported by the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees, “climate disaster displaces one person per second”. Now more than ever, action needs to be taken to preserve food and agricultural sustainability.
In just one year, from 2015 to 2016, the amount of unnourished people rose by 38 million. The FAO reported that 26% of the damage and loss due to extreme weather from 2005 to 2015 was agriculture. Among the millions of people affected in these small island nations, farmers and livestock keepers are most vulnerable. The extreme weather patterns in recent years, has caused drought and heat waves, which affects both the feed and forage. As climate change causes more catastrophic damages, action must be taken now.
The FAO has taken swift action to combat climate change and ensure agricultural sustainability. Throughout the past few years they have begun helping nations set up “climate-resilient” systems and restore degraded land. While the FAO has stepped up to combat these issues, the rest of the world should as well. Hunger is only one of the many issues facing this world and with the growing catastrophic events due to climate change, it is important now more than ever to make a conscious effort to assist these small island nations.
Blog Source: "FAO's Work on Climate Change - United Nations Climate Change Conference 2017"
For more information on this issue visit http://www.fao.org/home/en/