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A statement by FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva
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17 November 2016

 

COP22: High-level event

Report on Outcomes of the Action Event on
Agriculture and Food Security

 

Excellencies, distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I speak with you on behalf of all those involved in yesterday’s Action Event on Agriculture and Food Security.

I am happy to report that there is increasing recognition that climate action in agriculture is part of the solution.  

It offers an opportunity to tackle climate change while fighting poverty, hunger and malnutrition.

We will not achieve the Sustainable Development Goals without swift action on climate change.

At yesterday’s Action Event on Agriculture and Food Security, we saw promising initiatives that have tremendous transformative potential:

- Morocco’s Adaptation of African Agriculture is built on three pillars: soils, water and climate-risk management, in support of smallholders and family farmers.

- FAO’s water scarcity initiative addresses adaptation in agriculture through innovative approaches to improve food security and water use efficiency.

- The Milan Urban Food Policy Pact leverages the considerable contribution of cities to make food systems more resilient and adapted to climate change.

We also took stock of the good progress achieved on initiatives launched at COP21, including (i) 4pour1000: Soils for food security and climate, (ii) ASAP: Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme, (iii) SAVE FOOD, on food waste and loss, (iv) Life Beef Carbon on livestock emissions, and (v) Promotion of smart agriculture towards climate change and agroecology. 

All these show that the key to transforming agriculture lies with the millions of smallholder farmers, herders and fishers.

They can make agriculture more sustainable and resilient. 

But they require more funding and improved access to credit, insurance and other financial services.

Real transformation also requires re-designing agricultural support policies and incentives, as well as training in sustainable agricultural practices.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In our discussions, we noted emerging consensus on some essential steps:

Supporting countries to implement the agriculture, food security and nutrition elements in the NDCs;

Scaling up climate finance for adaptation in agriculture.

Building capacities for climate finance readiness, including to develop transformational projects for the agriculture sectors; and

Maintaining food security and agricultural adaptation high and visible in the international climate change debate.

We must not lose sight of the urgency of this challenge: protecting food security from the impacts of climate change, and making agriculture more productive and more resilient at the same time.

We are running out of time to respond.

We need to act with ambition and at scale – and we need it now.

Thank you.