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Asia-Pacific countries discuss action to promote Climate Smart Agriculture as climate change threatens future food security

18/06/2015 Bangkok, Thailand

Countries in Asia and the Pacific will increasingly need to apply climate smart agriculture (CSA) approaches as climate change threatens their future food security, a regional workshop supported by FAO heard today.

More than 20 countries from the Asia-Pacific region, together with development partners, international organizations and CSOs, are participating in a Regional Asia-Pacific Workshop on Climate Smart Agriculture: A Call for Action,in Bangkok.

“We have reached the tipping point where we must recognize climate change is a reality – it is already happening – and we need to start acting on it,” said Hiroyuki Konuma, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific. “Climate change is occurring more rapidly than we have been predicting. The increase in extreme weather events we have been experiencing in recent years alone foretells what lies ahead.”

Konuma pointed out that the world’s population will continue to rise, predicted to surpass nine billion by 2050. FAO has estimated that food production will have to increase by 60 percent by then to meet the needs, while facing various challenges.

“Climate change is the most critical threat and uncertainty for which we have to prepare for the worst case scenario as it might affect 30 to 40 percent of global agricultural lands as well as aquatic and forest reserves,” said Konuma.

“We should not simply wait for the affects to take place and the suffering that will come. We need to find a way to adapt ourselves and create a resilient society for our future generations.” Konuma said. “This is what we are promoting with ‘Climate Smart Agriculture’ as an approach and gearing our efforts toward building public awareness and joint efforts.”

CSA contributes to the achievement of national food security and development goals with three objectives: i) sustainably increase agricultural productivity and incomes; ii) adapt and build resilience to climate change; and iii) reduce and/or remove greenhouse gas emissions where possible.

This holistic approach enhances food security while preserving the natural resource base and vital ecosystem services. It is achieved through a combination of agricultural practices suited for the specific site, with supporting policies, technology and financing approaches.

FAO has been hosting in its headquarters in Rome the Facilitation Unit (FU) of the Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture (GACSA) which was launched in September 2014 at the global UN Climate Summit conference, and FAO is supporting countries and development partners to implement and scale up CSA approaches as a matter of priority.

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