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Three angles on climate change and food security at FAO Conference


Rome – Countries attending FAO’s 40th Conference in Rome discussed climate change and food security from different perspectives linking climate-action, nutrition and migration to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.   

Partnering for climate action was the focus of one of the events allowing FAO to launch its corporate Climate Change Strategy. The Strategy was presented as the organization’s road map to support countries in safeguarding food security in the changing climate.

FAO has been working on climate change adaptation and mitigation in the agriculture sectors for years. The strategy follows the evaluation of FAO's contribution to climate change adaptation and mitigation in 2015 that highlighted that FAO’s unique strengths in its work to support countries but advised that results could be optimised through strategic changes.

The event also gathered climate change partners such as the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as host of the climate and clean air coalition (CCAC).

Panellists highlighted the fact that it is in partnership the greatest achievements to tackle global climate change can be made. “It’s critical to have national plans and national understanding, to work within national frameworks and policies, and to drive the work as a coalition working with partners, GRA, FAO and many others,” said Helena Molin Valdes Head of the Secretariat of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition.

During the FAO Conference it was also decided to have ‘Climate change and its impact on the work and activities of FAO on climate change’ as the biennial theme for 2018/2019. This is the first time all FAO Governing Bodies will share a common topic for discussion. 

FAO is already providing technical expertise and guidance to set in motion climate commitments also know as Nationally Determined Contributions ‘NDCs’ in the agriculture sectors.

Not only climate change and food security but also nutrition

Climate change also affects people’s nutrition and dietary choices through impacts on food production, food access and livelihoods. In turn food systems themselves and dietary choices are major contributors to climate change. This was the focus of another side event where nutrition sensitive agriculture and food systems was also touched upon.

Princess Viktória de Bourbon de Parme from the Netherlands spoke alongside José Manuel Hernández Calderón, Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation of Peru sharing their experiences on supporting smallholder farmers in facing climate change for better nutrition

 “It is crucial that governments, NGOs and businesses use their best practices, combine knowledge and take the next steps to help alleviate malnutrition,” said Princess Viktória.

Sustainable agriculture can mitigate climate change and involuntary migration

Looking at mobilizing agriculture and rural development as an adaptation alternative to climate-induced migration was also discussed during the FAO Conference. José Graziano da Silva, FAO Director-General highlighted the knock-on effects of climate change, by describing how migration driven by the increase in the frequency and intensity of natural disasters is becoming a real concern.

“Between 2008 and 2014, 180 million people were displaced by natural disasters” in response to these growing figures the director general described how FAO “wants to work in partnership with IOM and other UN agencies and partners to create tangible projects and proposals”.


For further information:

News story: Sustainable agriculture can mitigate climate change and involuntary migration

Mobilizing Agriculture and Rural Development as an Adaptation Alternative to Climate-induced Migration

Making Agriculture and Food Systems Nutrition‐sensitive and Climate-smart: A win‐win for the Sustainable Development Goals

Partnering to Scale up Climate Action by Countries in the Agricultural Sectors