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Director General  José Graziano da Silva

Québec to host international conference on food and nutrition security in the age of climate change

FAO Director-General meets PM Couillard at COP22 In Marrakech

15 November 2016, Marrakech – Québec Premier Philippe Couillard today announced that a conference of high-level experts on food and nutrition security in the age of climate change will take place in Québec City in 2017. The international event will be held in association with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The announcement comes after a meeting between the Premier and FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva during the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It is consistent with one of the COP22’s main themes: agriculture and adaptation in the face of climate change.

“Today, around 800 million people in the world still suffer from hunger, and more than two billion people are victims of malnutrition. These data are of great concern given the fact that one of the challenges of the international community over the next few decades will be feeding a larger population with an agricultural system that is much more vulnerable to climate change. In organizing this conference, Québec hopes to share its expertise and contribute actively to finding solutions for better adapting agricultural systems. Climate change is one of the cornerstones of the FAO’s activities aimed at ensuring global food and nutrition security and fostering sustainable development. The Québec government is extremely pleased that the FAO wishes to play a significant role in this international conference,” said the Premier.

The international meeting will aim to highlight the importance of the role played by agricultural and food systems in the fight against climate change and present concrete solutions to this timely issue. Bringing together Québec, Canadian and international players from various sectors (researchers, elected officials, representatives from civil society and the private sector, etc.), the conference will provide a multi-stakeholder platform for sharing knowledge and best practices.

“We must now focus our efforts on transforming the agricultural sector into sustainable agriculture and nutrition. We need to implement resilient agricultural practices that enable us to adapt to climate change and mitigate its effects. If we fail to act now, we will not succeed in eradicating hunger and poverty and eliminating all forms of malnutrition by 2030. And if nothing is done, millions of other people, especially the world’s most vulnerable, are likely to suffer from hunger and poverty,” stated the FAO’s Director-General, José Graziano da Silva.

Recognizing the role of Québec – which witnessed the creation of the FAO 71 years ago – and other strategic partners, Mr. Graziano da Silva stressed the importance for all stakeholders to be committed to responding to some of the most complex challenges of our time: climate change, hunger and malnutrition.

Today’s announcement strengthens the collaboration that has been developing for several years between Québec and the FAO. In May 2015, Mr. Couillard and Mr. Graziano da Silva met in Rome during the Premier’s mission there, and again in Québec City in November of the same year during an event marking the 70th anniversary of the FAO. On both occasions, Mr. Couillard expressed his concern regarding the challenge that climate change posed for global food and agricultural systems.