Dear members of FAO FSN Forum,
Current societies faces many global challenges that affect (and in some cases is already affecting directly), the lifestyles of citizens and communities. Climate change, for example, represents a potential threat to all sectors of a country, including the economy, politcy and culture.
According to official data from the UN (2012) by 2050, world population reached 9,000 million, which further compromises the food and water security globally. If still maintaining the same agricultural practices, increasing urbanization and current diets, the amount of water needed for agriculture (in terms of potential evapotranspiration ) that is currently of 7130 km3 of water, increased from 70% to 90% between now and 2050 (UNEP, 2011).
Moreover, the negative effects of climate change, commit to accentuate the periods of droughts and floods, which only in Africa, could reduce agricultural production by 15% and 30%.
According to official data from FAO (2012), currently more than 870 million people worldwide suffer from hunger, a directly affected their quality of life and development of their communities, these being more vulnerable to adverse effects of climate and poverty, which latter is a fundamental aspect that directly affects social welfare.
In this case, forests contribute in a direct way, to improve the quality of life of the people and at the same time, the preservation of ecosystems and natural resources. Ecologically speaking, forests are ecosystems of great environmental importance, since they contribute to the area's ecological holism, protecting thousands of animal and plant species and strengthening relations between them.
At present, the increase in temperature in the climate system is clear and unambiguous, according to which so much evidence pose. According to the IPCC (2007), the current global climate change is being caused by anthropogenic activities, framing man's daily habits that degrade the environment and have become increasingly vulnerable.
High levels of deforestation, intensive agriculture and livestock, dependence on fossil fuels and exorbitant development model based on policies that disrupt economies and the environment, are just some specific causes of current climate change.
According to Andrew Mitchel (Founder of the Global Canopy Programme), “forests offer a onetime opportunity to mitigate and adapt us to climate change. Approximately 20% of the emissions reductions needed by 2020 to prevent global temperatures rising above 2°C can be achieved by reducing deforestation and forests degradation”.
Emissions from deforestation account for around 17% of global GHG emissions, more than the entire transport sector (IPCC, 2007). An agreement is currently being negotiated under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to include reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) in a future climate change regime.
The impacts of climate change are felt the most strongly in developing countries and it's the poorest countries that are least equipped to adapt to the effects of climate change. Financing REDD+ will be an essential part of the Bali Action Plan, since forests account for nearly 40% of developing country mitigation potential and can play a crucial role in developing countries ability to adapt to climate change.
According to the World Bank (2004), forests therefore are an essential component of developing countries efforts to combat climate change. Tropical rainforests also directly support the livelihoods of 90% of the 1.4 billion people living in extreme poverty. The loss of forests therefore jeopardises the livelihoods of the poor and the ability of the world’s poorest to adapt to climate change.
The negative effects of the challenge of this century, are visible worldwide. No nation is one hundred percent prepared to tackle climate change, with those most vulnerable developing countries or with very high poverty rates.
According to the report "An ecosystem approach to water and food security" published by UNEP and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in 2011, the main objective is to ensure the sustainability of natural resources to meet the future food and water challenges. The document states that 1,600 million people currently live in areas already affected by water shortages and if nothing changes, that number could soon reach 2,000 million.
To reverse this situation, the report proposes the establishment of agro-ecosystems, seeking a balance between ecology and agriculture that increase agricultural productivity, conserve water and ecosystem protection.
Similarly, the creation and consolidation of international, national and local holistic policies which promote the conservation of natural resources, which enable sustainable agricultural production and water conservation. This could allow better adaptation to the communities most vulnerable to climate change and at the same time, could improve the living conditions of these people.
Sustainable development, it becomes a "shield" against the negative effects of climate change, becoming less fragile communities and populations most in need. Recent studies by UNICEF, have shown that the most affected to suffer the consequences of global climate change are children and women, which is essential for the empowerment of education and decent employment to be able to better adapt to changes to come. Joining equity ties, strengthening endogenous development is to mitigate the consequences of the serious problems in the world, including extreme poverty, food insecurity and climate change.
Thank you so much.
Documentos de la discusión:
Enlaces y recursos:
Conferencia Internacional sobre Los Bosques para la Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutricional
Learning event on Agroforestry (en inglés)