Agriculture holds the key to offering nature-based solutions

FAO Director-General points to the need for change based on innovation, investments and inclusiveness

22 September 2019, New York - Agriculture has a crucial role in providing sustainable solutions to many of today's most urgent environmental issues, provided we change the way we farm, fish and herd livestock, FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu said today.

Transforming the agricultural sectors requires "changing the way we think and changing the way we live ... and this must be based on consensus," not just between political leaders, but across society, Qu said at a high-level event on building momentum for Nature-Based Solutions to climate change, ahead of the United Nations General Assembly.

The event was co-led by China and New Zealand, with wide participation from member states,  the private sector and civil society.

Adapting the agricultural sectors to the impacts of climate change requires "action based on science," the Director-General said. He identified three important components of change: innovation, investment - including technology  - and inclusiveness, across borders and sectors.

Because agriculture is directly engaged with climate change, biodiversity, soil fertility and land degradation, it holds the key to bringing together often fragmented stakeholders - resource managers, producers, value-chain operators, advocates and policy makers.

He pointed to the crucial role that youth must play in transforming the agricultural sectors, recalling his participation the day before in an event on the sidelines of the Youth Climate Summit where he launched a new FAO publication: "Youth in motion for climate action! A compilation of youth initiatives in agriculture to address the impacts of climate change".

Photo: ©FAO/Roberto Schmidt
FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu.