Addressing climate change in agrifood systems
Climate projections estimate that the NENA region will become hotter, drier and more vulnerable to extreme events. Higher temperatures and reduced precipitation will increase the occurrence of drought. Densely populated low-lying coastal areas in Egypt, Kuwait, Libya, Qatar, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates are particularly at risk from rising sea levels and saltwater intrusion into agricultural land.
Agriculture contributes 14 percent of the region’s gross domestic product (GDP) (excluding the oil-rich countries) and employs 38 percent of the economically active population. These sectors will be particularly exposed to climate change, with crop and livestock production projected to decline under all climate change scenarios. This threatens food security, and exacerbates water scarcity and land degradation. Fisheries and aquaculture resources are also at risk from changing temperature and salinity conditions in the Arabian and Mediterranean Seas and along the coasts.
Based on the latest FAO nationally determined contributions (NDCs) NENA analysis, adaptation strategies prioritized by NENA countries range from land and soil conservation and the deployment of drought- and heat-resistant crop and livestock varieties, to measures improving livelihood resilience of smallholder and vulnerable populations. Countries are also exploring the mitigation potential of agricultural practices, such as improved feeding and breeding practices, reducing food loss and waste, and implementing water-energy-food (WEF) nexus solutions across agrifood chains.
Addressing climate change requires taking action across the agrifood system, including agricultural supply chains, for example minimizing food loss and waste in a region where imports of food are among the highest in the world. Taking account of virtual water use in imports of food and agricultural inputs is also important to reflect the true cost of water.
Adopting climate-smart agriculture approaches and land and water resources management practices are considered necessary adaptation practices for agriculture and livelihoods in the region. As for mitigation measures, enhancing carbon sinks through afforestation, reforestation and sustainable forest management, livestock-specific mitigation and integrated crop-livestock-fisheries & aquaculture strategies are considered the most important in the region.
FAO works to combat climate change and its impacts in the NENA region
FAO provides technical guidance, data, and tools to implement adaptation and mitigation actions for the agriculture sectors and create synergies between the two, towards countries’ achievement of national climate goals.
FAO provides technical and implementation support to climate finance projects, including Green Climate Fund (GCF), readiness, and Global Environment Facility (GEF) projects.
These projects support the transformation to more efficient, inclusive, climate-resilient, low emissions and sustainable agrifood systems to achieve the (SDGs), in particular, SDG2 and SDG13.
- The NENA region is among the most affected by climate change in the world, with temperature increases of 1.7-3 °C expected in most areas and up to 5 °C in some inland areas.
- The areas particularly vulnerable to water stress include the Nile Valley, the southwestern Arabian Peninsula and the northern Horn of Africa.
- 80 percent of NENA countries project food insecurity and malnutrition under climate change, particularly amongst small-scale farmer and pastoralist communities.
- Rainfed and irrigated agricultural areas (which cover 22 percent of the region’s surface area) and livestock production (practiced in 33 percent of the region) will suffer moderate to high vulnerability to climate change, with at least 20 percent declines in production expected.
- Although water, salinization and productivity losses are adaptation priorities, funding for water and sanitation and agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) sectors is 5 to 7 times lower than for energy, transport, storage, industry and banking/finance.
- FAO promotes climate change adaptation with dryland forests in the Near East and North Africa Region
- Strengthening agriculture resilience in the Arab region: A collaborative webinar series
- FAO supports Egypt to integrate agriculture into National Adaptation Plan
- FAO Analysis shows how Nationally Determined Contributions are lighting the way for climate action in the Near East and North Africa region.
- Enhancing forest potential for climate action in NENA countries
- For Near East and North Africa, the water, energy and food security nexus is crucial
- New Green Climate Fund project to strengthen Oman’s capacity to address sea level rise and enhance climate resilience on agriculture and water
- Near East and North Africa countries focus on nutrition, climate, resilience, water and gender
- FAO Forest Monitoring Tools and Learning Materials
- Agriculture and food systems finally on the table at COP27
- COP27: Increasing climate finance crucial to bring about sustainable transformation of agrifood systems
- FAO launches a project to enhance climate change adaptation in Jordan
- FAO supports national representatives from NENA to attend NAP Expo
- Egypt scales up climate adaptation actions of its agriculture, water and agrifood sectors
- Addressing Climate Vulnerability in the Water Sector UN-Habitat, UNDP and FAO will launch a new Adaptation Fund Project in the Syrian Arab Republic
- FAO and Green Climate Fund announce Syria’s readiness for climate finance
- Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture workshop highlights climate action in Arab States
- Food policy monitoring in the Near East and North Africa region.
- The State of Land and Water Resources for Food and Agriculture in the Near East and North Africa region.
- Climate change, migration and rural adaptation in the Near East and North Africa region
- Regional analysis of the nationally determined contributions in the Near East and North Africa: Opportunities and gaps in the agriculture, water and land use sectors
- Climate finance in the agriculture and land use sector – global and regional trends between 2000 and 2018
- Addressing forestry and agroforestry in National Adaptation Plans
- Addressing agriculture, forestry and fisheries in National Adaptation Plans.
- The Regional Initiative for the Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources and Socio-Economic Vulnerability in the Arab Region (RICCAR) (ESCWA, 2017)
- Impacts of climate change on farming systems and livelihoods in the Near East North Africa. With a special focus on small-scale family farming
- Towards climate-smart agriculture in Egypt: Scaling up sustainable practices for enhancing agrifood system resilience and adaptive capacity
- Food and Agriculture for Sustainable Transformation Initiative (FAST)
- FAO strategy on climate change 2022-2031
FAO climate change analysis, planning, reporting tools:
- Self-evaluation and Holistic Assessment of climate Resilience of farmers and Pastoralists (SHARP)
- Climate change knowledge hub
- EX-Ante Carbon-balance Tool (EX-ACT)
- Global Livestock Environmental Assessment Model (GLEAM)
- The Nationally Determined Contribution Expert Tool (NEXT)
- The Nationally Determined Contributions Tracking Tool
- Tool for Agroecology Performance Evaluation (TAPE)
FAO Forest Monitoring Tools and Learning Materials:
Relevant programmes and projects
- FAO and Green Climate Fund partnering for climate action
- Scaling up Climate Ambition on Land Use and Agriculture through Nationally Determined Contributions and National Adaptation Plans (SCALA)
- Climate-proof watershed management design and resilience: Synthesis report
- Vulnerability assessment of the water sector to climate change in Jordan
- Directives de gestion des bassins versants et de leur résilience à lʼépreuve du climat : bassins versants algérois
Natural Resources Officer (FAORNE)