Natural Resources
     and Environment


June 2013 - The purpose of the sourcebook is to further elaborate the concept of CSA and demonstrate its potential, as well as limitations. It aims to help decision makers at a number of levels (including political administrators and natural resource managers) to understand the different options that are available for planning, policies and investments and the practices that are suitable for making different agricultural sectors, landscapes and food systems more climate-smart. This sourcebook is a reference tool for planners, practitioners and policy makers working in agriculture, forestry and fisheries at national and subnational levels. The sourcebook indicates some of the necessary ingredients required to achieve a climate-smart approach to the agricultural sectors, including existing options and barriers.  
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... any progress achieved in addressing the Millennium Development Goals of poverty and hunger eradication and environmental sustainability is unlikely to be sustained if most ecosystem services on which humanity relies continue to be degraded....     (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment¹)

Ensuring adequate food and water to all and achieving sustainable rural development and livelihoods for current and future generations all hinge upon the responsible management of natural resources. These web pages provide key information related to land, water and genetic resources, and the access to and tenure of these resources. These pages also address the challenges and opportunities of bioenergy as well as the challenges agriculture, including fisheries and forestry, faces in the light of climate change.

Announcements & Publications

September 2013
Reduce your foodwaste footprint

The waste of a staggering 1.3 billion tonnes of food per year is not only causing major economic losses but also wreaking significant harm on the natural resources that humanity relies upon to feed itself

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For related information, see the following theme pages: -Land Resources  -Water Resources  -Climate Change  
September 2013
Food Wastage Footprint: Impacts on Natural Resources
Summary Report

This is the first study to analyze the impacts of global food wastage from an environmental perspective, looking specifically at its consequences for the climate, water and land use, and biodiversity. Among its key findings: Each year, food that is produced but not eaten guzzles up a volume of water equivalent to the annual flow of Russia's Volga River and is responsible for adding 3.3 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases to the planet's atmosphere.

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For related information, see the following theme pages: -Land Resources  -Water Resources  -Climate Change  
July 2013

FAO Natural Resources Management and Environment Department has started a process to gather information on landscape/territorial approaches which are planned, being implemented or have been finalized to identify opportunities to improve synergies and collaborate more effectively to strengthen support to member countries and partners in this regard. As part of this process a pilot survey was undertaken in February 2013. A summary of the results from the pilot survey is available for your reference. This further survey is to collect further information on the diverse landscape/territorial initiatives to obtain a more complete representation of the suite of work under-taken and, thereby, to effectively inform and facilitate this harmonization and outreach process. We welcome an active response from relevant FAO technical/officers, project staff and your direct partners (The survey closes July 31).

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For related information, see the following theme pages: -Land Resources  
July 2013
Paving the way for national drought policies
Issues in the spotlight - July 2013

Drought affects more people than any other type of natural disaster, and it is also the costliest. Droughts are certainly not new, but their increasing frequency and severity throughout the world over the past decades has heightened impacts and lifted their dimension from local to global. The resulting massive famines and migration, conflicts and unrest, and food price hikes spell well beyond drought affected areas to become global concerns. These shifts mean that we have to approach drought in a new way.In March 2013, the first-ever High-Level Meeting on National Drought Policy was held in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss what is needed in this new environment and how scientists, experts, and policy makers can work together to strengthen the political will and build technical and managerial capacities for establishing national drought policies.

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For related information, see the following theme pages: -Land Resources  -Water Resources  
July 2013
Accenting the 'culture' in agriculture
Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems

Imagine a food basket filled with cereals from a Saharan oasis, potatoes from 4 000 metres up the Peruvian Andes or from a remote Chilean archipelago, and rice from steep terraced hillsides in China or the Philippines. All these foods come from Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems(GIAHS). These are food systems that have evolved over millennia in harsh and remote landscapes – and in extreme climates – thanks to the knowledge of indigenous people. FAO has identified some 200 of these systems around the world, hailing them for their contributions over the millennia and supporting them to make sure this knowledge is passed on to future generations.

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For related information, see the following theme pages: -Land Resources  -Water Resources  -Genetic Resources & Biodiversity  

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