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Issue paper

2021

Thinking ahead: Drought resilience and COVID-19

COVID-19 is a defining moment for strengthening drought resilience of society and managing ecosystems more sustainably. Both recent and historical experiences indicate that disease outbreaks very often follow extreme weather events. Drought, combined with other ecosystem changes such as habitat degradation, preceded the COVID-19 outbreak and has been associated with many other types of epidemics in the past. This paper highlights that the interactions between human, ecosystems and ecology often govern drought-linked disease. Factoring these interactions and their impacts on vulnerable communities and their environment is important for drought preparedness, resilience, and recovery. It also calls for increased investments and [...]

Tool

2021

A guide to forest–water management

Many people worldwide lack adequate access to clean water to meet basic needs, and many important economic activities, such as energy production and agriculture, also require water. Climate change is likely to aggravate water stress. As temperatures rise, ecosystems and the human, plant, and animal communities that depend on them will need more water to maintain their health and to thrive.Forests and trees are integral to the global water cycle and therefore vital for water security – they regulate water quantity, quality, and timing and provide protective functions against (for example) soil and coastal erosion, flooding, and avalanches. Forested watersheds [...]

Tool

2021

Pastoralism – Making variability work. FAO Animal Production and Health Paper No. 185

Pastoral systems have evolved to function with the natural environment and therefore with variability. By identifying variability as an entry point, this paper aims at (i) engaging FAO in the mainstreaming of pastoralism by establishing the understanding of pastoralism, and its systematic inclusion in the normal operations of FAO, and at (ii) presenting an evidence based narrative on pastoralism to a specialists’ audience. Two main points are made in this document: First, pastoral systems are emblematic of farming with nature. Second, pastoral systems make use of variability in inputs (the environment) by matching it with variability in their own operational [...]

Issue paper

2021

Indigenous Peoples’ food systems. Insights on sustainability and resilience from the front line of climate change

This publication provides an overview of the common and unique sustainability elements of Indigenous Peoples' food systems, in terms of natural resource management, access to the market, diet diversity, indigenous peoples’ governance systems, and links to traditional knowledge and indigenous languages. While enhancing the learning on Indigenous Peoples food systems, it will raise awareness on the need to enhance the protection of Indigenous Peoples' food systems as a source of livelihood for the 476 million indigenous inhabitants in the world, while contributing to the Zero Hunger Goal.In addition, the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025) and the UN Food [...]

Brochure

2021

Addressing the human-wildlife conflict to improve people’s livelihoods

Human population growth increases the demand for natural resources in many parts of the world. This has led to the degradation and fragmentation of wildlife habitats, with humans and livestock encroaching on natural habitats. Wildlife is increasingly competing with humans for limited natural resources resulting in an increase in human and wildlife conflicts (HWCs). These conflicts also contribute to the increased risk for emerging infectious disease transmission. FAO’s work on HWC is an integral part of the Wildlife and Protected Areas Management Programme, and it aims at contributing to the achievement of the SDG2 on Zero hunger and SDG15 on Life [...]

Issue paper

2021

Scientific review of the impact of climate change on plant pests. A global challenge to prevent and mitigate plant-pest risks in agriculture, forestry and ecosystems

Climate change represents an unprecedented challenge to the world’s biosphere and to the global community. It also represents a unique challenge for plant health. Human activities and increased market globalization, coupled with rising temperatures, has led to a situation that is favourable to pest movement and establishment. This scientific review assesses the potential effects of climate change on plant pests and consequently on plant health. The evidence assessed strongly indicates that climate change has already expanded some pests’ host range and geographical distribution, and may further increase the risk of pest introduction to new areas. This calls for international cooperation and [...]

Briefs

2021

Blooming drylands – a practical approach for context-dependent economic, social and environmentally sustainable transformations

This policy brief is intended to inform decision-makers of nine transformational actions to sustain dryland production systems under the impact of climate change. It highlights the relevance of the local context for interventions and the importance of traditional and tested adaptive agrosilvopastoral strategies for building resilience. In addition, it emphasizes the potential for scaling up and using complementary technologies over wider areas. In particular, the roles of both women and men should not be neglected in terms of maintaining, creating and restoring dryland sustainable landscape.

Issue paper

2021

Building climate-resilient dryland forests and agrosilvopastoral production systems. An approach for context-dependent economic, social and environmentally sustainable transformations

With climate change impacts already felt in the world’s drylands, there is an urgent need for action, at various scales and initiated by different stakeholders, to ensure the sustainability of food production and livelihoods in these regions in the coming decades. There is also the need to rapidly establish baselines, assess and start monitoring progress on sustainability, emerging as result of the action taken.To aid in this effort, this paper provides a short list of expected transformations (under each of the three sustainability pillars) for guiding the planning and implementation of policy, governance and practice-level actions. Gender and indigenous people’s [...]

Issue paper

2021

How to feed the world in times of pandemics and climate change? Opportunities for innovation in livestock systems

Progress towards Zero Hunger must be protected from the dual challenges of pandemics and climate change. The frequency of infectious disease outbreaks – including the emergence of novel viruses and zoonotic diseases – is expected to continue rising as livestock, food security, economies, and global health are increasingly threatened by a destabilizing climate. At the same time, malnutrition is unacceptably high across all regions of the world. In 2019, nearly one in ten people in the world were exposed to severe levels of food insecurity.The 13th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) in 2021 is seeking recommendations, guided by [...]

Issue paper

2020

The pollination services of forests. A review of forest and landscape interventions to enhance their cross-sectoral benefits

Most flowering plants, including wild species and many food crops, are pollinated by animals and are vital, therefore, for biological production and the maintenance of biodiversity. Pollinators benefit from diverse natural habitats for forage and nesting, especially when these are limited in plant production systems. Landscape and forest management practices can help ensure the continued availability of pollinators and thereby increase resilience and the productivity of forestry and agriculture. The extent of forests and other natural habitats in a landscape plays a role in determining the species composition of pollinators. Agricultural landscapes adjoining fragmented forests and natural areas benefit from [...]
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