The resounding message from this year’s World Food Day celebrations in Rome and in many countries is that climate change, hunger and poverty must be addressed together in order to achieve the sustainable development goals set by the international community.
“Higher temperatures and erratic weather patterns are already undermining the health of soils, forests and oceans on which agricultural sectors and food security depend,” FAO Director-General José Graziano said at the global World Food Day ceremony here today.
Droughts and floods are more frequent and intense as are climate-related outbreaks of diseases and pests, he added, citing the terrible impact of El Nino in parts of Africa, Asia and Central American and more recently, Hurricane Matthew in Haiti.
“As usual the poorest and the hungry suffer the most and the vast majority of them are small family farmers that live in rural areas of developing countries,” the FAO Director-General said, noting how adaptation and mitigation to climate change is fundamental, and that this requires “much better access to appropriate technologies, knowledge, markets, information and investments.”
Recent international commitments for action, including the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, recognize the fundamental role of sustainable agriculture in addressing climate change, hunger and poverty.
The World Food Day 2016 slogan: Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too underscores the fact that to feed a global population expected to reach more than 9 billion by 2050, humanity needs to produce more food, but in ways that use up less natural resources and that drastically reduce loss and waste.