FAO, IFAD, WFP on Climate Change
COP21, also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, will, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, aim to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C. Climate change threatens to derail efforts to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, which the international community has committed to doing by 2030 under Sustainable Development Goal 2. As the COP21 begins in Paris, this joint-UN agency feed provides footage from field projects tackling the impact of climate change on agriculture and farmers. Agriculture has a major role to play in responding to climate change. A paradigm shift towards agriculture and food systems that are more resilient, more productive and more sustainable is required. While temperature rises pose a real threat to global food production, investments in all sectors of agriculture can simultaneously support climate change adaptation and mitigation while improving rural people’s livelihoods. Programmes implemented by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) include the Transboundary Agro-ecosystem Management Project for the Kagera River Basin in Eastern Africa. In Eastern Kenya, rainfall has become unpredictable and the dry season stretches for increasingly longer periods. Only two per cent of people here have enough food all year round. The predominant crop, maize, needs a lot of water and three out of four maize harvests fail. With investments from the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the European Union, researchers have identified sorghum as a more suitable crop for the changing climate. Now they just have to convince the farmers to make the switch. The current El Niño is one of the strongest on the record and its impact on food security illustrates the need to increase investment in disaster risk reduction, early warning, climate change adaptation and resilience building. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is closely monitoring the current El Niño and preparing for its possible impact on food production. Over the next 12 months, El Niño could potentially affect the food security of a large number of already vulnerable people who depend on agriculture and livestock for their livelihood in Central America, most of Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia.
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