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Climate Change Adapatation and Mitigation in the Food and Agriculture Sector. Technical Background Document from the Expert Consultation Held on 5 to 7 March 2008. FAO, Rome

HLC/08/BAK/1







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    This year’s edition of the Africa Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition reports that the food security situation on the continent continues to worsen. For Africa, 20.4 percent of the continent’s population – 257 million people – are undernourished, up from 19.7 in 2016 – 241 million people. In sub–Saharan Africa, there are 237 million undernourished in 2017, up from 222 million in 2016. The worsening situation in Africa is due to difficult global economic conditions and, in many countries, conflict and climate-related disasters, sometimes in combination. Economic growth slowed in 2016 due to weak commodity prices, in particular for oil and minerals. Food insecurity has worsened in countries affected by conflict, often exacerbated by drought or floods, and in Southern and Eastern Africa many countries have been adversely affected by prolonged drought. Notably, several countries have achieved sustained progress in reducing food insecurity in the face of challenging circumstances. The deterioration of the food security situation and the lack of progress towards the WHO global nutrition targets makes it imperative for countries to step up their efforts, if they are to achieve a world without hunger and malnutrition by 2030. The need for greater efforts also emerges clearly from the findings of the inaugural biennial review of progress in implementing the goals of the Malabo Declaration. In addition to specific food security and nutrition policies, this year’s report reviews four important cross-cutting topics, namely, youth employment, remittances, intraregional trade, and climate change. It highlights their interplay with the food system and their role in food security and nutrition. The thematic part of the report presents an evidence–based assessment of the threat posed by more frequent occurrences of climate extremes and rising climate variability to food security and nutrition in the region. Climate change in combination with poor development planning, poverty and environmental degradation increases the risk of a climate event becoming a disaster. A collective approach that combines climate change adaptation with disaster resilient development is an opportunity to address climate and disaster risks within the context of broader development goals.
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    Enhancing Sustainability and Resilience to Effects of Climate Change in City Region Food Systems - GCP/INT/275/GER 2022
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    Today, about 55 percent of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68 percent by 2050. The majority of this growth will be in Africa and Southeast Asia. The rapid urbanization and the estimated nine billion world population by 2050 creates enormous challenges to conventional food production and food and nutrition security. At the same time, climate change is posing additional challenges, affecting cities and their surrounding areas. The number of reported climate shocks and stresses (such as droughts, floods, storms, etc.) has almost doubled in the last two decades. An increase in climate change related risks is affecting processes, key infrastructures and stakeholders along the entire food system, in particular, the most vulnerable food system actors. Increasing food prices resulting from disruptions in production and transport directly impact consumers, especially low income groups in city regions that are highly dependent on purchased food. Cities are requesting support to plan interventions to make food systems more sustainable, inclusive and resilient to shocks and stresses, with strong rural urban linkages, including and emphasizing the role of small scale farmers, scaling up resilient and sustainable practices and improving the food system in a holistic manner. The COVID 19 pandemic has added new challenges in meeting the food demands of city region populations, and food chains have been disrupted, worsening already precarious conditions in vulnerable areas. Those traditionally vulnerable have been particularly affected, while new vulnerabilities have also been created. Against this background, the city region food systems (CRFS) programme was established. The programme has been demonstrating its effectiveness in strengthening rural urban linkages and integrating sectors for a more sustainable and resilient food system. The need now is to combine the assessment work based on past and present data with future scenarios on multiple shocks and stresses in the city region contexts.
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    Agriculture is not only a contributor to climate change, it will also be severely affected by climate change. Some effects of warming on crop yields, increased weed and pest occurrences and the effects of extreme events (e.g. floods, storms, droughts) on agricultural production are already observed. These are likely to intensify in the future leading to declines in agricultural production in many parts of the world, fluctuations in world market prices and an increased number of people at risk of food insecurity. The paper provides an overview of the complex relationships between climate change and agricultural trade, their connection with food security and possible policy implications. While there is no clear evidence on the net effect of trade on Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, trade could play an important role in climate change adaptation for ensuring food security. High-latitude countries can expect productivity gains from climate change and could export a part of their surpluses to adversely affected countries. Low-latitude countries will be most severely affected in terms of production losses and may need to buffer these losses through increased food imports. Open markets could ease the exchange between food surplus and food deficit regions. Potential environmental externalities and financial and distributional impacts on developing countries would need to be further investigated and, if necessary, accounted for through targeted policy measures. The first domestic climate policies proposed by the countries as part of their obligations under the Paris Agreement suggest close interlinkages with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. They would need to be coordinated and reconciled at international level to promote climate change mitigation, while, at the same time, ensure the free tradability of food as a crucial adaptation measure to climate change

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