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FAO Council endorses new 10-year strategies on Climate Change and on Science and Innovation
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: June 16, 2022 01:21PM

*Rome*‚?? The Council of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the
United Nations (FAO) has endorsed two thematic strategies that will
guide FAO‚??s work on climate change and on science, technology and
innovation over the next decade.

The strategies are designed to drive the implementation ofFAO‚??s
Strategic Framework 2022-31
[www.fao.org],
which steers FAO‚??s efforts to transform agrifood systems and promote a
food secure world for all, as envisioned by the2030 Agenda on
Sustainable Development
[www.un.org].

They were endorsed on Monday and Tuesday in Rome by the 170th session of
FAO‚??s executive body, at a time of rising hunger numbers and growing
threats to global food security.

"These two strategies are the extraordinary result of our collective
efforts," FAO Director-General QU Dongyu told the Council.

"The Strategy on Climate Change will guide FAO in providing strengthened
support to Members in their ambitions to address climate change in
agrifood systems, and in the implementation of the Paris Agreement," the
Director-General said. "The Strategy on Science and Innovation will
benefit the billions of small-scale producers and their families who are
urgently in need of the best available science, technologies and
innovation to play their part in transforming our agrifood systems."

The two thematic strategies deal with the entire global agrifood system,
which covers the journey of food from farm to table ‚?? including when it
is grown, fished, harvested, processed, packaged, transported,
distributed, traded, bought, prepared, eaten and disposed of. Agrifood
systems also encompass non-food products, such as forestry and
aquaculture, including the sustainable management and conservation of
related ecosystems, as well as all the activities, investments and
choices that play a part in getting us these food and agricultural
products we need.

*Climate Change*

Resilient and productive land and aquatic ecosystems are the foundations
of sustainable agrifood systems.

The latest scientific evidence from the UN‚??s Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC) confirms the unequivocal and unprecedented climate
risks that the planet is facing from intensifying heatwaves, heavy
precipitation and droughts, fires and tropical cyclones.

Increasing weather and climate extreme events have already caused
economic damages and exposed millions of people to acute food insecurity
and reduced water security. Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are at
particular risk due to warming ocean temperatures, ocean acidification
and rising sea levels.

Given the already tangible impact of extreme weather events on food
security, nutrition and poverty, ‚??the urgency to address climate change
has significantly increased,‚?Ě the Council was told.

Global agrifood systems are responsible for about a third of total
greenhouse gas emissions and are one of the major victims of climate
change. The FAO Strategy on Climate Change 2022-2031 presents them as
part of the solution.

Agrifood systems are envisioned to be sustainable, inclusive, resilient,
and adaptive to climate change and its impacts, contributing to
low-emission economies while providing sufficient, safe and nutritious
foods for healthy diets, as well as other agricultural products and
services, for present and future generations, leaving no one behind.

The strategy aims to address a broad range of interlinked challenges,
including the loss of biodiversity, desertification, land and
environmental degradation, the need for accessible, renewable energy,
and food and water security.

It is organized under three Pillars: i) Global and regional levels
(strengthening global and regional climate policy and governance); ii)
Country level (developing countries‚?? capacities for climate action);
iii) Local level (scaling up climate action on the ground).

Its guiding principles include empowering and engaging farmers,
livestock keepers, fishers, aquaculturists, Indigenous People and
forest-dependent people, embracing both traditional good practices and
innovations, and building on science-based evidence.

The Strategy is informed by science, prioritizes innovative solutions
and inclusiveness, and recognizes the importance of scaling up both
finance and investment.

*Science and Innovation*

FAO sees science and innovation as a powerful engine to transform
agrifood systems and end hunger and malnutrition. But it needs to be
accompanied by strong institutions, good governance, political will,
enabling regulatory frameworks, and effective measures to promote equity
among its actors.

Important strides have been made in a range of scientific and
technological fields, including in biotechnology, data analytics and
nuclear techniques in food and agriculture. Public-private partnerships
are on the rise in research and development. At the same time, market
concentration has heightened concerns about unequal access to resources
and knowledge, both between countries and within social groups.

The challenges in harnessing science and innovation for agrifood systems
range from underinvestment in research, to gaps in using science and
evidence for decision-making.

The FAO Science and Innovation Strategy focuses on three Pillars: i)
Strengthening science and evidence-based decision-making; ii) Supporting
innovation and technology at regional and country level; iii) Serving
Members better by reinforcing FAO‚??s capacities.

Achieving the strategy's vision means that all countries have access to
the science and innovation they need to overcome the complex social,
economic and environmental challenges facing their agrifood systems.
Achieving this vision in a globally equitable, inclusive and sustainable
manner requires the active involvement of under-represented stakeholders
‚?? such as women and youth.

The two thematic strategies will be operationalized through Action Plans
and are due to receive a mid-term review by the Council five years after
their adoption.

[www.fao.org]



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