Asia’s vast landmass and growing cities are warming faster than the global average and that will have a disproportional impact on food security and livelihoods for billions of people across the region, co-authors of a global report warned today.
Some Asian cities are already 0.2 – 2.6 degrees warmer than the global average, co-authors of a Special Report on Climate and Land reported today. The findings are among those in a global report published last August by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The special report was prepared by 107 leading scientists from 52 countries. Among its many findings and recommendations, it describes critical response options for sustainable land management, food security and support of adaptation and mitigation processes in the face of climate change and disasters.
The Asia-Pacific region, whose countries are among the most vulnerable to the impacts of severe weather related events and food insecurity, is home to nearly half-a-billion undernourished people – more than half of the world’s total.
A landmark report and a call to action
The co-authors of the report warn that, in Asia-Pacific, food security will be increasingly affected by climate change through yield declines – especially in the tropics – increased food prices, reduced nutrient quality and supply chain disruptions. Tackling land degradation in Asia will be critical, while access to, and competition for, fresh water will be another major challenge. But consumer demand for foods that require greater natural resources to produce will need to be addressed as well.
“FAO played an active role in supporting and contributing to this IPCC report seeing its extreme value and relevance to FAO’s mandate in land and food,” said Xiangjun Yao, FAO Regional Programme Leader, during opening remarks. She added that a multi-stakeholder approach is vital in the Asia-Pacific region to addressing issues relating to land use and, food security and rural livelihoods.
“At FAO, we are urging our member countries to do more to adapt and mitigate the effects of extreme climatic events on agriculture and rural livelihoods. We have a new global initiative that we call Hand in Hand connecting all stakeholders in tackling these and other issues that will impact the food security of our children and their children. It’s a call to action. Our hand is open and reaching out. We look forward to yours,” she told delegates.
The special event was organized by FAO, in partnership with UN ESCAP, UN Environment and ITU.