Asia-Pacific countries unite to tackle climate change effect on agriculture

FAO ATo win the fight against hunger, Asia-Pacific countries need to address climate change. (Image source: Sasin Tipchai/Pixabay)About 40 countries in the Asia-Pacific region have united to improve nutrition, eradicate hunger and coordinate approaches to tackle the effects of climate change on the region’s agricultural sectors

The calls for action were made at a five-day FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific in Nadi, Fiji.

The conference also expressed growing concern with the problem of overweight and obesity, which, if left unchecked, would result in a time bomb of diet-related diseases such as diabetes and other non-communicable diseases.

“The food and agriculture sector is very important for Fiji and is a key priority for national development,” said Inia Seruiratu, APRC chairperson and Fiji’s minister for agriculture, rural and maritime development and National Disaster Management.

“It is encouraging to see that the conference has agreed that we need to bring about a sustainable intensification of agriculture in order to feed the region’s growing populations,” Graziano da Silva, FAO director-general, said.

“The importance of a food systems approach to tackle malnutrition in all its forms is a big step in the right direction,” he noted while adding that those approaches must involve both men and women and take into account the different needs and opportunities that arise.

The member countries also emphasised the importance of the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework in guiding future actions for agriculture, food security and nutrition in the face of climate change.

The countries also recommended that FAO expand food safety interventions in the Pacific to reduce health risks associated with food-borne parasites, use of chemicals and effective risk-based import controls.

The FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific is convened every two years to seek guidance from Member Nations on FAO’s programme of work for the next two years. The 35th Session of the Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific will convene in Bhutan in 2020.

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