New approach to food systems needed to cope with climate change

By Nathan Gray contact

- Last updated on GMT

Food security must lie at the heart of the battle against climate change and sustainable development, said the FAO chief.
Food security must lie at the heart of the battle against climate change and sustainable development, said the FAO chief.

Related tags: Climate change, Agriculture

Food security must lie at the heart of efforts to overcome climate change and achieve a sustainable future for the world, according to the FAO director-general José Graziano da Silva.

Speaking at the UN Climate Summit, the Food and Agriculture Organisation chief said that overcoming climate change is central to achieving a sustainable future for the planet's growing population, and warned that food security must lie at the heart of such efforts.

While in the past, efforts to feed the world focused on boosting agricultural output to produce more food, today's challenges – including climate change – demand a new approach, noted Graziano da Silva.
"We need to shift to more sustainable food systems – food systems that produce more, with less environmental damage – food systems that promote sustainable consumption, since nowadays we waste or lose one third to half of what we produce,"​ he said.

Noting that global hunger persists despite the fact that the planet produces enough food to feed all of humanity, he added that producing enough food for all is necessary, but not a sufficient condition for food security.

"We cannot call development sustainable while hunger still robs over 800 million people of the opportunity to lead a decent life,"​ he said, referencing the latest UN report on world hunger​.
"People are not hungry because food is not available, but because they do not have access to it." 

New approaches

"There are many alternatives to address climate change and ensure sustainable food security,"​ Graziano da Silva said. "We need to keep all the doors open to face the adaptation needed to cope with the climate change and assure food for all in the near future."
One valuable approach, he noted, is ‘climate-smart agriculture’ which involves adjusting farming practices to make them more adaptive and resilient to environmental pressures, while at the same time decreasing farming's own impacts on the environment.

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2 comments

Animal agriculture?

Posted by CLA,

Why not actually tackle the number one contributor to climate change and environmental destruction? ANIMAL AGRICULTURE. We grow enough crops to stop world hunger but instead we use them for livestock feed. Stop feeding our 'food' to our 'food'.

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New Approaches

Posted by DAC,

Instead of making generalized statements-why not put out a plan to accomplish feeding these 800 million or so fellow human beings who are malnourished. There has been climate change from the beginning and will be climate change until the end of the world, adaptation is built into most human beings as well.

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