GLOBAL - FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva welcomed the approval of the Paris Agreement on climate change, saying that "for the first time ever, food security features in a global climate change accord."
The Paris Agreement recognises "the fundamental priority of safeguarding food security and ending hunger, and the particular vulnerabilities of food production systems to the impacts of climate change".
It underlines the need to "increase the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience (...) in a manner that does not threaten food production."
"This is a game changer for the 800 million people still suffering from chronic hunger, and for 80 per cent of the world's poor who live in rural areas and earn income - and feed their families - from agriculture sectors.
"By including food security, the international community fully acknowledges that urgent attention is needed to preserve the well-being and future of those who are on the front line of climate change threats," Mr Graziano da Silva said.
"FAO commends this milestone decision to move forward on climate change action, which comes on the heels of the new Sustainable Development Agenda and its pledge to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger by 2030. Central to our goal of achieving Zero Hunger, FAO strongly advocates for commitments to protect and enhance food security in a changing climate," he added.
"Our message is simple: we will not reach Sustainable Development Goal 2 on ending hunger - and by extension the entire 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda - without ambitious action on climate change."
Fighting hunger and climate must go "hand-in-hand," he said.
"FAO is highly encouraged by the fact that agriculture, forestry, fisheries and land use factor prominently in most of the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) - the actions countries intend to take under the new Paris Agreement - and notes that this underscores the need for targeted investment in sustainable agriculture."
In the contexts of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty, parties shall prepare, communicate and maintain successive INDCs that it intends to achieve.
The least developed countries and small island developing states may prepare and communicate strategies, plans and actions for low greenhouse emissions development reflecting their special circumstances. Each party shall communicate a nationally determined contribution every five years.
"In this respect, FAO lauds the commitments made throughout the COP21 negotitions to support scaled up climate action in developing countries. Countries pledged additional resources to the Least Developed Countries Fund, Adaptation Fund and the Green Climate Fund, among others.
"These resources are vital to supporting developing countries to implement their INDC contributions," Mr Graziano da Silva said.
FAO will now work towards including further emphasis on food security and agriculture at the next global climate meeting in Marrakesh in November 2016.
TheFishSite News Desk