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Roadmap to ensure sustainable food security

Monday, 18/12/2023 | 08:50:24 [GMT +7] A  A

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recently announced a global roadmap to eliminate hunger and malnutrition following the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. Under this roadmap, the world must overcome milestones and realise action goals to transform the food system towards climate change adaptation, considering it the “key” to ensuring sustainable food security.

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The roadmap entitled “Global Roadmap for Achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG2) without Breaching the 1.5°C Threshold” calls for transformational changes between now and 2030 in the context of a serious global climate crisis and 600 million people facing chronic hunger. In the short term, this roadmap commits to reducing methane emissions from agri-food production systems by 25% by 2030 compared to 2020 levels and achieving carbon neutrality by 2035. The long-term goal of the roadmap includes transforming agricultural systems toward carbon neutrality by 2050, potentially capturing 1.5 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year.

Notably, the FAO statement warns that the transformation of food and agricultural systems, which are crucial in addressing climate change, biodiversity loss and food insecurity, is facing risk due to declining funding sources. FAO Director-General QU Dongyu emphasised the importance of climate finance for agricultural transformation in maintaining sustainable food systems for today and tomorrow.

The roadmap also includes the contents mentioned previously at the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), which set out 120 actions in 10 areas, such as clean energy, food waste, nutrition, and livestock, to harmonise the food system with the climate.

The important link between the climate challenge and food insecurity was highlighted in the report released at COP28. A worrying situation is that severe food insecurity is at its highest level over the past five years, with more than 238 million people facing high levels of food insecurity, and this trend could be worse. In 2023, nearly one billion people will face severe food insecurity, and there are currently 45 million children under five years old with acute malnutrition.

Faced with the risks of increased hunger due to the impacts of climate change, the African Union (AU) and United Nations agencies jointly called for urgent action to end the crisis in Africa, with nearly 282 million people near famine, equivalent to 20% of the world’s population. More than 1 billion people, or 78% of Africa’s population, cannot afford a healthy diet, and this number is growing. Extreme weather events in climate-prone countries pushed more than 27 million children into hunger last year, a 135% increase over the 2021 figure.

Notably, data from the United Nations Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) system shows that children make up nearly half of the 57 million people in food crisis in 12 countries due to extreme weather events in 2022. Among them, countries in the Horn of Africa are most affected, with about half of the 27 million children facing famine in Ethiopia and Somalia.

Alarming statistics on food insecurity and malnutrition demonstrate the urgent need for comprehensive action. Countries must make greater efforts towards the goal of a world free of hunger and malnutrition by 2030. At COP28, more than 130 countries agreed to include food and agriculture issues in their national climate action plans to achieve the goal of ensuring sustainable food security.

Source: Nhan Dan