Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt: The Adaptation and Agriculture thematic day (Saturday 12 November 2022) at COP27 focused on how the world will feed eight billion people. Throughout the day, a series of sessions and initiatives shed light on pathways forward on adaptation and climate resilient agriculture.
Four initiatives – Food and Agriculture for Sustainable Transformation (FAST), Climate Responses for Sustaining Peace (CRSP), Decent Life for a Climate Resilient Africa and Initiative on Climate Action and Nutrition (I-CAN) – will urgently address the transformation of agrifood systems, the integration of climate responses to peace and security, the improvement of the quality of life of the most vulnerable in Africa by 2030, and delivery of healthy diets respectively.
The focus comes at a particularly challenging year for food security as 37 million people now face starvation in the Greater Horn of Africa after four consecutive droughts; in Pakistan, unprecedented floods have battered the country’s major agricultural regions; and record-breaking temperatures across Europe and the United States have led to drastically reduced crop yields. Russia’s war in Ukraine has caused global shortages and price hikes in wheat, oilseeds and fertiliser, underscoring the fragility of the fossil-fuel dependent food industry that has sacrificed diversity, sustainability and resilience for mass production and profits.
COP27 President Sameh Shoukry said: “As we reach a milestone in human development, we must ensure that our food systems are equipped to provide communities around the world with food that is produced in an inclusive, responsible, and sustainable way. With 43 million people suffering of hunger each year, this is a wake-up call for implementation. Initiatives such as FAST are critical in today’s world, where geopolitical shifts and extreme weather events can cause massive disruption to food supply chains that hurt the world’s poorest and exacerbate hunger and malnutrition.”
Over the course of the day, several sessions and new initiatives highlighted the way forward on adaptation and climate resilient agriculture. These included:
- Food Security and Climate Change focused on the impact of climate change on hunger and malnutrition and how climate change adaptation could end hunger and malnutrition.
- How to avert, minimize, and address Loss and Damage to infrastructure which discussed the importance of partnerships between businesses and societies to invest in AI and technological early warning systems.
- Shaping The Way Forward for Adaptation where ministers explored specific measures needed to make progress on adaptation with regards and the development of comprehensive monitoring systems to advance climate change adaptation.
- Adaptation Innovations and Technologies which looked at the ways in which governments, businesses and institutions can scale up technology to support climate change adaptation.
By dedicating an entire day to Adaptation and Agriculture, COP27 brought together diverse voices from policymakers, scientists, researchers, civil society, and government, who can share their successes and help communities that also need to achieve their sustainable development goals.