Dec 3, 2008

World - Climate change threatens food security, says FAO

Ocean warming, frequent tropical cyclones, flash floods and droughts are likely to bring a devastating impact on food production systems in Pacific island countries, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said on Tuesday.

Climate change-related disasters have already seriously constrained the development of these islands, the FAO said in a new report entitled “Climate Change and Food Security in Pacific Island Countries.” “Climate projections for the Pacific island countries are bleak and indicate reduced food security, especially for households,” said Alexander Muller, FAO assistant director-general for Natural Resources Management and Environment Department.

“It is critical to build resilience of the food systems to avoid enormous future economic losses in agriculture, fisheries and forestry,” he said.

“Countries will have to assess how vulnerable their food systems are and how they can adapt agriculture, forestry and fisheries to future climate-related disasters. There is a need to act urgently,” he added.

Increasing coastal inundation, salinisation and erosion as a consequence of sea-level rise and human activities may contaminate and reduce the size of productive agricultural lands, thus threatening household and local food security, said the report. — Xinhua

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