“Potentially catastrophic” impacts on food production from slow-onset climate changes are expected to increasingly hit the developing world in the future and action is needed now to prepare for those anticipated impacts, FAO warned today in a submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
“Currently the world is focused on dealing with shorter-term climate impacts caused mainly by extreme weather events,” said Alexander Müller, FAO Assistant-Director General for Natural Resources.
FAO recommends that food security be used as an indicator of vulnerability to climate change.
Food production systems, and the ecosystems they depend on, are highly sensitive to climate variability and climate change. Changes in temperature, precipitation and related outbreaks of pest and diseases can reduce production. Poor people in countries that depend on food imports are particularly vulnerable to such effects.
“If we’re looking to assess vulnerability to climate change, it makes very good sense to look at food security as one important indicator,” said Müller.