Even though the objective of Article 2 is to stabilise global emissions before food production is threatened, impacts are already being felt around the world. Floods have damaged wheat fields in Pakistan and rice fields in Thailand. Heat waves have seriously impacted the yields of Russian wheat and US maize.
Global food security is at threat. Small-scale farmers produce the majority of the world’s food, yet they are the most food insecure, and most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
Mitigation is of course essential to keep temperature below 1.5C – but the adaptation needs of developing countries, particularly their agricultural sectors, must have a high priority too.
Developed country Parties have suggested a focus on productivity levels. But as temperatures rise and precipitation becomes increasingly unpredictable, large areas in temperate and tropical countries may become progressively unsuitable for agriculture. ECO thinks that the SBSTA’s first step is build on detailed studies, like the report recently endorsed by the World Committee on Food Security, through mandating an assessment of climate change impacts on food production.
ECO asks Parties to provide support to the conservation of plant genetic diversity, and increase the resilience of smallholder agriculture systems. This will help small scale farmers to build their adaptive capacity, and help them integrate their farming systems in the local ecosystems.
Policies should be designed and implemented to enable small-scale food providers and other vulnerable populations to become more resilient to climate change through an integrated focus.