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Farms, Forests Can Help Fight Climate Change

Farms, Forests Can Help Fight Climate Change, Says UN Agriculture Agency

Although agriculture and deforestation together account for nearly one-third of greenhouse gas emissions, farm communities and those deriving their livelihoods from forests can help combat climate change, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today.

This will require increased investment for farmers and foresters, particularly those in developing countries, said Alexander Müller, FAO Assistant Director-General.

The financing should prioritize emission-reducing schemes that simultaneously help boost food and energy security, slash poverty and promote the sustainable use of natural resources. “Forestry and agriculture offer many opportunities for such ‘win-win’ measures,” he said.

Deforestation and forest degradation contribute 17 per cent of emissions annually, while agriculture is responsible for nearly 14 per cent.

“Climate change will affect the lives and livelihoods of farmers, fishers and forest users in developing countries, many of whom are already facing difficulties in earning a sufficient income and feeding their families,” Mr. Müller said.

He cautioned that immediate action must be taken to avert surging hunger in the poorest nations and avert a humanitarian disaster.

Nearly half of land biomass is either directly or indirectly managed by farmers, foresters and herders, and they must be mobilized to rein in emissions and ensure that carbon remains in soil and plants.

FAO called for such measures as using more efficient crop varieties, better control of wildfires, improved natural resource management and restoring land by controlling grazing as means to bolster adaptation to climate change.

ENDS

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