FAO Director-General informs the Group of Twenty that healthy food requires a healthy environment

© FAO / Giuseppe Carotenuto.

Naples, July 22 (elmundo.cr) – Mr. QU Dongyu, Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), today asked the Ministers of the Environment of the Group of Twenty (G -20) to intensify joint efforts, increase investment and work more closely with FAO to achieve impact that makes a difference on the planet.

Mr QU made the call at the G20 Ministerial Meeting on the Environment, where solutions for nature and sustainability were discussed, from combating climate change to creating sustainable cities.

“Today, humanity is facing a triple planetary crisis: the loss of biodiversity, the climate crisis and the impact of the pandemic,” declared the Director-General.

“To have healthy food, we need a healthy environment,” stressed Mr QU in view of the global challenge of meeting the growing demand for food and other agricultural products while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, in addition to conserving biodiversity, managing natural resources, particularly water, in a sustainable way, and protecting and restoring ecosystems.

Mr. QU strongly advocated increasing water use efficiency and promoting sustainable management of water resources to address water scarcity and improve water and food quality.

The lives of more than 1 billion people are severely limited due to water shortages or restrictions; Almost 1 billion hectares of dry pasture and arable land are severely affected by recurring drought; and more than 60% of irrigated arable land is under high or very high stress due to lack of water.

Mr. QU argued that these water-related challenges could be addressed, with the help of digital innovation, more effective governance mechanisms and investments.

The FAO Director-General also emphasized the need to increase biodiversity-friendly approaches, in particular to increase investments in measures related to these approaches.

“Current levels of investment are very insufficient,” said the FAO Director-General.

Mr QU added that even so, if the goal of restoring degraded land could be fully funded, the goal of halting deforestation could be achieved by 2030.

The benefits of this would be significant. For example, reversing deforestation will help mitigate the effects of climate change and reduce the risk of zoonotic disease outbreaks in the future. Likewise, reversing biodiversity loss and land degradation can bring in USD 1.4 trillion a year.

‘We must readapt agricultural subsidies that have detrimental consequences for our climate and biodiversity. We need to invest in long-term research and development to create the innovation and technologies needed to produce more with lower emissions and within the limits of our environment, ”urged Mr QU.

The agricultural sectors offer key solutions to biodiversity and climate-related crises.

To support these solutions, Mr. QU also called for an enabling environment that includes institutions, policies and financial support for small producers, family farmers and indigenous peoples, who are the true on-site guardians of natural resources.

Mr. QU pointed out that the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restorationrecently launched and led by FAO and the United Nations Environment Program, it was an “excellent opportunity to mobilize our collective efforts”.

He also emphasized that FAO’s work was guided by the need to transform agri-food systems to make them more efficient, resilient, inclusive and sustainable, all with the goal of achieving FAO’s four improvements: better production, better better nutrition, a better environment and a better life, leaving no one behind.

FAO in favor of nature

The planet is losing biodiversity at an alarming rate and FAO calls for urgent action to reverse this trend.

By implementing its recommendations, FAO is integrating and scaling up biodiversity-friendly approaches and actions, from policy development and facilitation of dialogue to project implementation and support to countries doing the same. , in the food and agriculture sectors.

FAO, with its Members and partners, is contributing to the adoption of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework at the next United Nations Conference on Biodiversity, which supports the sustainable use, conservation and restoration of natural resources. biodiversity and ecosystems.

As part of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration efforts, FAO will focus on restoring ecosystems with a view to improving food security, transforming agri-food systems, addressing climate change and preserving biodiversity.

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