Posted by , in the category Action Against Global Climate Change, Zero Hunger and Sustainable Agriculture.

Latin America and the Caribbean are one of the richest regions in the world in natural resources. Gaskets, have 23% of land with crop potential, receive 29% of the precipitations of the planet and has seven of the 25 places in the world with the highest concentrations of endemic species. On the other hand, the region has also suffered in recent years from the strong effects of climate change and environmental disasters.. According to the Global Climate Risk Index, three of the five highest risk countries are in Latin America and the Caribbean: Honduras, Haiti and Nicaragua.

The cost of climate change

Among 2003 e 2014, the cost of natural disasters in the region has reached 34 million dollars, a quarter of global losses, and affected 64 millions of people. One third of the regional population lives in regions highly exposed to natural disaster threats. And still, the agricultural sector in the countries of the region has suffered, no period cited, 16% damages and losses caused by disasters, being that 71% affected the crops; 13%, the forests; 10%, the livestock; e 6%, fishing.

To face this, at FAO – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations – at FAO, adaptation to climate change and disaster risk management. The main objective is to adopt a model in the region sustainable agricultural that protects natural resources, generates equitable socioeconomic development that allows adaptation to climate change.

Projections for the future are not encouraging, according to important studies developed by Brazilian institutions

To achieve effective results, FAO proposes sustainable agriculture that conserves the land, water and genetic resources, vegetables and animals, does not degrade the environment and is technically appropriate, economically viable and socially inclusive and fair. Since it was adopted in 2016, the Regional Initiative has been working with countries to develop agri-environmental policies, support the process of formulating a regional Disaster Risk Management strategy within the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and strengthen agricultural pest and disease control systems.

specifically, the main actions in these countries aim to strengthen national risk management plans, adapting family farmers to climate change and strengthening agroclimatic and price information systems. Furthermore, the Initiative envisages increasing institutional capacities to promote resilience, supporting recovery processes in degraded areas.

Impacts on Brazilian agriculture

global events, such as rising temperatures and long periods of drought, have significantly affected Brazilian agricultural production, and projections for the future are not encouraging, according to important studies developed by Brazilian institutions.

The Climate Network, instituted by the Ministry of Science and Technology in 2007 to meet national climate change knowledge needs, points out that Brazilian agricultural areas and crops such as beans, Soy, wheat and corn will be especially affected by climate change until 2030. Estima-I know, for the beans, the fall goes from 54,5% a 69,7% do total, based on current vintages. Soybeans, important export product of the country, has an expected reduction of 15% a 28%.

Another important body created by the Brazilian government is the Brazilian Panel on Climate Change, led by the Ministries of Science and Technology and the Environment. Panel data indicate that Brazil may lose about 11 million hectares of farmland due to climate change in the next 13 years old. The most affected will be the southern region, major agricultural power, representing almost half of this area.

Studies by Embrapa - Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation indicate that, if the country does not adopt measures to mitigate the effects of climate change, the cassava, for example, would disappear from the semi-arid region and coffee would migrate to the South region due to the poor survival conditions in the Southeast.

These are just a few examples of what we can experience in the coming years. That is why, it is necessary to try to mitigate the impacts generated by climate change and also create adaptation mechanisms. To agriculture, despite suffering a lot from the effects, is also one of the causes, mainly with regard to greenhouse gas emissions in the environment.

The FAO office in Brazil develops important projects in partnership with the government that can contribute to the country fulfilling the COP-21 goal and becoming a global example.

Brazilian commitments

Brazil has been giving important signs that it is aware of the need to strengthen measures to mitigate the effects of climate change. A very important step was taken during the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP-21) made not final of 2015 in Paris.

The FAO office in Brazil develops important projects in partnership with the government that can contribute to the country fulfilling the COP-21 goal and becoming a global example

In this ocasion, the country has pledged to meet one of the most ambitious goals in relation to reducing the emission of greenhouse gases by establishing a reduction in 37% until 2025 and of 43% until 2030 about 2005. For that, the government intends, among other points, invest in the adoption of biofuels and other forms of bioenergy; adopt effective measures that allow reforestation; recover degraded forests and pastures; advance in low-carbon agricultural production technology, by having, as main engine, the integration model developed by Embrapa and known as crop-livestock-forest (iLPF); in addition to strengthening public policies and measures against illegal deforestation in the Amazon until 2030.

It should be noted that, currently, the FAO office in Brazil develops important projects in partnership with the government that can contribute to the country fulfilling the COP-21 goal and becoming a global example. One of the projects is linked to the implementation of the Project for the Recovery of Degraded Areas in the Amazon (PRADAM), that seeks to disseminate Low Carbon Agriculture practices (ABC) in the Amazon region.

FAO Brazil also works with the Brazilian Forest Service in preparing the National Forest Inventory. Significant results have already been registered: an area corresponding to 158 million hectares has already been inventoried; completion of field data surveys in the Federal District and in the states of Santa Catarina, Sergipe, Ceará, large northern river, Espírito Santo and Rio de Janeiro. Another five states have already started field data collection — Rio Grande do Sul, Rondônia, Bahia, Mato Grosso, For, Paraná and Alagoas. Upon completion of data nationwide, the Inventory is expected to bring together a single dataset, that should be used in the formulation of public policies and in projects for the use and conservation of forest resources.

Brazil has the resources and political strength to develop models of production and preservation of natural resources in a sustainable way. FAO will continue to walk together with the country to identify the main bottlenecks, whether to advance in the adoption of new technologies from the field and/or in the implementation of training for farmers, through the strengthening of technical assistance.

*Por Alan Bojanic, representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) No brazil. Article originally published on the UN Brazil website and may be accessed here.