Publication [ID: 95]

Agricultural Sector in the intended nationally determined contributions

The frequency and severity of different climate-related disasters have risen over the last couple of decades, while increasing the damage to the agricultural sector. Especially affected are the developing countries, where agriculture is the main source of income for the majority of the population.

FAO has released two reports that analyse the connection between climate change and agriculture. The first focuses on the climate change caused weather disasters, as one of the main causes of food insecurity. It analyses the damages and the economic impact of disasters over the last 10 years. The other report analyses the role of agriculture countries see the sector playing in their climate action strategies for the next decades, the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).

Agricultural sector in the Nationally Determined Contributions

More than 90% of all countries that submitted their INDCs include the agricultural sector in their mitigation and adaptation contributions. Particularly the developing countries set a stronger focus on the ag sectors especially in connection with economic growth and employment. Almost all countries also mention in their INDC the vulnerability of the agricultural sectors to climate change. Most of the LDCs highlight extreme weather events as their central adaptation need and also reflect on the importance of disaster risk reduction in the agricultural sectors.

The agricultural sectors are also mostly referred to as offering an opportunity to build synergies between mitigation and adaptation. Furthermore the topic of climate-smart agriculture seems to be recognised by many of the countries as the model that contributes to both – adaptation and mitigation.

Impact of disasters on agriculture and food security

This study showed agricultural disasters caused economic damages of $1,5 trillion over the last decade and that a quarter of these damages were borne by the crop, livestock, fisheries and forestry alone. The report draws the conclusion that the situation will likely worsen and even threaten the implementation of the SDGs, hamper the eradication of hunger and poverty. This makes it even more important to support the countries’ national strategies for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. The INDC’s and the Paris Agreement create the right framework and show intention. The FAO Director-General, Graziano da Silva, also stressed that aid, particularly, should better reflect the impact of disasters on the agriculture sector.

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