Global warming causes freak weather that may have a “devastating impact” on food security in the Pacific region, the UN food agency warned on Tuesday.
“Climate projections for the Pacific island countries are bleak and indicate reduced food security, especially for households,” Alexander Mueller, assistant director-general at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), said in a statement.
The region is increasingly beset by tropical cyclones, flash floods and droughts, with devastating effects on agriculture, including water stress, more pests and weeds, erosion and loss of soil fertility, the statement said.
“It is critical to build resilience of food systems to avoid enormous future economic losses in agriculture, fisheries and forestry,” Mueller said, adding: “There is a need to act urgently.”
A new report published jointly by the FAO, the Pacific Regional Environment Programme and the University of the South Pacific calls for a more systematic approach to climate change and suggests that “diversified agricultural systems will fare better under climate change scenarios.”