Loss and damage and agrifood systems: addressing gaps and challenges

Agrifood systems are facing an escalating threat from climate change-induced loss and damage, and actions – including increasing financing— must be taken to address their vulnerabilities, according to this new report  by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Agrifood systems are intrinsically linked to climate change and are particularly vulnerable to its impacts. Each year hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of crops and livestock production is lost due to disaster events, undermining hard-won development gains and livelihoods for farmers. At the same time, agrifood systems are substantial contributors of emissions. As such, agrifood systems must play a central role in providing solutions for climate change – both adaptation and mitigation – while meeting the food security needs of present and future generations. The purpose of this report is to stimulate discussions on the central role of agrifood systems in the loss and damage debate and identify the gaps in data, knowledge and finance that need to be addressed. The report provides an overview of the loss and damage concept, the status of analytical methodologies and tools, a summary of the reporting on loss and damage in nationally determined contributions (NDCs), an outline of the policy needs and some preliminary analysis of the financing needs. Overall, support to countries needs to be targeted and strengthened so that loss and damage in agrifood systems can be dealt with as early as possible. This support needs to ensure that no one is left behind while striving for better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life.