COP27 presidency, FAO launch FAST initiative to transform agrifood systems, improve food security

COP27 presidency, FAO launch FAST initiative to transform agrifood systems, improve food security

FM Sameh Shoukry

Sameh Shoukry, president of the COP27 climate summit, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. AP

The new initiative aims to increase climate finance contributions for agriculture and food systems to support the most vulnerable communities.

According to the COP27 presidency, FAST will reimagine agrifood systems to deliver triple wins for people, climate action and nature.

It will be supported by countries through its multi-stakeholder partnerships that will ensure food systems are reinforced through climate policies that contribute to concrete actions in support of adaptation and maintain a 1.5-degree pathway for food and economic security.

“The impact of climate change is disproportionately impacting vulnerable communities around the world. To address this imbalance, we need to develop sustainable farming and food systems and meet the urgent needs of food-importing developing countries,” COP27 president Sameh Shoukry said.

Speaking at the launch of the FAST initiative, Shoukry said that through the FAST initiative, the world will be mobilised to unlock finance flows to increase climate resilience and implement urgently needed transformation across agrifood systems.

“Bold transformative actions are needed to boost Agrifood system transformation, support countries and ensure that resources reach food producers across the value chain,” Deputy Director General FAO Maria Helena Semedo said during the event.

“We need to undertake a thorough overhaul of our food systems, which is another way of saying our relationship with the natural world. There is only one way to achieve this. It can be summarised in one single world: implementation,” UNFCCC Executive Secretary Simon Stiell said at the launch event.

According to the UK’s Minister of State, Department for Food, Rural Affairs and Environment Richard Benyon, the challenges are vast and the only way to overcome them is through collaboration and innovation.

“We are committed to taking this forward: through the Policy Dialogue, Agriculture Breakthrough and in collaboration with the new FAST initiative,” he said, announcing the UK’s full support for the FAST initiative.

According to the Egyptian presidency of COP27, the FAST initiative’s priorities for action include access to finance by enhancing countries’ capacities to identify and increase access to climate finance and investment; knowledge and capacity building by providing the necessary analyses; and developing voluntary guidelines and supporting capacity development and policy support and dialogue.

A set of guiding principles for implementation aims to ensure the effective delivery of agreed outputs, with initial principles identified through a series of multi-stakeholder consultations and in partnership with the COP27 Presidency High-Level Champions under the Marrakech Partnership.

It is estimated that the agriculture and land use sector received $122 billion in financing between 2000 and 2018, representing 26 percent of the global climate finance flows to all sectors.

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