A new report from the United Nations released Monday brought another dire warning of the catastrophic consequences of climate change—that without putting immediate environmental safeguards into place, 122 million more people could be driven into extreme poverty and hunger by 2030.
Without "widespread adoption of sustainable land, water, fisheries and forestry practices, global poverty cannot be eradicated," it states, calling for "deep transformations in agriculture and food systems," such as greater support for the globe's half-billion small-scale farmers. The report cites diversifying crop production, better integration of farming with the natural habitat, agro-ecology, and "sustainable intensification" as strategies to help small-scale farmers adapt to a warming world.
FAO director general José Graziano da Silva wrote in a forward to the report, "'Business as usual' is not an option. Agriculture has always been the interface between natural resources and human activity. Today it holds the key to solving the two greatest challenges facing humanity: eradicating poverty, and maintaining the stable climatic corridor in which civilization can thrive. We cannot allow the impacts of climate change to overshadow our vision of a world free of hunger and malnutrition, where food and agriculture contribute to improving the living standards of all, especially the poorest," he said. "No one can be left behind."