Climate change associated risks on food crops, livestock and aquaculture/fisheries are expected to rise significantly over the coming years. This would have wide-ranging impacts on all economies, with developing economies facing the highest risks given their weaker climate adaptive capacities. Climate change not only threatens food security and food availability, but also poses challenges to promoting rural livelihoods and broad-based development in developing economies. At the same time, food production, forestry, and other land uses contribute to 24 percent of greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity.
There is increasing movement at the global level to address these challenges, under various terms such as “climate-smart”, “climate resilient”, and “environmentally sustainable” agriculture. Many economies at COP21 in Paris highlighted agriculture, forests or land use in their climate change plans, and the COP22 discussions in Morocco later this year are expected to include agriculture.
In APEC, Leaders have highlighted the importance of promoting food security and food availability through the Niigata Declaration-the first comprehensive APEC plan for promoting regional food security. More recently, in 2014 the Beijing Declaration outlined APEC’s plans for tackling food security and through enabling agriculture particularly developing economies, to be more adaptive to climate change and resilient to disasters.
APEC members have acknowledged the need to establish a robust, comprehensive and cooperative mechanism among Asia-Pacific economies to increase their adaptive capacities to manage climate change impacts. Specifically, the region could benefit from a comprehensive effort that cultivates regional expertise, capacity building, and policy cooperation on CSA and sustainable resource management, covering both terrestrial agriculture and the fisheries/aquaculture.
Building on APEC’s efforts to date, the United States will work together with Viet Nam, to implement a self-funded project which will aim to promote policy dialogue and action, and facilitate the establishment of a comprehensive, multi-year CSA program in the Asia Pacific region.
The objectives of the project will be achieved through a policy forum to:
- Build consensus on a framework for a CSA partnership. This would include the scope/agenda, priorities, and management structure.
- Identify activities and develop a roadmap of capacity building assistance for individual member economies to implement the CSA approach.
- Build a network of regional experts and engaging key stakeholders. This will be vital for implementing the initiative as well as ensuring the resources necessary to guide its development over the long-term.
It is anticipated that this work will result in an integrated series of multi-year activities.