Pacific food security in peril

Frequent tropical cyclones, ocean warming, floods and droughts are likely to have a shattering impact on food security in Pacific island countries, reported Reuters, citing a report by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). The report warned that expected increases in sea water temperature, salinisation, coastal inundation, and erosion of soil may threaten local food security by reducing the amount of agricultural land and harming fishing industries.


"Climate projections for the Pacific island countries are bleak and indicate reduced food security, especially for households," Alexander Mueller, FAO’s assistant director-general said. Mueller warned that "enormous" economic damage to the region’s agriculture was possible and urged the countries to move quickly to adapt their fishing and agriculture sectors for future climate-related disasters.


The report also indicated that Pacific countries are relying too heavily on external resources to deal with climate change and should decide on national policies with programs and budgets for sustainable development.


FAO’s report on climate change and food security in the Pacific island region comes during the UN climate talks in Poznan, Poland aimed at moving closer to a deal for a new climate treaty in 2009 to replace the current Kyoto Protocol.


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