COP28 carried out its first ever Food, Agriculture and Water Day on
Friday the 8th of December 2023.

Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action

At COP28, over 150 countries worldwide signed a new declaration, titled the: ‘Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action’. This declaration has been put in place as more and more countries around the world are realising that climate change is having a major negative effect on the resilience of the agriculture sector and our food systems.

Around the world, those that are considered the most vulnerable to climate change, such as those in developing countries, are experiencing hunger, malnutrition, and damage to their livelihoods as many rely on agriculture to afford to look after themselves and their families. Therefore, climate change is putting large amounts of economic stress on these groups of people.

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The new declaration has five main objectives it wishes its signatories work towards, these are:

  1. In order to reduce the vulnerability for those most at risk, signatories will work towards increasing their efforts towards resilience and adaptation activities
  2. Promote and work towards increasing food security and nutrition
  3. Supporting all workers, regardless of their age and gender, within the food and agriculture sectors
  4. Support and strengthen water management within agricultural and food systems
  5. Increase the environmental benefits, through conservation, protection, and restoration of land

It is important to note that this new declaration is not legally binding, and the countries that have signed the declaration have voluntarily pledged to carry out the plans within it.

Food Systems Roadmap

At COP28, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, also known as the  FAO, announced a food systems road map. This new roadmap is part of a three year journey, that will begin from COP28, ad will carry on through COP29 to COP30.

COP28

The aim of COP28’s part one of the roadmap is to present a global vision, and to encourage countries from around the world to support and be inspired by the framework within the roadmap.

COP29, part 2 in 2024, will see the FAO’s roadmap move from a global vision to a regional vision. Where costing and finance will become key areas of concern.

COP30, part 3 in 2025, will be the year in which climate action plans are established within countries around the world. These will be known as ‘country action plans’. Part 3 of the roadmap will also focus on accountability and will monitor the action plans to make sure they produce successful and sustainable outcomes.

Due to these new plans that will increase the awareness of how climate change effects the food and agriculture sectors, support to back them has also increased.

The President of Food Tank, Danielle Nierenberg stated:

“It’s really exciting that food is finally on the table. Now we have this ability
to talk about food systems as a solution to the climate crisis in a way that we
haven’t ever had the chance to before.”

The UAE, at COP28 have declared that the world should be increasing their focus on how climate change effects food systems and agriculture. The UAE’s Minister of Climate Change and Environment and this year’s COP28 Food Systems Lead, Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri stated:

 

“Countries must put food systems and agriculture at the heart of their
climate ambitions, addressing both global emissions and protecting the lives
and livelihoods of farmers living on the frontline of climate change.”

For further information and up to date news on COP28 and its themes, please see our COP28 Focus homepage where you can access all of our guides, news, and reports from the event.