At COP28, on the Food, Agriculture and Water Day the UK announced they
were supporting the protection of global food and water supplies.

Through this support the UK, alongside the World Bank, hopes to increase the climate resilience of farmers globally. Especially those that are facing food insecurity and loss of nature due to the negative effects of climate change.

Under the Just Rural Transition Support Programme, the UK will work with farmers that are classed as being the most at risk within their climate vulnerable partner countries, to help them to be more sustainable and productive when carrying out their farming practices.

The UK also announced, at COP28, that it will be providing £10 million through funding and with the help of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), this funding will be used to help smallholder farmers to increase their income whilst also reducing the pressure they put on the natural world.

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There are many countries around the world that are suffering at an increased rate due to the negative effects of climate change. Not only are they being affected by food shortages but also from a lack of clean water. The UK’s Minister of State for Development and Africa, Andrew Mitchell stated:

“Water is at the centre of the climate crisis. Water security must be driven up the global agenda.

My message is clear: we must protect water properly if we are to ensure equitable access for all. UK funding set out today will support water resilient supply chains, and boost investments to ensure this basic and vital source of life is available to vulnerable communities on the frontline of climate change.”

 

Several organisations, including not for profits, have issued their support for the UK’s decision to protect global water and food supplies. One of the non-governmental organisations in the UK, WaterAid have announced their support for the UK’s Just Transitions for Water Security programme. WaterAid’s Chief Executive, Tim Wainwright stated:

“The climate crisis is a water crisis, with communities in low and middle
income countries struggling daily with too little, too much, or too dirty water.
WaterAid welcomes the UK government connecting the drops between
climate change and water, committing at COP28 to invest up to £39 million
into global water security.

WaterAid is happy to be supporting the Resilient Water Accelerator in
unlocking private investment at pace. We hope other nations will join the
UK in supporting adaptation projects that will build life-saving sustainable,
climate-resilient water resources and
services.”

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The UK’s Just Transitions for Water Security programme aims to provide low income and vulnerable countries with the technical assistance they need to successfully manage their water supply. The objectives of this programme is to increase climate resilience, increase the sustainability of food systems, make sure everyone has access to clean water, and improve the management of flood and drought risks.

At COP28, Tim Wainwright announced that the UK will be setting aside around £39 million, in order to help countries around the world manage their water supplies responsibly in order to maintain responsible practices for the future.

At COP28, the UK also pledged to be a part of the Freshwater Challenge. This challenge was launched in March 2023 by the UN Water Conference. Countries, including Colombia, DR Congo, Ecuador, Gabon, Mexico, and Zambia, came together to encourage an increase in the rate in which areas with freshwater ecosystems are being conserved and restored.

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.