The arrival of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has had a great impact on agriculture and food systems in Asia and the Pacific, a region already beset by climate and weather related challenges, such as droughts and flooding.
Supply chains have been disrupted, demand has dropped for certain foods, resulting in damage to nutrition, health and livelihoods for hundreds of millions of people in this, the world’s most populous region.
In response, 46 Member Nations, along with private sector and civil society organizations, will discuss a way forward during the 35th Session of the FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (#APRC35) in virtual mode, from 1 – 4 September 2020.
The Royal Government of Bhutan is hosting and chairing the biennial event.
The stakes are high
While some parts of East and Southeast Asia and the Pacific have experienced, relatively, less of an impact, the COVID-19 contagion continues to ravage many countries in the region. In addition to the threats on life, the impact of lockdowns and restricted movements have devastated the livelihoods of millions, increased acute hunger and set back progress toward achieving the world’s Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG-1 and SDG-2 (ending poverty and ending malnutrition).
More than ever, innovation and increased use of existing and new technology will be needed to respond to the risks and challenges to food systems posed by the spread of the coronavirus and the need to better manage natural resources sustainably in the face of climate change. A new approach to partnerships will also be required.
While participation in this FAO Regional Governing Body Session is by invitation only, representatives of news organizations are welcome to follow the proceedings live via Webcast and all conference documents are available online at the APRC-35 Website.