Climate change is an undeniable fact of the 21st century and the world is witnessing a rapid change in temperature, precipitation, snow fall, melting of glaciers, sun shine period etc. It is predicted to have a devastating impact on the planet and its inhabitants. Agriculture worldwide both contributes to, and is highly exposed to climate change. While measures and policies need to be put in place to reduce gas emissions from the agricultural sector (e.g. more efficient farming practices, reduced input use), mitigation alone is not sufficient.
Under SAP WWF-Pakistan plans to work on;
The water crisis is growing and our farming systems cannot afford to ignore the impacts of reduced freshwater flows on ecosystems, and the functions and services these ecosystems provide for people and nature (e.g. flood prevention, stable fresh water supply). SAP identifies the need to prioritize implementation of Water Stewardship Initiative for fresh water management to address the challenges of both water scarcity and pollution
The overall objective of water stewardship is to promote responsible use of fresh water as;
The impact of agricultural practices on biodiversity is unquestionable hence biodiversity conservation remains a major challenge for agriculture while climate change and water demand increase have a multiplying effect on this challenge.
SAP Biodiversity Conservation element is based on the realization of the importance of maintaining and enhancing biodiversity to sustain the ecosystem services it provides for primary function of agriculture, production of food and raw materials, but also in nutrient cycling, protection and enrichment of soils, regulation of local climates and hydrological processes.
SAP future initiatives will contribute to the overall goals through developing and promoting participative strategies for supporting the sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity in farming communities.
Pakistan ranks 11th on the index of food insecure countries which means the country is at extreme risk. Factors that attribute to the growing food insecurity include agricultural cycle, demography, change in dietary patterns, availability of water, and erosion of cultivable land due to excessive use of agro-chemicals.
As food insecurity and climate change are interconnected issues, there will be a massive change in crop production and land utilization in years to come due to increase in temperatures affecting cash crops like cotton, wheat and sugar. Unabated consumerism and unchecked exploitation of natural resources are the main culprits according to scientists and environmental activists.
Finally, volatility and instability of world food prices, deteriorating terms of exchange, and inefficient agricultural markets are of concern for farming communities. Clearly, the current patterns of agriculture and agricultural trade have not provided an appropriate framework for achieving food security and protecting the environment. WWF - Pakistan believes that a sustainable agriculture model is the only way to respond to national food security and poverty reduction challenges effectively: