Natural disasters in Asia caused $48 billion worth of agricultural losses in 2017

Natural disasters in Asia caused $48 billion worth of agricultural losses in 2017

A report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) revealed that between 2005 and 2015 Asia suffered the most significant economic losses from natural disasters.

The FAO revealed the figures in their report ‘The impacts of disaster and crisis on agriculture and food security 2017’.

Half of the damage caused to agricultural production by natural disasters was in Asia, costing approximately $48 billion.

Asia, the most disaster prone region in the world, has experienced an increase in drought, flooding and other natural disasters in recent years. Over the last four decades, in financial terms, disaster losses in Asia and the Pacific increased 16 times.

Agriculture is highly vulnerable to disasters due to its dependence on climate, natural resources and global trade.

Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, Minister of Disaster Management and Relief, Bangladesh highlighted how climate change intensifies these risks:

“But the risks are also driven by poorly planned development that results in pressures on land and water resources, ecosystem degradation, migration and increasing social tension and vulnerability of people, particularly the poor. Systematic investments in understanding these risks is instrumental for effective actions”

Participants and development partners from 28 countries across Asia and the Pacific met in Hanoi, Vietnam yesterday to discuss the ways forward for the agriculture sector’s implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.

The Sendai Framework calls for disaster risk management to be made integral to all development sectors. This is critical to not only reduce disaster losses but also prevent and reduce risks, to adapt to climate change and achieve the world’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

It was during this meeting that the FAO launched their global report ‘The impacts of disaster and crisis on agriculture and food security 2017’.

Le Quoc Doanh, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Viet Nam commented:

“Agriculture is vital for many countries in the region. Agriculture development especially food production has helped Viet Nam firmly stand during regional and global economic crises, maintaining our economic growth and social stability”

“It is obvious that in the changing climate and urbanization context, poverty cannot be eradicated without strengthening the resilience of agriculture dependent livelihoods, especially of smallholder farmers.”

 

The AIDF Asia Summit will return for its 4th year on 20-21 June in Bangkok. This year’s event will focus on disaster, resilience, response and development. Find out more information on the summit here.

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Image credit: Shutterstock

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