FAO Current Affairs - 2019

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FAO rings alarm about rising Crop-damaging armyworms in Asia

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has expressed concerns over the increasing menace of Crop-damaging armyworms in Asia.

Concerns Expressed by FAO

  • Farming in several Asian countries is under threat from a type of crop-damaging insects that have munched their way from the Americas and across Africa.
  • These flying insects arrived in India in July and have since spread to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand and China’s Yunnan province.
  • These insects feed mostly on maize and can feed on several species of crops, including rice and sugarcane.
  • Armyworms which are native to the Americas have been moving eastwards since 2016 sweeping across Africa where they caused $1-3 billion in damage, before arriving in Asia.

The FAO had convened a meeting of officials from affected countries and experts for discussing ways to limit armyworm infestations amid a “growing sense of alarm”. FAO called on the nations to work together since pest has no respect for international boundaries and it threatens food security, economy, domestic and international trade.

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Africa Centre for Climate and Sustainable Development

The Africa Centre for Climate and Sustainable Development was inaugurated by the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at Rome. The centre has been opened by the Italian government in association with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).

About the Centre

The important aspects of the Africa Centre for Climate and Sustainable Development are:

  • The centre’s origin can be traced to a declaration endorsed by the G7 meeting of the Environment Ministers in 2017. The centre would facilitate coordination among the G7 and African countries on common initiatives in Africa to achieve the goals set by the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda.
  • The Centre would contribute towards addressing the needs of Africa by providing a platform for G7 countries to steer their cooperation to contrast environmental degradation and promote sustainable economic growth in the region.
  • The centre will provide a fast-track, demand-driven mechanism for African countries to access grant resources that support policies, initiatives, and best practices on climate change, food security, access to water, clean energy, and accelerating progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa.

The centre would be hosted by UNDP which would utilise its extensive country office network and programmatic hubs, and global expertise and knowledge, to enable the African countries to access the resources available through it.

Attaining the Sustainable Development Goals

Africa referred to as Dark Continent still has up to 330 million of its population living in poverty and up to 60% of unemployed Africans are young people. The centre will help to speed up progress and quickly resource national development priorities in the African countries to address these challenges and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

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