World leaders at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) said today it is time to connect the dots on ‘hunger, poverty and climate change’.

At a COP23 side event, led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), experts agreed it is vital that sustainable food systems are developed, to minimise the environmental impact of the industry, and to produce enough food for a growing global population.

“Climate change is a fundamental threat to the Sustainable Development Goal 2 that aims to end hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition,” said José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). “To achieve SDG2 and effectively respond to climate change, we require a transformation of our agriculture sectors and food systems.”

One of the priorities identified to advance sustainable agriculture, is the need to invest more resources in what da Silva calls the ‘key agents of change’ – rural populations worldwide.

The FAO also estimate that the livestock sector could reduce emissions by 30% by adopting best practices.

And the importance of taking action on climate to improve security, was made clear with the release of a new interactive map by the World Food Programme and the Met Office which displays the devastating direction of travel, if efforts aren’t ramped up now.