Communities dependant on aquatic foods are some of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
A recent side event at COP28, Avoiding the perfect storm: Enabling aquatic foods climate solutions through policy, science and finance, focused on these communities, and shed light on the pathways to strengthening these communities’ resilience. The session, moderated by WorldFish Director-General Essam Mohammed, brought together experts, policymakers, and community representatives, offering a multifaceted view of the challenges and opportunities in aquatic food systems.
Climate Vulnerability and the Quest for Adaptation Finance
Less than 30% of countries dependent on aquatic food production have sought adaptation finance, a stark indicator of the challenges faced in accessing resources to bolster climate resilience. This gap in resource mobilization underscores the need for increased capacity and awareness, as well as simplified pathways for accessing adaptation finance. The session highlighted that addressing these issues is not just about environmental sustainability but also about ensuring food and nutrition security and combating poverty.
Aquatic food systems, notably fisheries and aquaculture, are among the most affected by climate change. However, they also hold potential solutions. As Essam Mohammed pointed out in the session, restoring fish stocks could mitigate an estimated 1.6 billion tonnes of carbon emissions annually. Moreover, sustainable practices in fish farming have shown a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, placing aquatic foods on a low emissions pathway.