Losses from extreme events over 31 years were $3.8 trillion

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Source: The post is based on the article “Losses from extreme events over 31 years were $3.8 trillion” published in “The Hindu” on 25th October 2023

What is the News?

The Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO) has released a report titled ‘The Impact of Disaster on Agriculture and Food Security’.

What are the key findings of the report?

Warmest Decade: In 2023, we saw the end of the warmest decade on record with a lot of extreme weather and disasters.These disasters were made worse by conflicts and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rising Disaster Frequency: Over the past 50 years, the number of extreme disaster events has increased significantly.

– In the 1970s, there were about 100 disasters per year, but in the last 20 years, it’s gone up to about 400 annually globally.

Impact on Agriculture: Agricultural activities and livelihoods depend on environmental conditions, natural resources, and ecosystems.

– But the agriculture sector is facing threats from hazards such as flooding, water scarcity, drought, and environmental degradation. 

– For instance, in Pakistan, exceptional monsoon rainfalls in 2022 led to nearly $4 billion in damages to the agricultural sector.

Agriculture losses due to disasters: Over the last 31 years, extreme events have caused around $3.8 trillion in losses to agriculture.

– Droughts are the biggest threat to agriculture, causing over 65% of losses.

– Floods, storms, cyclones, and volcanic activities each account for around 20% of losses.

Region wise differences: Asia has the highest economic losses from disasters (45%). Oceania experienced the lowest losses from disasters.

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