According to a press release published with the FAO Representation in Iran, Rao Matta, the FAO Representative ad interim to the country in his opening remarks underscored that protecting and conserving land is central to our ongoing efforts to achieve sustainable development.
Matta highlighting on the risks imposed on food security and environment caused by desertification and drought, said “at the global level, studies indicate that continued land degradation over the next 25 years could reduce global food production by up to 12% and potentially result in an increase of up to 30% in world food prices. Global trends such as population dynamics and the increasing demand for energy, food, and water are expected to dramatically increase pressure on the land. By 2030, the demand for food, energy, and water is expected to increase by at least 50%, 45% and 30% respectively.”
“Meeting these demands will require 175-220 million hectares of additional cropland. These needs will not be met sustainably unless we preserve and restore the productivity of our land. Business as usual will lead to more deforestation, land degradation and desertification,” he said.
The FAO Representative ad interim to Iran concluded his remarks by presenting a report on the current regional and national projects currently being implemented through close cooperation between FAO and the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to combat desertification and drought in different parts of the country.
Also attending from FAO, Kayan Jaff, Senior Policy Officer of the FAO’s Regional Office for Near East and North Africa in Cairo, Egypt, as a key speaker of the event, reiterated on the importance of synergy between FAO and the universities including University of Tehran, and said “FAO’s knowledge of agriculture and rural development will be enhanced by academic knowledge while academic knowledge will benefit from FAO’s field-based, country-based and policy-influencing expertise.”
“The new perspectives can lead to actual on the ground improvements whereby academic knowledge is applied to ultimately benefit the rural poor,” he added.
In this regard, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources will host a workshop on June 18th, during which FAO and academic partners will discuss a modality to collaborate together whereby accessing the wealth and knowledge of the universities technical domain with FAO’s vision to end hunger regionally and globally.