|Family Farm Alliance President Pat O’Toole last week addressed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), where he focused on “sustainable land and water management, including integrated watershed management strategies, to ensure food security” on behalf of Solutions from the Land.
Check out President O’Toole’s written statement and video, where he addresses the food production challenges we face associated with climate change and population growth.
“As a world community we must begin to recognize and acknowledge that critical changes are happening with the climate while great shifts in population and growth of urban areas are placing unprecedented demands on water for food production and available land,” he said. “I believe that these conflicts and challenges are the most important things that we must address in the future.”
Mr. O’Toole addressed the importance of local collaboration in driving solutions to these challenges.
“People support what they help create,” he said. “What that means is that you inclusively bring together your community, local leaders, as well as individual stakeholders to create a vision. What I have learned through hard, earned experience, is that by everybody pulling together and using a more robust set of tools and thinking, we can achieve a lot more.”
Mr. O’Toole and other Western ranchers have found ways to mesh food production and irrigation practices in a way that benefits migrating waterfowl.
”Birds vote with their wings,” he said. “ What that means is good habitat becomes self-evident because wildlife like to be there.”
Pat O’Toole likes to remind his listeners that Americans cannot lose sight of the fact that our country needs to be food secure.
“We need education that emphasizes the multiple benefits of complementary food production and conservation systems,” he said. “Food production is key, but we must think beyond that to have sustainable communities.”
Providing consistent food and fiber is a key to success for our global future, and farmers and ranchers are essential to making that happen.
“‘We do it because we love what we do!” he says. “Cooperation is the willingness to understand the role of success and failure. Bring in your community to create the working landscapes of the future.”
Pat represents the Family Farm Alliance on the Solutions from the Land (SfL) board of directors. For SfL’s press release, click here.