Agrobiodiversity, Climate Change, and Food Security

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On 19 July, at the 13th Session of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA13), the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP) co-hosted a side event on agrobiodiversity, climate change, and food security.

Andy Jarvis (International Centre for Tropical Agriculture)  provided an overview of a partnership between CGIAR and ESSP, which aims to combine climate and agricultural sciences towards improved environmental health, rural livelihoods, and food security.

Emile Frison (Bioversity International) emphasized that both species and genetic agrobiodiversity will play an increasingly key role in adaptation to and mitigation of progressive climate change. Frison also noted that states will require increased interdependence in order to ensure access to genetic resources that they will need for food security.

Ahmed Amri (International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas) illustrated a methodology for using ex situ collections to select climate change-related adaptive traits, which can then be used to rehabilitate degraded areas. He also called for greater emphasis on allowing people in dryland areas to demonstrate their existing adaptive capacity and experiences with adaptation.

Ahsan Dulloo (Bioversity International) described the “seeds for needs” concept and on-farm participatory climate change adaptation initiatives with local farmers in Ethiopia, India, and Papua New Guinea.

Daily summaries and online coverage of the CGRFA13 negotiations is provided by the International Institute for Sustainable Development Reporting Services (IISD-RS).

19 July 2011

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