International Conference on Adaptation to Climate Change and Food Security in West Asia and North Africa
Kuwait City, Kuwait
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research (KISR), the Association of Agricultural Research Institutions in the Near East and North Africa (AARINENA), the Kuwait Meteorological Department, the Food Agriculture Organization (FAO), ICARDA, and Ohio State University are organizing this workshop and the background, specific objectives and expected outcomes are listed below. The Conference concluded by adopting the KUWAIT DECLARATION.
The countries of West Asia and North Africa (WANA) have long had the challenge of providing sustainable livelihoods for their populations in the fragile ecosystems of semi-arid and arid areas facing the challenging issues of absolute water scarcity, drought, land degradation and desertification. In addition to these, the region also has to deal with other issues including a significant increase in population, poverty, a geo-politically fragile environment, gender imbalance, weak investment in agricultural research for development and constraints in human resources and institutional capacities.
The Fourth Assessment Report of the WMO/UNEP Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (lPCC) released in 2007, suggested several adaptation strategies to deal with projected climatic changes which include, changing crop varieties; enhancing more efficient water use; appropriate scheduling of cropping activities; adoption of more effective pest, disease and weed management practices and insurance; and making better use of seasonal climate forecasts to reduce production risks. A comprehensive and integrated approach to planning and implementing the climate change adaptation strategies across the wide range of agroecosystems in different countries in WANA could help both the planners and the local communities to deal effectively with the projected impacts and also contribute to mitigation of climate change.
The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) and its partners organized in February 2010 an International Conference on “Food Security and Climate Change in Dry Areas” in Amman, Jordan on 1-4 February 2010. The Amman Declaration called for initiatives to enhance food security and reduce vulnerability to climate change which include establishment of a regional commission for food security and climate change, a regional network for weather monitoring and establishment of a knowledge system on the adaptation and resilience practices.
Senior experts in the field of climate change, agrometeorology, as well as members from AARINENA will be invited to prepare state-of-the-art discussion papers to address the above objectives. The programme for the meeting will be designed to engage all the participants in discussions on each of these discussion papers and develop a Climate Change Adaptation Framework for the WANA region that could enhance cooperation among WANA countries to better manage climate change risks; and enhance integration of adaptation with mitigation and sustainable agricultural development in WANA.
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