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International Conference on Adaptation to Climate Change and Food Security in West Asia and North Africa

Kuwait City, Kuwait
13-16 November 2011

 

Brochure | Background |Specific Objectives | Expected Outcomes | Co-sponsors

Programme | Kuwait Declaration |  Participants | Presentations

Workshop Overview

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 backgroundspecific objectives and expected outcomes are listed below. The Conference concluded by adopting the KUWAIT DECLARATION.

Background

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. 

Climate change is already a reality in WANA and it places additional constraints on the already fragile ecosystems of dry areas and limited natural resources in WANA. There is evidence of the global decline in food production; and the developing countries in WANA will be hit the hardest.  A striking example of the potential impacts is the Nile delta with 6 million people  which will be directly affected by sea-level rise.  Hence there is an urgency to develop, and strengthen further, research and technology transfer on adaptation, mitigation and production system resilience.

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.

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Specific Workshop Objectives

  • To provide a better  understanding and assessment of the climate change impacts on agriculture and the associated vulnerability in the WANA region;

  • To discuss and develop informed decisions on practical adaptation strategies for the agricultural sector in the WANA region;

  • To discuss and suggest the appropriate ways to promote adaptation planning and implementation and it's integration into the sustainable development planning in different countries in the WANA region; and

  • To develop a Regional Adaptation Framework for continuous information exchange on climate change impacts and adaptation amongst the different countries in the WANA region.

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Expected Workshop Outcomes

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.

Proceedings of the Meeting are being published by WMO, AARINENA, FAO, ICARDA, and Ohio State University and will be widely distributed.

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Workshop Co-Sponsors 

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