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International Symposium on Climate Change
and Food Security in South Asia

Dhaka, Bangladesh
25-29 August 2008

Photo of Overpass in Dhaka
Dhaka Symposium Declaration
Dhaka Symposium Recommendations

Background | Specifc Objectives | Expected Outcomes | Sponsors | Programme |

Presentations and Abstracts| Announcement Brochure


Workshop Overview

The Ohio State University, World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP) and other co-sponsors are organizing this symposium and the background, specific objectives and expected outcomes are listed below.  The symposium programme brings together experts from national meteorological/ hydrological and agricultural departments, international and regional organizations/ institutions; and policy makers from national planning/financial departments to present state-of-the-art papers, real world applications and innovative techniques for coping with climate change and the symposium will give recommendations for planning and implementing an effective Agriculture Mitigation and Adaptation Framework for Climate Change in South Asia. The symposium programme


Across South Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), large populations depend on semi-subsistence agriculture for their livelihoods. Rainfall in the semi-arid and sub-humid regions of South Asia is highly variable and undependable and influences agricultural productivity. Farming practices in these regions have developed as a response to such climatic risks.

According to the Fourth Assessment Report of the WMO/UNEP Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (lPCC) released in 2007, future projections of climate change indicate that South Asia is very likely to warm during this century.  Also, freshwater availability is projected to decrease and coastal areas will be at greatest risk due to increased flooding from the sea and rivers. Sea level rise in Bangladesh is expected to impact over 13 million people with a 16% loss of national rice production. In some South Asian countries, a substantial reduction in crop yields from rainfed agriculture could occur.  Additionally, dramatic changes in the land use patterns in South Asia compound the problem of climate change.

The agricultural sector, including crops, livestock, fisheries, forestry, and land and water management, is both a bearer and a contributor of global climate change. Some specific options have already been identified, tested and documented for climate change mitigation and adaptation for agriculture sector, such as sustainable land and forest management; changing varieties; more efficient water use; altering the timing or location of cropping activities; improving the effectiveness of pest, disease and weed management practices and making better use of seasonal climate forecasts to reduce production risks. If these options are widely adopted, they could have substantial potential to offset negative impacts from climate change and take advantage of positive impacts. To cope with climate change more effectively in South Asia, it is necessary to identify integrated adaptation and mitigation options for a range of agroecosystems so as to enable a favourable policy environment for the implementation of the framework.  

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Specific Workshop Objectives

  • To provide a central forum to develop an improved understanding and assessment of the climate change impacts on agriculture and the associated vulnerability in South Asia;
  • To identify and discuss integrated mitigation and adaptation win-win options for the agricultural sector in different agroecosystems of South Asia;
  • To discuss and propose a regional Agriculture Mitigation and Adaptation Framework for Climate Change in South Asia.
  • To discuss and recommend policy and financial innovations to enable smooth implementation of the regional framework and it's integration into the sustainable development planning of South Asia countries; and
  • To discuss appropriate options for strengthening information exchange on climate change impacts and cooperation on agriculture mitigation and adaptation actions among South Asia countries.

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Expected Workshop Outcomes

Senior experts in the field of climate change and agro-meteorology, sustainable agricultural development and national economic/financial planning agencies will be invited to prepare state-of-the-art discussion papers to address the above objectives. The programme for the symposium will be designed to engage all participants in discussions on these discussion papers and develop appropriate recommendations for all organizations involved in sustainable agricultural development in South Asia.

The workshop should result in enhanced capacity to: identify/understand impacts, vulnerability and adaptation; select and implement adaptation actions; enhance cooperation among South Asian countries to better manage climate change risks; and enhance integration of climate change adaptation with sustainable agricultural development in South Asia.

Proceedings of the Meeting will be published by WMO, FAO and ESCAP and will be widely distributed to promote the Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Framework for South Asian Agriculture.

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Workshop Co-Sponsors 

WMO Logo

OSU Logo

Ohio State University - Carbon Management and Sequestration Center

FAO Logo

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RAP)


UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP)

University of Dhaka Logo

University of Dhaka




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