Meeting with Ministers attending COP 18
On the margins of the High Level Segment at COP 18, in Doha, Qatar, the Secretary General of WMO had opportunities to meet with many Heads of delegations and ministers to discuss common issues of concern climate, water and environment.
A side event was organized by UNCCD at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) on 6 December 2012. Adapting agriculture to climate change is a necessity and Climate-Smart agriculture is promoted as the way to achieve it. The event hosted a dialogue on how an inclusive Climate-Smart agriculture can sustainably increase productivity, foster food security and promote resilience of ecosystems.
Presentations focussed on smart-agriculture, climate resilient agriculture. The WMO representative in the event introduced GFCS and the High Level Meeting on National Drought Policy (HMNDP) to the participants and asked the needs for improved climate information and services. He notified that more tailored information, especially seasonal forecasts, was clearly required, as farmers depend on weather and climate conditions to take key decisions on the choice of seeds, number of cattle heads etc. to face the coming season. He also noted that in order to face challenges of climate change, which are beyond adaptation capacity of many ecological/agronomical systems, there is a fundamental need to simplify food production patterns and practices. So additional research, observations and interdisciplinary work are needed to provide the services with improved decision making, particularly in agriculture sector.
A side event titled ‘UN-system: Managing disaster risks and extreme events under a changing climate’ was organized by the World Food Programme (WFP). Prof. Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, IPCC vice-chair made the keynote speech, highlighting the analysis and conclusions of the IPCC report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events (SREX). The event which was moderated by Mr. Carlo Scaramella, emphasized the importance of disaster risk management, especially to combat drought and desertification, as highlighted by the ISDR and UNCCD representatives.
The WMO representative who was invited as a panellist, added complementary remarks on the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), and its Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) component, recalling that 90% of natural disasters are of hydrometeorological origin, and that the work of WMO and its co-sponsored bodies such as WRCP, IPCC and GCOS are key in provision of scientific support to developing DRR policies.
During the event UNCCD largely promoted HMNDP. A representative from National Disaster Management Agency of Pakistan noted that his country which has recently been affected by floods and droughts, noted that progress has been made in flood management, however, lack of preparedness for drought management is obviously sensible. Among other issues, WMO representative informed the side event on the Conference on Women and Climate in 2013-2014.
A side event was organized by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on ‘Managing the energy-water-food-climate nexus’. In the opening the representative of the UAE Prime Minister’s Office made his remarks.
The water-food-energy-climate nexus is among the most challenging and potentially rewarding aspects of sustainable development, particularly in the GCC where extreme water scarcity has driven desalination and import dependency. Panellists in the event discussed actual and ideal management options for the nexus. WMO representative highlighted the importance of a harmonized drought policy in the region and planning for the High Level Meeting on National Drought Policy (HMNDP) which is in progress and will help achieve this goal. Speakers of the event were as follows: Abdu Gasem Al Assiri, FAO ·Mohammed Al Madfai, Environment Agency Abu Dhabi Ania Grobicki, Global Water Partnership, Rabi Mohtar, QEERI/Qatar Foundation, Helen Mountford, OECD, Dominic Waughray, World Economic Forum. The meeting was moderated by Bernice Lee from Chatham House.
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