Commitment and enthusiasm characterized the side-event on Climate Change and Food Security 10 December in Bella Center
'Agriculture is part of the solution' was the joint message from five speakers from four continents at the conference on climate change and food security presented by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO, and the Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Thursday, 10 December 2009.
Danish Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Eva Kjer Hansen stressed that food production has an impact on climate as well as climate has an impact on food production. So hunger and climate change are closely connected and a joint solution is needed. Eva Kjer Hansen emphasized the necessity of investments in green technologies, utilisizing of new crops, organic as wel as GM-crops and the need of free trade of agricultural commodities.
US Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, said that politics of the Obama Administration herald chances of a new world economy and reduced green house gas emissions. He stressed the need of new technologies and announced that food aid for developing countries no longer can stand alone. It is essential also to support and secure local food production in every country, Tom Vilsack said.
Director, Brazilian National Institute of Space Research, Gilberto Câmara, said that Brazil was ready to reduce emissions by 20 percent in 2020 compared to 2005-level. With a temperature increase of just one degree Brazil would have to buy coffee in Argentina in the future, Mr. Câmara announced.
Ajay Vashee, Director of The International Fund for Agricultural Development IFAD,representing 600 million family farmers over the world, stressed the need of more research in adaptation and mitigation , the need of recognizing vulnerability in the poorest countries and the need of rewarding farmers for CO2 savings and climate sequestration and the need to better integrate agriculture in the COP15 negotiations.
FAO director, Jacques Diouf, emphasized the need of taking small scale farmers into account and the need of investments via public-private partnerships. He underlined, that necessary technologies are already available waiting to be implemented.
The side-event on climate change and food security attracted many participants who were eager to comment on the subject, stress the challenges of farmers in developing countries and to pose questions to the panel.