Leading international climate experts build food security in the face of climate change

May 06, 2010

Climate and agricultural researchers, policy makers, donors, and development agencies, both governmental and non-governmental, from all over the world just met in Nairobi for a one-day conference, 'Building Food Security in the Face of Climate Change'. The conference was an important part of a big new international Mega Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). The programme's secretariat is based at LIFE- Faculty of Life Sciences at University of Copenhagen.

Climate change represents an immediate and unprecedented threat to the food security of hundreds of millions of people who depend on small-scale agriculture and natural resource management for their livelihoods. At the same time, agriculture and forestry also contributes to climate change, by intensifying greenhouse gas emissions and altering the land surface.

To facilitate new research on the interactions between climate change, agriculture, natural resource management and food security, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP) have initiated a Mega Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). CCAFS will create unique possibilities in the search for solutions to climate change and food security problems.

"Many farmers in developing countries live in areas that are particularly affected by climate change. In order to secure better living conditions for the farmers, we need to find the right solutions to creating a stable food production that also takes into account the environment. The conference is an important part of that work", says Deputy Director for administration and communication in CCAFS, Torben Timmermann, who helped organise the conference in World Agroforestry Centre in Nairobi.

New ten-year research initiative

Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) is a large-scale ten-year research initiative which, from its start in 2010, will seek solutions to how to adapt the world's agricultural areas to a different climate with new conditions for production and agriculture and help reduce agriculture's emission of greenhouse gases. The Secretariat for CCAFS is placed at LIFE - Faculty of Life Sciences at University of Copenhagen. CCAFS will primarily focus on three regions: South Asia, West Africa and East Africa.

Professor at LIFE and member of UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), John R. Porter is pleased with the new research initiative and points out:

- In the months and years to come, together with leading experts from the whole world, we will focus on developing tools to understand climate change with a view to making the world community ready to tackle the challenges we are facing. At the same time, Danish agricultural research will help contribute to solving the most important challenges in the future: climate change and food security", continues John Porter.
For more information on CCAFS, please contact Deputy Director for administration and communication in CCAFS, Torben Timmermann on mobile tel +45 24433242 or by e-mail tmti@life.ku.dk, visit the website www.ccafs.cgiar.org/ or contact Professor at Department of Agriculture and Ecology at LIFE and member of IPCC, John R. Porter at e-mail jrp@life.ku.dk

Read more about LIFE's research and education in the field of climate, energy and the environment at http://www.life.ku.dk/English/research/7_core_competences/Climate_Energy_Environment.aspx

University of Copenhagen

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