Climate Change in Dry Areas: The Amman Declaration
Last week, the National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension (NCARE) [Ministry of Agriculture, Jordan] and ICARDA hosted the International Conference on Food Security and Climate Change in Dry Areas. Our colleague Luigi Guarino very nicely followed the conference. The final output of the meeting is worth blogging here though. Attendees of the conference were able to come up with a manifesto to promote both research and adaptation in dry areas.
They state that:
- 40% of the earth’s land areas are classified dry areas, holding less than 8% of the world’s renewable water.
- Several food security issues are present in dry areas, and at least 16 out of 100 children are undernourished, not to speak about available water
- Natural resources will be degraded under future climates
They pledge for:
- Establishing an International Network on Food Security and Climate Change
- Mobilization of financial resources for research, and research outputs themselves, including recent technological advances
- Promote (1) conservation of biodiversity, crop wild relatives and water, (2) development of crop varieties and diversification of farming systems, (3) policies aimed to enhance the adoption of improved technologies, research and investment, (4) climate change as a topic within national adaptation plans, (5) development of energy-efficient mechanisms.
They say they will:
- Establish a Regional Comission for Food Security and Climate Change in Dry Areas, with ICARDA as coordinating institution
- Establish a regional network for weather monitoring for rapid local responses to climate variability
- Establish a knowledge system on adaptation and resilience practices
They appeal to all institutions to give priority in their research and/or investment towards enhancing food security and coping with negative effects of climate change in dry areas.
Will this be different for other regions? Any global initiative within the context of climate change and food security will surely try to address the same issues.
We’re now holding a meeting with several Colombian policymakers. The meeting intends to continue building the Colombian National Food Security and Climate Change Network. The network intends to make information-based policy recommendations for national investments, and to establish research priorities to further develop adaptation plans for the agricultural sector, including the creation of climate change scenarios for Colombia. Alas, I don’t have a copy of our declaration, but I can say that I do not see many differences between ours and the Amman declaration.
These first steps are definitely key for adapting agriculture. National and international networks allowing information to flow from impact assessment offices, university and research centers to smallholders and vice-versa are critical towards the future. Organization and communication is what we need to address this.
Further, the CGIAR Challenge Program on Climate Change and Food Security (CCAFS), as a global initiative appears as a framework that could allow much of this research to be done and applied to the ground.