This is an archived site containing all information related to the High-Level Conference on World Food Security: the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy held in Rome, Italy in June 2008. This site is not being updated.
High-Level Conference on World Food Security: the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy
Securing world food security in light of the impact of climate change may be one of the biggest challenges we face in this century. More than 860 million people in the world today suffer from hunger. Of those, about 830 million live in developing countries, the very countries expected to be most affected by climate change.
At the beginning of June, world leaders and policymakers converged upon Rome to discuss these challenges and to devise ways in which to safeguard the world’s most vulnerable populations.
The High-Level Conference on World Food Security: The Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy opened at FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy on 3 June 2008. Throughout the three days of events, forty-two Heads of State and Government, one hundred high-level Ministers and sixty non-governmental and civil society organizations from one hundred eighty-one member countries discussed the challenges that climate change, bioenergy and soaring food prices posed to world food security.
Following significant discussion and negotiations, the Conference concluded with the adoption by acclamation of a declaration calling on the international community to increase assistance for developing countries, in particular the least developed countries and those that are most negatively affected by high food prices.
The timeliness of the Conference was widely acknowledged by participants and countries agreed that the issues of food, energy and climate change are all closely linked. While many analyses were presented, there was general agreement that agriculture would once again play a prominent role on the international agenda, and that increased agricultural investment and enhanced agricultural productivity would be crucial. This commitment was strengthened by proposed financing. Although the Conference was not a pledging conference, many donors announced firm financial contributions aimed at countries most affected by the world food crisis.
Following commitments made at the Conference, the Initiative on Soaring Food Prices, launched in December 2007, continues to expand. The Initiative now covers 54 countries, targeting the most vulnerable populations. The initiative is working primarily with small farmers to ensure the success of the next planting seasons in the short term and to increase food production through improved seeds and fertilizers in the long term.