Natural Resources
     and Environment

News, Publications & Announcements - Climate Change

September 2013
Reduce your foodwaste footprint
Animation

The waste of a staggering 1.3 billion tonnes of food per year is not only causing major economic losses but also wreaking significant harm on the natural resources that humanity relies upon to feed itself

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September 2013
Food Wastage Footprint: Impacts on Natural Resources
Summary Report

This is the first study to analyze the impacts of global food wastage from an environmental perspective, looking specifically at its consequences for the climate, water and land use, and biodiversity. Among its key findings: Each year, food that is produced but not eaten guzzles up a volume of water equivalent to the annual flow of Russia's Volga River and is responsible for adding 3.3 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases to the planet's atmosphere.

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September 2013
Food waste harms climate, water, land and biodiversity – new FAO report
Direct economic costs of $750 billion annually – Better policies required, and “success stories” need to be scaled up and replicated

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June 2013
Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture

This report reflects the conclusions of the Workshop and the analysis undertaken by FAO and Platform for Agrobiodiversity Research over the past year. This Workshop, held at FAO in April 2010, explored the different challenges that confronted agriculture and the options that existed or could be developed that would be needed to meet the challenges of feeding the world, coping with climate change and improving impact of agriculture on the environment.

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March 2013
UN lays foundations for more drought resilient societies
Meeting urges disaster risk reduction instead of crisis management

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March 2013
United Nations launches concerted push for effective drought policies
Need to focus on building resilience and reducing risks

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November 2012
Enhanced top soil carbon stocks under organic farming

It has been suggested that conversion to organic farming contributes to soil carbon sequestration, but until now a comprehensive quantitative assessment has been lacking. Therefore, datasets from 74 studies from pairwise comparisons of organic vs. nonorganic farming systems were subjected to metaanalysis to identify differences in soil organic carbon.

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June 2012
Towards the future we want
End hunger and make the transition to sustainable agricultural and food systems

Much work has been done since 1992 to move the world closer to a common and sustainable future, but 20 years down the road we have yet to deliver on this fundamental principle – too many people in this world are still not living a healthy and productive life while the world grows in ways that are not always in harmony with nature. FAO seeks to stimulate consensus on the changes needed at, global, regional and national levels to eradicate hunger, support the transition to sustainable food consumption and production systems and ensure greater fairness in food management. It calls for this consensus to be translated into a deep and sustainable commitment to act. And it appeals to all stakeholders represented at Rio+20 to adopt with urgency a new resolve to work together in a genuine spirit of cooperation and partnership to implement the steps needed and hold themselves accountable for achieving the first principle of Rio 1992.

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June 2012
No sustainable development without eradication of hunger and extreme poverty
Joint statement by FAO, IFAD, WFP and Bioversity on Rio+20 Summit

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December 2011
Natural Resources and Environment Newsletter
December 2011 • Number 10

In this last issue of the newsletter for 2011, we introduce a new study on corruption in the land sector. The study was carried out by FAO and the Berlin-based Transparency International and it illustrates that the land sector is one of the main public sector areas where corruption exists. In climate change news, the world’s attention is focused on Durban, South Africa where the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – including FAO - are meeting this month. And finally, we take a look at a new publication that examines the need to better link climate change adaptation and mitigation policies and programmes to genetic resources objectives.

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November 2011
"Energy-smart" agriculture needed to escape fossil fuel trap
FAO paper published during UN Climate Change Conference highlights how food sector can tackle energy challenges to safeguard a food-secure future

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October 2011
Africa and the Carbon Cycle
Proceedings of the Open Science Conference on “Africa and Carbon Cycle: the CarboAfrica project”

Accra, Ghana. 25-27 November 2008. This conference focused on Africa’s contribution to the global carbon cycle and climate system through an overview of the carbon related studies in sub- Saharan Africa carried out both by the project CarboAfrica and other African and international initiatives. The Conference illustrated the high number of initiatives currently ongoing in Africa, related to the study of all the component of the carbon cycle, from science to socio-economic issues, and considering all natural components, from soil to the atmosphere, through terrestrial ecosystems. In spite of the high number of efforts and of the important results already achieved, it was evident that there is still a strong need for continued and enhanced observations of Africa's carbon stocks and fluxes.

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October 2011
Natural Resources and Environment Newsletter
October 2011 • Number 09

In this issue, we look at the launch of the new Global Soil Partnership and examine the next steps. We also look report on FAO’s collaboration with NASA to create an international fire-reporting system, the Global Fire Information Management System, which delivers key data to remote regions of developing countries. Finally, we introduce FAO-MOSAICC, an integrated package of models to carry out climate change impact assessment at the national level.

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October 2011
Environmental Impact Assessment
Guidelines for FAO Field Projects

This publication provides guidelines for all FAO units (headquarters departments and offices, as well as decentralized offices) to undertake environmental impact assessments of field projects. The use of these guidelines apply to all FAO field projects and activities, as further specified in the sections below, requiring implications to be fully considered early in the planning process (and all the more so prior to taking final decisions) so as to avoid significant negative impacts of environmental or associated social nature.

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September 2011
FAO-Adapt
Agriculture should be placed front and centre at upcoming meeting of UN Climate Change Convention

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July 2011
FAO-Adapt
Framework Programme on Climate Change Adaptation

FAO-Adapt is an organization-wide framework programme that provides general guidance and introduces principles as well as priority themes, actions and implementation support to FAO's activities for climate change adaptation. With this cohesive, organization-wide framework, FAO-Adapt can provide a clear picture of the need for, the application and the outcome of FAO adaptation activities as it seeks support for both the short-term and long-term responses.

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July 2011
Payments for Ecosystem Services and Food Security

A healthy ecosystem can provide a variety of crucial services for public goods, such as clean water, nutrient cycling, climate regulation and food security — services that contribute directly or indirectly to human well-being. Yet today, many ecosystems are in decline; this is of particular importance to agriculture, which depends on ecosystem services. Loss of healthy ecosystems will seriously affect the production of food, both today and in the future. Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) is an economic instrument designed to provide positive incentives to users of agricultural land and those involved in coastal or marine management. These incentives are expected to result in continued or improved provision of ecosystem services, which, in turn, will benefit society as a whole.

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June 2011
CLIMATE CHANGE AND FOOD SYSTEMS RESILIENCE IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

This volume demonstrates the possibility of harmonizing agricultural production with the wellbeing of the biosphere – and that this can be achieved in Africa, our biosphere’s least developed continent, and the continent which is likely to suffer most from climate change. The work presented in this volume stems from a Conference on Ecological Agriculture held in Ethiopia in 2008. Through the discussions held during this Conference and field visits to Tigray, a region struck by hunger in the eighties and largely food secure today, participants shared insights on Africa’s potential for intensifying its agriculture through a better use of natural resources and ecosystem services.

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June 2011
Climate change, water and food security
FAO Water Reports 36

In assessing the anticipated impacts of climate change on agriculture and agricultural water management, it is clear that water availability (from rainfall, watercourses and aquifers) will be a critical factor. Substantial adaptation will be needed to ensure adequate supply and efficient utilization of what will, in many instances, be a declining resource.

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June 2011
Making Integrated Food-Energy Systems work for People and Climate
An Overview

Small-scale farmers are globally the largest farmer group and of key importance to local and national food security in developing countries. Therefore safely integrating, intensifying and thus increasing food and energy production for this large group of producers may have the best prospect to improve both local (rural) and national food and energy security and reduce poverty and environmental impact at the same time. While biomass has been – and continues to be – the primary energy source for the rural poor in developing countries, it has also been of special interest in developed countries in recent years, mainly due to the production of liquid biofuels for transport. This has caused strong controversy, mainly regarding the potential risk that the production of biofuels may pose to food security of the rural poor in developing countries, but also regarding issues related to global climate change.

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June 2011
Lessons from the Field
Experiences from FAO Climate Change Projects

Our knowledge of the processes and impacts of climate change is evolving fast. The agriculture forestry and fisheries sectors are highly affected by climate change, yet at the same time contribute to the problem by emitting significant volumes of greenhouse gases. The future of food security therefore depends on strong action in these sectors to both mitigate and adapt to climate change. Effective mechanisms for assimilating, consolidating and applying experiences from field projects, scientific research and the knowledge and practices of local people will be central to such action. This publication is the result of the FAO Climate Change Days workshop that was held at FAO headquarters in Rome 21-23 June 2010, bringing together around 100 professionals from the FAO's regional, subregional, country and headquarters offices in a number of sessions relating to FAO's climate change work.

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June 2011
Climate change: major impacts on water for farming
New FAO survey sums up current scientific understanding of impacts, highlights knowledge gaps and areas for attention

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May 2011
Strengthening capacity for climate change adaptation in agriculture
Experiences and lessons from Lesotho

Environment and Natural Resources Management Series 18. Climate change is already having an adverse impact on food security in Southern Africa notably in the Least Developed Countries like Lesotho that have a large rural population dependent on rainfed agriculture. Projected changes in future temperature and rainfall patterns for 2030 in Southern Africa indicate a significant decline in production of major staple crops such as maize, wheat and sorghum. Climate change-induced effects in Lesotho are expected to have a far-reaching regional impact on regional fresh water resources as the country forms major source of fresh water and drainage areas extending into the Atlantic basin through South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. This publication highlights the urgency of adapting agriculture and natural resources management to the unfolding climate change scenarios and potential impacts. It also underscores the importance of creating awareness and action among policy makers.

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May 2011
NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT NEWSLETTER
May 2011 - Number 06

In this issue, we look plans underway for the launch of a new Global Soil Partnership, an ambitious attempt to support a global effort to work on common issues related to soil management. We also examine a regional project focused on assisting four Andean countries - Bolivia, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador – with issues of climate change adaptation and disaster risk management in the agricultural sector. Finally, we invite you to participate in an online conference addressing issues related to policies and practices of water allocation in Asia, with a special focus on agriculture.

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May 2011
PAYMENTS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF THE GREEN ECONOMY
Stakeholders Consultation From Payment of Environmental Externalities to Remuneration of Positive Externalities in the Agriculture and Food Sector. FAO, Rome, 27-28 September 2010

The concept of a green economy has lately gained currency as the world has been searching for solution to multiple global changes, especially in the midst of the global economic crisis in 2008. The UN Joint Crisis Initiative 4 on the Green Economy, led by UNEP, is currently investigating this concept and a Green Economy Report, covering all sectors’ contributions to the green economy is being prepared. The United Nations General Assembly has selected the “green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty alleviation” as one of the main themes of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) to be held in Rio, Brazil in 2012.

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May 2011
Growing number of mega-fires may contribute to global warming
FAO calls for wildfire emissions monitoring and comprehensive fire management strategies

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April 2011
NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT NEWSLETTER
April 2011 - Number 05

This month, we invite you to participate in the e-consultation on Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible governance of tenure of land and other natural resources. Following a lengthy regional consultation process, additional input is being requested prior to the drafting of the Zero Draft Guidelines. FAO Headquarters marked World Water Day 2011, examining the urgent need for safe water supplies for the world’s rapidly growing urban populations. Finally, we proudly announce the Chinese-language version of a disaster preparedness project web site, outlining the findings of a two-year project that took place in China’s Juye County. The site is now fully available in English and Chinese.

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April 2011
Forests and climate change in the Mediterranean Forests and climate change in the Mediterranean
New partnership established to address threats to forests

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April 2011
Climate change adaptation and disaster risk management in the tropical Andes web site

Communities in the upper parts of watersheds in Bolivia, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador are particularly vulnerable to weather extremes and increasingly unpredictable weather behavior. This vulnerability plays out with a devastating effect on agricultural production and natural resources in the most affected region. A regional project focused on assisting Andean countries in reducing disaster risks in the agricultural sector. This project web site documents good practices on natural resources management and institutional strengthening in these affected regions. It also serves as a repository for policy briefs, aimed at helping decision makers to undertake sustainable participatory and productive development.

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April 2011
Biodiversity Challenge Badge

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has teamed up with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biodiversity, the World Association of Girl Guides and Scouts and the Youth and Unite Nations Global Alliance to offer a Biodiversity Challenge Badge to young people willing to gain the knowledge, skills and values to protect, preserve and improve biodiversity. This publication introduces age-appropriate activities designed to introduce the concepts of biodiversity and to stimulate exploration through active-based learning.

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February 2011
Making integrated food-energy systems work for people and climate
An overview

Environment and Natural Resources Management Working Paper 45. Reducing “energy poverty” is increasingly acknowledged as the “Missing development goal”. This is because access to electricity and modern energy sources is a basic requirement to achieve and sustain decent and sustainable living standards. Yet three billion people – about half of the world’s population - rely on unsustainable biomass-based energy sources to meet their basic energy needs for cooking and heating, and 1.6 billion people lack access to electricity. Small-scale farmers are globally the largest farmer group and of key importance to local and national food security in developing countries. Therefore safely integrating,intensifying and thus increasing food and energy production for this large group of producers may have the best prospect to improve both local (rural) and national food and energy security and reduce poverty and environmental impact at the same time.

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For related information, see the following theme pages: -Climate Change  -Bioenergy  
February 2011
E-consultation in preparation for Rio+20: Sustainability Assessment of the Food Chain

We are pleased to invite you to participate into a moderated electronic stakeholders' consultation on “Sustainability Assessment of the Food Chain” from 21 February to 25 March 2011. The aim is to seek views and share knowledge on a sustainability framework that includes core sustainability issues and a common set of performance indicators, based on the food chain sector practices. The outcome of this exercise will consist of voluntary international guidelines for food producers and retailers. To participate, just visit our website, log-on and join us in the discussions.

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February 2011
“Climate-Smart” Agriculture
Policies, practices an financing for food security, adaptation and mitigation. The Hague Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change

Agriculture in developing countries must undergo a significant transformation in order to meet the related challenges of achieving food security and responding to climate change. Projections based on population growth and food consumption patterns indicate that agricultural production will need to increase by at least 70 percent to meet demands by 2050. Most estimates also indicate that climate change is likely to reduce agricultural productivity, production stability and incomes in some areas that already have high levels of food insecurity. Developing climate‐smart agriculture1 is thus crucial to achieving future food security and climate change goals. This paper examines some of the key technical, institutional, policy and financial responses required to achieve this transformation.

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February 2011
Assessing agriculture's potential to mitigate global warming
Norway and Germany support FAO's work to fill data gaps on greenhouse gas emissions, create planning tools

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January 2011
FAO@Rio+20 web site

Preparations are underway for 2012’s event marking twenty years since the Rio de Janeiro-hosted United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, commonly known as the Earth Summit. The newly launched FAO@Rio+20 web site will be updated throughout 2011 as preparations are underway with FAO’s detailed programme of work, studies and various initiatives related to the event.

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January 2011
Climate-Smart agriculture web site

A new web site explores how to best address food security and climate change issues by adopting “climate-smart” practices. Practices considered climate-smart are those that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce the vulnerability of rural farmers or help rural populations to better adapt to climate change challenges. The web site contains examples of such practices and lessons learned by those who have adopted them.

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December 2010
Germany supports food security and climate-smart agriculture
Focus on local foods to enrich children’s diets, sisal promotion and climate change mitigation

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December 2010
Pacific Food Security toolkit: Building resilience to climate change
Root crop and fishery production

This toolkit is designed specifically for Pacific Island Countries and Territories in order to improve Pacific Islanders’ ability to produce and access safe and nutritious foods that meet their dietary and cultural needs. Targeting food security in the Pacific region is a critical action in the face of climate change, which will continue to place added pressure on existing food and water resources. The ultimate aim of the toolkit is to help ensure that Pacific Island communities continue to produce and have access to a wide range of nutritious food for the dinner plate and market place.

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December 2010
Reducing hunger through climate-smart agriculture
FAO Director-General stresses key role of agriculture and forestry in tackling climate change at UN Climate Change Conference

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December 2010
Agriculture, forestry and other land use mitigation project database
Mitigation of climate change in agriculture series 2

Agriculture, forestry and other land uses account for more than 30% of the total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions . Nevertheless, agriculture and forestry also offer huge mitigation potentials. Any decision to exclude these sectors from carbon regulation frameworks thus ignores a substantial emission reduction possibility. The Mitigation of Climate Change in Agriculture project examines the lessons that can be drawn from the analysis and interpretation of ongoing agriculture and forestry mitigation projects.

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December 2010
Funding gaps for climate change adaptation a threat to food supplies
More financing for climate change adaptation and mitigation in developing world agriculture needed

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November 2010
From around the world, lessons in 'climate smart' agriculture
New FAO website offer examples of how farming can prepare for a warmer world, reduce emissions

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October 2010
Agriculture needs to become 'climate-smart'
But current options for financing and development assistance fall far short

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September 2010
Global survey of agricultural mitigation projects
Mitigation of climate change in agriculture series 1

At the beginning of 2010, a new project, Mitigation of Climate Change in Agriculture was established at FAO to support efforts to mitigate climate change through agriculture in developing countries and to move towards carbon friendly agricultural practices. As one of the first activities under this project, the participation of smallholders in activities to mitigate greenhouse gases in agriculture will be supported. This involves the development of three to five pilot projects to test on the field the engagement of smallholder farmers in climate change mitigation. It is based on the premise that if changes are implemented in production systems, emissions can be reduced and sinks created in biomass and soils while resilience and productivity of the agricultural systems are increased.

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September 2010
A Conceptual Framework for Progressing Towards Sustainability in the Agriculture and Food Sector

Sustainability is a broadly used term that is said to encompass three dimensions of the environment, economics and social sustainability. Although sustainable development is often presented within the theory of systems analysis, at present, there are no tools that provide a practical approach to assessing sustainability outcomes. This paper identified issues, targets and performance indicators for sustainability. It represents an initial effort by FAO and ISEAL to define a universally agreed framework for sustainability which is intended to be further elaborated through the Rio+20 consultative process.

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August 2010
Hotter nights threaten food security - rice at risk
Climate change temperature increases will affect rice yields

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June 2010
FAO urges early action on climate change responses
Agriculture can be part of solutions

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May 2010
Climate change threat to Africa

Climate change can significantly reverse the progress towards poverty reduction and food security in Africa, according to a paper presented at the FAO regional Conference for Africa in Luanda, Angola . Climate change will affect poorer African countries disproportionately, and subsistence farmer are particularly vulnerable.

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May 2010
Climate change threat to Africa
Adaptation a priority

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April 2010
FAO steps up aid to Sahel pastoralists
Poor rains impact food production in Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mali

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April 2010
New FAO report assesses dairy greenhouse gas emissions
Study covers the global dairy business from nomadic herds to intensified dairy plants

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April 2010
Enlisting communities in wildfire prevention
FAO publishes new version of handbook on wildland fire management

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April 2010
Natural Resources and Environment Newsletter
April 2010 - Number 01

Welcome to the first issue of the Natural Resources and Environment Newsletter. Each month, we will be bringing you information about important issues and events, new publications and projects, and interviews with experts on various issues related to bioenergy, climate change, genetic resources and biodiversity, land resources, land tenure and water resources.

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March 2010
Carbon finance possibilities for agriculture, forestry and other land use projects in a smallholder context

This guide is intended to guide extension service advisors and institutions who work with small-scale farmers as well as foresters with an interest in Carbon Finance and Carbon Projects. Its aim is to support setting-up carbon projects which involve smallscale farmers. Their participation allows them to be involved in the development and implementation of the project, influence the design of the project to generate positive impacts for the farmers and increase their knowledge about carbon finance.

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March 2010
Enduring Farms: Climate change, smallholders and traditional farming communities
Environment & Development Series 6

The threat of global climate change has caused concern among scientists as crop growth could be severely affected by changes in key climatic variables and agricultural production and food security could be affected both globally and locally. However, farmers living in harsh environments in the regions of Africa, Asia and Latin America are constantly coping with extreme weather events and climatic variability. This has led them to develop and/or inherit complex farming systems that have the potential to bring solutions to many uncertainties facing humanity in an era of climate change. These systems have been managed in ingenious ways, allowing small farming families to meet their subsistence needs in the midst of environmental variability, and without depending much on modern agricultural technologies.

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January 2010
REVIEW OF EVIDENCE ON DRYLANDS PASTORAL SYSTEMS AND CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPLICATIONS AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR MITIGATION AND ADAPTATION
Land and Water Discussion Paper 8

In light of global concerns over the impacts of climate change and climate variability, this document provides an overview of opportunities for adaptation and mitigation in dryland pastoral and agropastoral systems. It makes a case for a concerted global effort to promote mitigation practices that also have benefits for adaptation and livelihoods of pastoralists and agropastoralists in drylands. The review also highlights the vast untapped potential for climate change mitigation and adaptation associated with improved carbon sequestration in pastoral systems and rangelands. Much of this potential lies in soil carbon sequestration.

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January 2010
Land legislation and the possibilities for pastoral risk management and adaptation to climate change
The example of Mongolia

This paper analyses the Mongolian land legislation, asking whether it meets the specific challenges of an adaptation of the predominant rural sector of pastoralism to changing climatic conditions. Securing the mobility of herders and their access to the relevant natural resources is a key feature for adaptation to climate change and the corresponding risk management. The traditional access regulation system has largely disappeared due to the political and socio-economic changes. An access regulation based on a pasture management system of land possessing user groups seems to be most adequate. The analysis of the current land legislation shows that improvements are necessary to facilitate the establishment of such new system, e.g. with regard to contracting procedures for land possession contracts; the elaboration of intra- and inter-group dispute resolution mechanisms and the development of equitable compensation regulations in the case of land condemnation.

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January 2010
Planning for Community Based Adaptation to climate change
E-learning tool

This e-learning tool is intended to assist development partners, agricultural extension staff, community based organizations and field practitioners, who face the challenge of initiating and facilitating adaptation processes at community level. The tool provides basic knowledge and guidance for local planning of climate change adaptation with a special emphasis on agriculture. The tool is composed of four modules: (1)Climate Change, (2)Climate change and Food security, (3)Preparing for Community Based Adaptation, (4) Implementing Community Based Adaptation. Each of them contains several sequential learning sessions and interactive exercises.

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January 2010
Organic Agriculture and Carbon Sequestration
Possibilities and constrains for the consideration of organic agriculture within carbon accounting systems

This document discusses the opportunities and constrains of carbon accounting for organic agriculture management in developed and developing countries. Organic agriculture offers a unique combination of environmentally-sound practices with low external inputs while contributing to food availability. In developed countries, there is a steadily growing market for organic products, driven by the rising consumer awareness for health and environment, which offers farmers a chance to produce for premium price markets and hence, an opportunity to increase their farm profitability and livelihoods. Recent studies have highlighted the substantial contribution of organic agriculture to climate change mitigation and adaptation.

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January 2010
Global Knowledge Sharing Platform

The adverse impacts of climate change affect core development needs, including access to drinking or irrigation water, food security, and public health. Adaptation is, therefore, a key component of development and cannot be addressed in isolation. FAO, in partnership with the Global Environment Facility, UNFCCC, UNEP and the World Bank, is implementing the Global Knowledge Sharing Platform in order to map good practicies, provide information, and build knowledge and networks on climate change adaptation.

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January 2010
Fighting climate change with grasslands
Vast potential seen in pastures

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December 2009
Fisheries and aquaculture: multiple risks from climate change
FAO report predicts "an ocean of change" for fishers and fish farmers

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December 2009
New climate change measurement agreement signed
Brazilian space institute and FAO partner to monitor GHGs

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December 2009
FAO launches new climate change mitigation programme
Finland is the first country to contribute

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December 2009
Climate change and food security in the Pacific
Policy brief

This brief has been prepared for the UN Convention on Climate Change meeting in Copenhagen, December 2009, to raise awareness of the imminent impacts of climate change on food security in Pacific island countries and territories and to urge participants to consider the importance of mainstreaming food security in climate-related policies, strategies and programmes.By providing a snapshot of the imminent impacts of climate change on food security in Pacific Island Countries and Territories, this report illustrates the need to mainstream food security within climate change policies, strategies and programmes and the need to combat climate-related vulnerability through the effective implementation of National Adaptation Programmes of Action. It also advocates “climate proofing” existing food security initiatives and broadening the NAPA process to include all PICTs as further steps to improve food security and combat the impacts of climate change in the region.

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December 2009
Harvesting agriculture's multiple benefits: Mitigation, adaptation, development and food security
FAO Policy Brief

Farming practices, which capture carbon and store it in agricultural soils, offer some of the most promising options for cost effective, early action on climate change in developing countries. These practices are already available and can have multiple benefits for climate change mitigation, adaptation, sustainable development and food security. To accelerate mitigation and adaptation action, climate financing mechanisms need to target agriculture, reward synergistic action and leverage investment for up-scaling. Opportunities exist to build confidence, capacity, and commitment for early action on agricultural mitigation and adaptation in developing countries, while meeting development and food security requirements.

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December 2009
Addressing climate change and food security together
Opportunities in agriculture should not be missed - FAO publishes policy brief

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December 2009
FAO - PROFILE FOR CLIMATE CHANGE

With this Profile for Climate Change, FAO outlines its priorities for its current and future work on climate change. FAO’s work focuses on adaptation mitigation agricultural sectors and advocates for better management synergies trade-offs among both. It also points to the areas where adaptation mitigation activities merge with ongoing development efforts to improve sustainable use of natural resources for increased production, income, food security and rural development. Ensuring food security will require substantial investments and action to adapt agriculture, forestry and fisheries to climate change challenges. Agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors can significantly contribute to global mitigation efforts.

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November 2009
Food security in the Pacific at risk due to climate change
FAO publishes policy brief for Copenhagen

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November 2009
Food security and agricultural mitigation in developing countries
Options for capturing synergies

This paper explores potential synergies between food security, adaptation and climate change mitigation from land-based agricultural practices in developing countries, which could help to generate the multiple benefits needed to address the multiple demands placed on agriculture. It indicates promising mitigation options with synergies, options that involve trade-offs, possible options for required financing, and possible elements in designing country implementation processes.

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November 2009
FAO Summit boosts agriculture to end hunger
Step forward to hunger-free world

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November 2009
FAO's e-newsletter on Climate Change and Food Security
Number 7

This update includes announcements of FAO's upcoming events on climate change, information on the outcomes of various international meetings, such as a workshop on measuring, reporting and verification of carbon organized by the UN-REDD at FAO and other conferences held with FAO's participation. Special attention is given to the latest activities on disaster risk management in countries such as Jamaica. This edition also focuses on the threats and opportunities climate changes poses to fisheries and aquaculture.

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November 2009
World Summit on Food Security begins
Webcasting from FAO

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November 2009
Renewed commitment to end hunger
Summit declaration vows better governance, increased investment and proactive climate change strategy

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November 2009
FAO and IDB in $1 billion agreement
Investment will spur agriculture in poor countries

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November 2009
FAO Head starts hunger strike
Will be joined by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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November 2009
World Summit on Food Security opens Monday
Over 60 heads of State and Government are planning to attend

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November 2009
Promoting climate-smart agriculture
Report explores mutual benefits, trade-offs in tackling hunger and climate change

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October 2009
Global forest monitoring to help mitigate climate change
Emissions from deforestation and forest degradation must be reduced

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October 2009
The water variable
Producing enough food in a climate insecure world

This paper serves as an input for the thematic, regional and political processes of the 5th World Water Forum and focuses on the challenges related to water, climate change and food security. Recent publications related to the anticipated impacts of climate change on water and agriculture are comprehensive, but a global analysis of specific impacts remains limited. The paper summarizes recent food production and food security trends and provides an overview of how climate change, through impacts on global hydrology, could impact food production, and consequently food security, in some key farming systems. However, as climate change is but one of many drivers of agriculture, climate change impacts need to be appreciated in relation to specific farming systems in order to identify appropriate adaptation measures. The paper highlights key drivers and presents possible responses, emphasizing that the scope of policy response will need to be broad if water institutions are to be effective in coping with climate change.

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October 2009
"Food Security and Climate Change Challenge Badge” inspiring youth to act

Rome, 16 of October 2009 – On World Food Day the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and the Youth and United Nations Global Alliance (YUNGA) will officially launch the Food Security and Climate Change Challenge Badge. At FAO Headquarters in Rome, school children, Girl Guide and Scout groups and other participants will be introduced to the badge, which will motivate children and young people to learn about climate change and food security issues and inspire them to take action to reduce their foot print and impact on the environment. By completing the badge, youth around the world will become engaged in environmental work in their local communities. The badge is available to the 10 million WAGGGS members, other youth groups and schools all over the world and can be undertaken by anyone aged five to 20 years old.

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October 2009
Healthy oceans new key to combating climate change
Action needed to maintain and restore 'blue carbon' sinks warn three UN agencies

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October 2009
2050: Climate change will worsen the plight of the poor
Diouf opens High-Level Forum on food’s future

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September 2009
2050: Climate change will worsen the plight of the poor
Future of agriculture and food security closely linked to climate change

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September 2009
REDD: North-South Agreement for New Emissions Reduction Mechanism
High level event on forests and climate change supports emissions reduction mechanism

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September 2009
FoodClimate e-newsletter
Number 6 - August 2009

Welcome to the 6th issue of FAO's e-newsletter on Climate Change and Food Security. This update includes announcements of FAO's upcoming events on climate change, information on the outcomes of various international meetings, such as a workshop on Measuring, reporting and verification of carbon organized by the UN-REDD and other conferences held with FAO's participation. Special attention is given to the latest activities on climate change in countries such as Nepal and Morocco. This edition also includes a summer quiz to test your knowledge on food security and climate change. Also featured in this issue are presentations of publications as well as interesting new sections recently added to the FAO Climate Change web portal.

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September 2009
Third World Climate Conference
Geneva meeting to examine vital role of climate information and prediction

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September 2009
WORLD SUMMIT ON FOOD SECURITY

The global food insecurity situation has worsened and continues to represent a serious threat for humanity. With food prices remaining stubbornly high in developing countries, the number of people suffering from hunger has been growing relentlessly in recent years. The global economic crisis is aggravating the situation by affecting jobs and deepening poverty. FAO estimates that the number of hungry people could increase by a further 100 million in 2009 and pass the one billion mark. A World Summit on Food Security is scheduled for 16-18 November 2009 to address these issues and to agree on key actions to tackle this crisis. The Summit web site contains all information related to the upcoming Summit and the events leading up to it.

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July 2009
FAO initiates debate on declaration for World Summit on Food Security
Calls for eradication of hunger by 2025 and for more investment in agriculture

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July 2009
Saudi Arabia to fund FAO World Food Security Summit
November meeting to discuss eradication of hunger

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July 2009
Low Greenhouse Gas Agriculture
Mitigation and adaptation potential of sustainable farming systems

Is low greenhouse gas emission (GHG) agriculture possible? Is it, in fact, desirable? In seeking answers to these two basic but extremely relevant questions, this study examines current farming practices and incorporates scientific databases from long‑term field experiments as case studies for low GHG agriculture. Further, the study examines the changes that will be needed for low greenhouse gas agriculture systems to become a reality. It also elucidates the adaptive capacity of agro-ecological farming system approaches, using organic system case studies from the scientific literature.

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July 2009
Rural makeover in the Balkans
FAO-World Bank study explores the changing face of rural space in the Balkans

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June 2009
FAO's e-newsletter on Climate Change and Food Security
Number 5 - June 2009

This update includes announcements of FAO's upcoming events on climate change, information on the outcomes of various international meetings, such as a workshop on national forest inventories in which the UN-REDD programme also participated and other conferences held with FAO's participation. Special attention is given to the latest activities on climate change in countries such as Chile, Nicaragua and the Democratic Republic of Congo. As the 30th Session of the UNFCCC subsidiary bodies is currently underway, this month’s interview touches upon the importance of including agriculture in a future agreement post-2012 and the capacity of soil to sequester carbon, as documented in an FAO submission for the UNFCCC negotiation. Also featured in this issue are presentations of publications as well as interesting new sections recently added to the FAO Climate Change web portal.

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June 2009
Land acquisitions in Africa pose risks for poor
Climate change mitigation from agriculture could also benefit hunger and poverty reduction

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May 2009
Land acquisitions in Africa pose risks for poor
First detailed study of phenomenon warns of impacts to rural communities, but notes possible benefits as well

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May 2009
GOOD PRACTICE EXAMPLES FOR DISASTER RISK REDUCTION IN CUBAN AGRICULTURE FINAL PROJECT REPORT
Assistance to Improve Local Agricultural Emergency Preparedness in Caribbean Countries Highly Prone to Hurricane Related Disasters (TCP/ RLA/3101).

The vulnerability of the Caribbean region to hydro- meteorological hazards such as hurricanes, floods, drought, high magnitude rainfall and related hazards such landslides is underscored. The recurrent impacts of these events have wreaked havoc on environment, economy and society throughout the region. Although the contribution of agriculture to Caribbean regional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has steadily declined over the last two decades, this sector has remained a major employer of labour and as such a main player in the livelihood profile of the region. The extreme vulnerability of the agricultural sector to a variety of hazards/disaster has been a perpetual focus of hazard/disaster management and interventions in the Caribbean. Over the past decade, the FAO has regular responded to the relief/rehabilitation/reconstruction needs of the sector in the aftermath of hurricane-related disasters.

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April 2009
Diouf: world must seize chance to boost agriculture
High food prices not just threat but opportunity

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April 2009
FAO's e-newsletter on Climate Change and Food Security
Number 4 - April 2009

Welcome to the fourth issue of FAO's e-newsletter on Climate Change and Food Security published on the occasion of the FAO Committee on Agriculture. This update includes announcements of FAO's upcoming events on climate change, information on the outcomes of various international meetings, such as the Climate Change talks in Bonn, Germany, the UN-REDD programme's first policy board meeting and other conferences held with FAO's participation. Special focus is given to climate change adaptation in Bangladesh and to gender and climate change issues in India. Also featured in this issue are presentations of publications recently added to the FAO Climate Change web portal as well as useful new on-line tools.

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April 2009
Climate change talks should include farmers
Agriculture in developing countries could play crucial role in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions

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March 2009
World fisheries must prepare for climate change
FAO releases new "State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture" report

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February 2009
FAO's e-newsletter on Climate Change and Food Security
Number 3 - February 2009

Welcome to the third issue of FAO's e-newsletter on Climate Change and Food Security announcing FAO's upcoming events on climate change. This update includes information on the outcomes of various international meetings, such as the UN Climate Change Conference in Poznan, presentations of publications recently added to the FAO Climate Change web portal and updates on what is happening on the field.

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December 2008
Africa to develop its water resources for agriculture, energy
Water key to eradicating hunger and poverty

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December 2008
FAO's e-newsletter on Climate Change and Food Security
Number 2 - December 2008

Welcome to the second edition of FAO's e-newsletter on Climate Change and Food Security issued just before the 14th Conference of the Parties to the Climate Convention (COP14) of the Kyoto Protocol in Poznan. This newsletter includes information on FAO's participation in this important meeting and on the outcomes of recent climate change events such as the World Summit of Regions on climate change as well as presentations of publications recently added to the FAO Climate Change web portal.

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December 2008
Forestry takes on the climate change challenge
Global organizations team up to ensure contribution of forests

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December 2008
Farms and forests can fight climate change
Incentives needed in developing countries

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December 2008
Pacific: climate change threatens food security
Bolstering food systems to avoid dramatic economic losses

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December 2008
Climate change and food security in Pacific Island countries

With increasing global temperatures, rising sea levels and more frequent and intense extreme weather events, Pacific islands countries, especially those in warmer latitudes, are the most vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. Their populations are expected to be among the first that will need to adapt to climate change or even abandon their traditional homeland and relocate. Unless we act now, climate change will constitute a major barrier to the achievement of sustainable development and viable food production goals for all Pacific island countries, while threatening the very existence of many of them. Ocean warming and acidification, spatial changes in precipitation patterns and frequent cyclones are projected to have devastating effects on the food sector, ranging from loss of the coral reefs and mangrove forests on which fish depends, to reduced agricultural yields and loss of arable land and freshwater. Recognizing that subsistence and commercial agriculture are vital to local food security and earning export revenues, it becomes quite certain that implementation of adaptation measures to build resilience of food systems is critical to avoiding enormous economic losses in agriculture, forestry and fisheries. For example, in the absence of adaptation, the cost of damages in the food sector by ...

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October 2008
Terrestrial Essential Climate Variables for Climate Change Assessment, Mitigation and Adaptation
Global Terrestrial Observing System GTOS 52 - Biennial Report Supplement - Editors: Reuben Sessa and Han Dolman

The 2007 IPCC assessment unequivocally states that humans have significantly changed the composition of the atmosphere and that, as a result, our climate is changing. To be able to attribute the causes of climate change, analyse the potential impacts, evaluate the adaptation options and enable characterization of extreme events such as floods, droughts and heat waves, globally consistent sets of observational data are needed. Without such baseline data it will not be possible develop the products needed by policy and other stakeholders. The climate observing system in the terrestrial domain is, however, still poorly developed, while at the same time there is increasing significance being placed on terrestrial data for impact, adaptation and mitigation activities. The precise quantification of the rate of climate change also remains important to determine whether feedback or amplification mechanisms, in which the terrestrial surface plays an important role, are operating within the climate system.

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October 2008
FAO's e-newsletter on climate change and food security
Number 1 - October 2008

Welcome to the first edition of FAO's e-newsletter on climate change and food security. As a follow-up to the High Level Conference on World Food Security: the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy (June 2008), this newsletter provides an entry point to information, events and publications related to climate change and its impacts on agriculture, forestry, fisheries, food security, and natural resources as well as adaptation and mitigation strategies. This first edition of FoodClimate includes information on the outcomes of important climate change events and links to publications recently added to the FAO Climate Change web portal.

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October 2008
Adapting to climate change in Bangladesh
Video

Bangladesh is one of the most disaster prone countries in the world. With nearly 200 major natural disasters since 1971, the population is struggling to cope with the impact of climate change on their food security. In November 2007, the devastating Cyclone Sidr struck and killed more than 3,000 people. Around 1.4million MT of food grain was lost when severe flooding caused an entire growing season to be lost. FAO projects are helping farmers adapt to the new challenges, with improved farming systems and new technologies, and with the innovative ‘Climate Field School’ project. Improved gardens are successfully using new types of drought resistant seeds identified by FAO. These new plant varieties and the practise of homestead gardening ensure year round income, more balanced diets and gender involvement.

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September 2008
High-Level Conference on World Food security: The Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy
Report of the Conference

This past 3-5 June 2008, Heads of State and Government, high-level Minsisters and representatives of non-governmental and civil society organizations converged upon FAO Headquarters in Rome to discuss new challenges to world food security, primarily the effects of climate change, bioenergy and soaring food prices. The Conference concluded with the adoption by acclamation of a declaration calling on the international community to increase assistance for developing countries.

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September 2008
Strategic note on "Climate, climate change and agropastoral practices in the Sahel region"

This strategic note has been prepared by the Sahel and West Africa Club, linked to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Agrhymet Centre of CILSS (Permanent interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel) and FAO for the High Level Conference on World Food Security: the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy, June 2008 in Rome. It presents the main conclusions of a study implemented by the three organisations on "Climate and Climate Change in West Africa". Recalling main facts on the evolution of climate in Africa and in West Africa and possible impacts of climate change on food production and food security in the region, the note analyses Sahelian producers’ adaptation strategies. It highlights for decision makers the needed promotion of local knowledge to adapt to climate fluctuations in order to better define and implement adaptation policies at the national and regional level.

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August 2008
Indigenous peoples threatened by climate change
World day highlights fundamental role of indigenous peoples in food security

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June 2008
Food Summit calls for more investment in agriculture
Poor countries need special assistance to weather food price shocks

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June 2008
High-level Conference on World Food Security: The Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy
3-5 June 2008 FAO Headquarters, Rome, Italy

The High-level Conference on World Food Security: The Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy, held at FAO Headquarters 3-5 June 2008, winessed the participation of one hundred eighty-one member countries. Forty-three Heads of State and Government attended the event, alongside one hundred high-level Ministers and sixty non-governmental and civil society organizations. 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. “There is an urgent need to help developing countries and countries in transition expand agriculture and food production, and to increase investment in agriculture, agribusiness and rural development, from both public and private sources,” according to the declaration. The conference web site contains all information related to the Conference, including archived webcasting, photo galleries of the events, technical background documents, and the speeches delivered by Heads of State and Government and Ministers.

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June 2008
Renewed financial effort in fight on hunger
Countries increase commitment at Rome Food Summit

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June 2008
FAO initiative helps small farmers increase food production
Growers in some of the world's poorest countries targeted for help

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June 2008
Boosting Food Production in Africa’s "Breadbasket Areas"
New Collaboration among Rome-based UN Agencies and AGRA

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June 2008
The world only needs 30 billion dollars a year to eradicate the scourge of hunger
Time for talk over - Action needed

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May 2008
Feeding the World Sustainable Management of Natural Resources
Fact sheets

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May 2008
Feeding the World
Sustainable Management of Natural Resources

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May 2008
Climate and Climate Change in West Africa, 2008

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April 2008
A major boost to preparations for the FAO Summit on food security
Brazilian President Lula confirms his presence

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April 2008
Urgent measures required to reduce impact of high food prices on the poor
UN agency chiefs highlight role of agro-industries

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March 2008
Improved Adaptive Capacity to Climate Change for Sustainable Livelihoods in the Agriculture Sector
Summary Report - Project Phase I - Community Based Adaptation in Action

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March 2008
Disaster Risk Management Systems Analysis
A guide book

This Guide provides a set of tools to assess existing structures and capacities of national, district and local institutions with responsibilities for Disaster Risk Management (DRM) in order to improve the effectiveness of DRM systems and the integration of DRM concerns into development planning, with particular reference to disaster-prone areas and vulnerable sectors and population groups. The strategic use of the Guide is expected to enhance understanding of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing existing DRM institutional structures and their implications for on-going institutional change processes. It will also highlight the complex institutional linkages among various actors and sectors at different levels. Finally, it will help identify gaps within the existing DRM institutions and/or systems including sectoral line agencies that are often responsible for implementing the technical aspects of DRM (e.g. agriculture, water and health sectors). The assessment and analysis process outlined in the Guide is thus a first step towards strengthening existing DRM systems. The major areas of application are: - Strengthening institutional and technical capacities for DRM at national and/or decentralized levels; - Integrating key aspects of DRM in emergency rehabilitation programmes; - Designing and promoting Community-Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM); - Operationalizing the paradigm shift from ...

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March 2008
EBRD and FAO call for bold steps to contain soaring food prices
Moves needed now to unlock unused agricultural potential in Eastern Europe

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March 2008
Climate change a further challenge for gender equity
How men and women farmers are differently affected

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March 2008
Good practices for hazard risk management in agriculture -
Haïti final report. Assistance in improving local preparation for agricultural emergencies for Caribbean countries at risk for cyclones and other natural disasters

This pilot project was designed to respond to the need to build the capacity of farmers in preparing for agricultural disasters in Caribbean countries heavily exposed to natural disasters associated with hurricanes. The project began in February 2006 and its objectives were to assist countries participating in improving their food security situation in the most severely affected regions and to improve technical capacity of agricultural workers and their level of preparedness for facing hurricane-related disasters, as well as their ability to assist in post-emergency agricultural development.

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March 2008
Agriculture in the Near East likely to suffer from climate change
The hungry and poor will be mostly affected – FAO meeting debates impact on the region

Agriculture in the Near East is likely to suffer losses because of high temperature, droughts, floods and soil degradation threatening the food security of many countries, FAO said today.

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December 2007
High-Level Conferences on World food Security and Global Challenges - Conference Document
Thirty-fourth session FAO Conference Rome, Italy 17-24 November 2007

In advocating for and supporting international and national efforts to achieve the food security objectives endorsed by the World Food Summit and reflected in the Millennium Development Goals, FAO and its partners are being called upon to assist the international community in facing new global challenges that relate to the close inter-linkages among food security, climate change and bioenergy. Such challenges demand a more integrated and comprehensive response within broader strategies designed to address mitigation of and adaptation to the impacts of climate change and bioenergy, especially for the most vulnerable populations. The recent thirty-fourth session of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Conference called for a series of expert meetings on climate change and bioenergy, to be held between January and March 2008, which will be followed by a High-Level Conference on World Food Security and the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy held in Rome, Italy from 3 to 5 June 2008.

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December 2007
Climate and flood forecast applications in agriculture
An interactive, web-based e-learning tool

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December 2007
Rome UN Agencies urge immediate climate action to avert hunger
FAO Director-General announces High-Level Conference

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December 2007
Climate change causing species disappearance in mountain areas
Fresh water, animal and plant species threatened

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December 2007
Climate change: focussing on how the vulnerable can cope
FAO pilots emerging strategies to alleviate weather-related consequences

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November 2007
Opportunities and risks of wood energy production
Greenhouse gas emissions and poverty could be reduced, deforestation could increase

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November 2007
Paying farmers to protect the environment?Paying farmers to protect the environment?
FAO publishes The State of Food and Agriculture 2007

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October 2007
TERRESTRIAL OBSERVATIONS OF OUR PLANET
Biennial Report GTOS 50

As is now well-known, the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations, as well as other greenhouse gases, due to human activity, has produced concerns regarding the energy balance of the global atmosphere, and this shift in balance will cause global patterns of temperature to increase and precipitation to change — the broad outlines are that wet areas will get wetter and dry areas will get drier. What is less well known is just how daunting the task is of stabilizing climate change. Stabilizing emissions does not stabilize the concentration in the atmosphere, and even after achieving stabilization of CO2 in the atmosphere, climate will continue to change, with both ocean and land temperature continuing to rise for decades, and sea levels continuing to rise for centuries. The world has therefore already a future “pre-committed” to warming on account of carbon dioxide that humans have already added to the atmosphere. Human activities are also signifi cantly infl uencing Earth’s environment in many ways in addition to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. For many parts of the planet, the challenging environmental concerns are “place-based”: shortages of clean and accessible freshwater, health threatening changes in the chemistry of the atmosphere, severe degradation of ...

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September 2007
Climate variability and change: Adaptation to drought in Bangladesh
A resource book and training guide

In Bangladesh, where agriculture is the largest sector of the economy, agricultural production is under pressure from increasing demands for food. A large percentage of the population is already vulnerable to a range of natural hazards with increasing climate variability and climate change expected to aggravate the situation further by causing more frequent and intense droughts and increasing temperatures. General Circulation Model data project an average temperature increase in Bangladesh of 1.0ºC by 2030 and 1.4ºC by 2050. Within this context, FAO and the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) are guiding an assessment of livelihood adaptation to climate variability and change in the drought-prone areas of Northwest Bangladesh. The project, implemented under the Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme and in close collaboration with the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), is specifically designed to characterize livelihood systems, profile vulnerable groups, assess past and current climate impacts, and increase understanding of local perceptions of climate impacts, coping capacities and existing adaptation strategies. The initiative has guided development of a good practice menu of adaptation options that is being evaluated and field tested in partnership with local communities. As part of this initiative, a series of capacity-building and training activities on “climate change impacts ...

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September 2007
Living with climate change
Adaptation strategies needed to build resilience

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August 2007
Climate change likely to increase risk of hunger
Industrialized countries could gain in production potential, developing countries may lose

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July 2007
Good Practices for Hazard Risk Management in Agriculture
Summary Report Haiti - Project Phase I - TCP/RLA/3101

Haiti is an agro-based economy whose general livelihood systems have been seriously affected by recurrent onslaught of weather-related disasters resulting in 18,441 killed, 4,708 injured and 131,968 homeless, 6,376,536 affected and economic damages for 4.6 billion US $ over the 21st century. Particular physiographic characteristics - semiarid tropical climate, rough and mountainous terrain - and the combined interplay of environmental degradation with extreme socio-economic conditions in the form of poverty, illiteracy, inefficient land use systems and governance problems, have made the country increasingly vulnerable. In 2004 alone, a very active cyclonic year, hurricanes Ivan and Jeanne resulted in 320,852 affected, of which 2,757 killed, as well as heavy material losses. Such extensive damages combined with the vulnerability of small farmers, lessons learnt from a number of FAO emergency and rehabilitation projects and critical gaps in disaster and risk management strategies eventually oriented FAO towards a more proactive approach. Within this framework, the FAO funded the regional TCP “Assistance to improve Local Agricultural Emergency Preparedness in Caribbean countries highly prone to hurricane related disasters” in Cuba, Grenada, Haiti and Jamaica to “assist governments of participating countries to support the food security of small farmers operating in the most hazard prone areas ...

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June 2007
Institutionalizing pastoral risk management in Mongolia Lessons learned - Case study
Results from a study implemented three years after completion of the FAO project Pastoral Risk Management Strategy, TCP/MON/0066

Risk management attracted attention during the 1990s as one of the activities that can make rural livelihoods more sustainable. Risk is high in the more marginal and uncertain environments inhabited by pastoralists, and its management is a necessary condition for the survival of households and groups. Herders were especially at risk in the former centrally-planned economies during the period of economic liberalisation. Here government had hitherto taken responsibility for most risk, protecting pastoral livelihoods through a range of economic and social measures, but suddenly ceased to do so as part of the economic reforms adopted from 1989 onwards. Herders in these countries found themselves bearing the whole economic and ecological cost of risk almost overnight. The aim of the present study is to discover more precisely how far the risk management agenda developed initially by the two FAO/TCP projects in Mongolia has been implemented, what specific institutional reforms it has encouraged, how the agenda itself has developed and changed, and what has determined its successes and failures. The objective is to document some of the institutional and policy dimensions of a pastoral risk management strategy, some of the results such a strategy can achieve, and ideas about its further development. ...

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May 2007
Sharing lessons Hazard risk preparedness in agriculture: Good practice examples from south and south-east Asia
Project TCP/RLA/3101 Assistance to improve Local Agricultural Emergency Preparedness in Caribbean countries highly prone to hurricane related disasters

In the recent past, most Asian countries have greatly improved their capacities to monitor hazards and to warn, evaluate and provide emergency relief to victims of disasters. As a result, the number of lives lost to disasters such as floods, storms and extreme temperature has decreased significantly. However, the vulnerability within the agriculture sector has continuously increased due to its high level of exposure. It is essential to re-align all disaster management programmes in the agriculture sectors from response to prevention and preparedness. It means, in effect, to shift from the current focus on relief and mitigation activities to all-round early warning, prevention, preparedness, relief, rehabilitation and sustainable recovery activities. It is also required to integrate disaster prevention within the agricultural development processes. There are many examples of farmer-led participatory disaster risk management initiatives at pilot scale in Asia. However, efforts are required at much greater scale to mainstream these pilot scale efforts at the national and regional levels. Although disaster risk reduction is now widely adopted, it still remains a challenge to fully integrate it into agriculture sector development planning.

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April 2007
Assistance to improve local agricultural emergency preparedness in Caribbean countries highly prone to hurricane related disasters
Grenada Case Study - Interim finding and recommendations (TCO/RLA/3101)

Natural disasters have severely destabilized the socio-economic fabric of the Caribbean region in the last two decades, with the most devastating impacts experienced in 2004. According to the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, at least 6,000 lives were lost, and over one million people were affected by natural disasters in the region in 2004. Comprehensive assessments of the impacts of natural disasters on five Caribbean countries revealed that the extraordinary active hurricane season during that year resulted in damages approximating US $5.7 billion. Moreover, the productive sectors which include agriculture accounted for over one third (35.2%) of associated damages and losses. Such events have exposed the socio-cultural and environmental vulnerabilities of the Caribbean basin, and the urgent need to rethink disaster management options. A comprehensive approach to disaster risk reduction however, has not been integrally incorporated into the agriculture sector within the region. This strategic deficient landscape has significantly reduced the resilience of the sector to cope with extreme hydro-meteorological hazards such as Hurricane Ivan. In recognition of the immense negative impact of the 2004 hurricane season on the farming community, and the urgent call for assistant from regional policy makers, the Food and Agricultural Organization funded ...

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April 2007
Adaptation to climate change in agriculture, forestry and fisheries
Perspective, framework and priorities

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) provides that all Parties must formulate and implement national or regional programmes containing measures to facilitate adequate adaptation to climate change. It lists specific domains in particular need of adaptation, namely coastal zones, water resources, agriculture, and areas affected by drought and desertification, as well as floods. Included among this list are specific reference to: small island countries, countries with forest areas liable to forest decay, countries prone to natural disasters, and countries with fragile ecosystems, including mountain ecosystems. The croplands, pastures and forests that occupy 60 percent of the Earth’s surface are progressively being exposed to threats from increased climatic variability and, in the longer run, to climate change. Abnormal changes in air temperature and rainfall and resulting increases in frequency and intensity of drought and flood events have long-term implications for the viability of these ecosystems. As climatic patterns change, so also do the spatial distribution of agroecological zones, habitats, distribution patterns of plant diseases and pests, fish populations and ocean circulation patterns which can have significant impacts on agriculture and food production.

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April 2007
Adaptation to climate change in agriculture, forestry and fisheries Perspective, framework and priorities
This is a publication of the Interdepartmental Working Group on Climate Change

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) provides that all Parties must formulate and implement national or regional programmes containing measures to facilitate adequate adaptation to climate change. It lists specific domains in particular need of adaptation, namely coastal zones, water resources, agriculture, and areas affected by drought and desertification, as well as floods. Included among this list are specific reference to: small island countries, countries with forest areas liable to forest decay, countries prone to natural disasters, and countries with fragile ecosystems, including mountain ecosystems. The croplands, pastures and forests that occupy 60 percent of the Earth’s surface are progressively being exposed to threats from increased climatic variability and, in the longer run, to climate change. Abnormal changes in air temperature and rainfall and resulting increases in frequency and intensity of drought and flood events have long-term implications for the viability of these ecosystems. As climatic patterns change, so also do the spatial distribution of agroecological zones, habitats, distribution patterns of plant diseases and pests, fish populations and ocean circulation patterns which can have significant impacts on agriculture and food production.

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June 2001
World Summit on Sustainable Development
Johannesburg 2002

The Johannesburg summit is a follow-up of the first Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The Earth Summit represented a turning point in the way we look at environment and development; world leaders adopted Agenda 21, a blue print to attain sustainable development in the 21st century.FAO is task manager for many of the land-related chapters of Agenda 21, chiefly, chapter 10 (Integrated Planning and Management of Land Resources), chapter 11 (Combating Deforestation), chapter 13 (Sustainable Mountain Development) and on chapter 14 (Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development: SARD). It is also a major partner in the implementation of several chapters of Agenda 21, notably, chapters 12 (Combating Desertification and Drought), 15 (Biological Diversity), 17 (Oceans and Seas) 18 (Freshwater) and 19 (Toxic Chemicals). FAO is actively involved in contributing to the Rio+10 process and particularly as regards the preparation of documentation for the intergovernmental process. FAO looks forward to Rio+10 as it will provide a unique opportunity to draw to the attention of world leaders some of the key challenges and opportunities the global community faces in the implementation of various chapters of Agenda 21 for which it is a leader and major partner. We trust the ...

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June 2001
Strengthening pastoral institutions in North-West China pastoral area to access improved extension services for risk management and poverty alleviation

Located in the central part of western China, Qinghai Province is one of the poorest provinces in China. Dari County, the case study area, is located in the south-eastern part of Qinghai-Tibetan High Plateau. Due to Dari’s special geographical location with an average altitude ranging from 3500 to 4000 meters above the sea level, extensive pastoral production systems play an overwhelming role in the local economy. However, the harsh climate determines a high-risk environment and the mainly Tibetan herders are living under difficult and poor conditions with very weak risk prevention and avoiding capacities and capabilities.This report documents the in-depth situation assessment on Pastoral Risk Management and Poverty Alleviation, in Dari County. It identifies the current risks and poverty evidences existing in the county and it compares perceptions, and recomendations of different stakeholders to improve current pastoral risks management approaches and practice.

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July 1999
Global climate maps

The global climate maps presented here are based on data for mean monthly values of temperature, precipitation and cloudiness prepared in 1991 by R. Leemans and W. Cramer and published by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). The IIASA data correspond to an imaginary "net" covering the Earth's surface with a mesh size of 0.5 degrees. This is equivalent to about 60 km - an area of about 3,600 sq. km - at the equator.

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August 1998
Integrated coastal area management and agriculture, forestry and fisheries
FAO guidelines

This FAO Guidelines examines issues specific to those sectors, and suggest the processes, information requirements, policy directions, planning tools and possible interventions that are necessary for ICAM (Integrated coastal area management and agriculture).

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December 1996
Agrometeorological Crop Forecasting

Crop forecasting is the art of predicting crop yields (tons/ha) and production before the harvest actually takes place, typically a couple of months in advance. Several techniques can be used. What is described here is the approach used by FAO in national food security systems. Crop forecasting relies on computer programmes that describe the plant-environment interactions in quantitative terms. Such programmes are called "models", and they attempt to simulate plant-weather-soil interactions. They need, therefore, information and data on the most important factors that affect crop yields - the model inputs. After passing "through" the model, the inputs are converted to a number of outputs, such as maps of crop conditions and yields.

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