Climate variability and climate change constitute the two extremes of the spectrum covered by climate fluctuations. Climate variability, the noise (random) component of climate, covers periods from days to years (short-term fluctuations). Climate change is super-imposed on variability and it refers to longer-term scale. It can be caused both by natural forces and by human activities. As the spectrum of activities covers climate variability and climate change, the Unit promotes, among others: adaptation strategies to build resilience of local communities and agricultural, forestry, and fisheries sectors; advice to stakeholders on integrating climate change issues deriving from agriculture, forestry and fisheries into national development programmes; inter-disciplinary approach towards disaster mitigation and preparedness; development of tools and mechanisms to monitor and analyse the impacts of climate change on agriculture; incorporation of issues of climate variability and change into capacity building programmes.
Adaptation to Climate Change
Most effective contribution in the area of climate change adaptation lies in providing countries with tools and information for adapting their agriculture, fisheries and forestry policies and practices to changing climate regimes and to improve farmers' capacities to reduce risk or make optimal use of climate variability. This includes agro-meteorological data and tools for assessing the impact of extreme weather and for guiding adaptation; improving management advice to farmers on the basis of current weather monitoring (contingency planning and response farming); vulnerability assessment tools; guidance on rural livelihood development related to decision making by farmers, herders and fishermen; promoting integrated approaches and synergies between climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction practices and mechanisms in agricultural sectors; policy advice to strengthen institutional approaches to disaster risk reduction and cimate change adaptation from a sectoral perspective; promoting sustainable natural resource mnanagement as basis of adaptation to climate variability and change; improving household-level food security to help rural populations achieve greater resilience under short-term and medium-term climate variations.
High-Level Conference on World Food Security: the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy
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.