Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, January 19, 2015

Coping with climate change – the roles of genetic resources for food and agriculture

FAO. 2015. Rome
109 pages

To review the state of knowledge on the impact of climate change on genetic resources for food and agriculture and to discuss the potential roles of these resources in adaptation to and mitigation of climate change, the Commission requested FAO to conduct a scoping study on climate change and genetic resources for food and agriculture.

Based on several thematic studies, this publication presents an overview of the complex interactions between climate change and plant, animal, forest, aquatic, invertebrate and micro-organism genetic resources.
Most countries need to access genetic resources from elsewhere for their agricultural production and food security. Consequently, countries should be regarded as interdependent in their use of genetic resources. It is expected that the challenges posed by climate change will increase interdependency and lead to greater international exchange of genetic resources for food and agriculture.
A scene-setting introductory section, providing a brief overview of the main international processes relevant to climate change, is followed by six sections dealing with the various sectors of genetic resources. Each section addresses two key questions:
  1. What are the possible effects of climate change on genetic resources for food and agriculture and how does it influence their management? 
  2. What are the specific roles of genetic resources for food and agriculture in coping with climate change? 
The book ends with a discussion of the main conclusions and opportunities identified.

19-23 January 2015. Rome. Fifteenth session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and
Agriculture (CGRFA 15) of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

16 January 2015. A Special Event on “Food Security and Genetic Diversity” preceded the Commission Session. The event aimed to raise awareness on the importance and contribution of genetic resources to food security and its different dimensions. Participants had the opportunity to hear country and stakeholder perspectives on impacts of, as well as, challenges and opportunities in integrating biodiversity and genetic resources into national food security and nutrition objectives.

A seminar entitled “Towards The State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture” took place on 17 January 2015. This interactive seminar aimed to give participants the opportunity to share views on, and to contribute to, the preparation of the first report on The State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture and on the way forward.

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