Climate Change and Food Security in West and North Africa Conference Adopts Kuwait Declaration

WMO18 November 2011: The International Conference on Adaptation to Climate Change and Food Security in West and North Africa addressed concerns over the sustainability of agriculture production systems in the region, noting the importance of agriculture for local livelihoods and the poor, as well as concerns over water scarcity.

The Conference was sponsored by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) and other donors. It took place from 14-16 November 2011, in Kuwait City, Kuwait, and brought together 80 participants from 18 countries.

Attendees highlighted concerns over the impacts of climate change in the region, in particular: temperature increases; declines in freshwater; sea level rise; salinity intrusion; extreme weather events; and shifting of biomes. They noted that climate change affects the four dimensions of food security: availability; accessibility; food use; and food system stability.

The Conference concluded with the adoption of the Kuwait Declaration, which recommends: integrating science, practices and policy by mainstreaming adaptation, strengthening cooperation between the research and practitioner organizations, and enhancing coordination; enhancing capacity building activities on climate, crop, livestock and fisheries, including data collection, analysis and modeling; stimulating research on climate and food security and developing strategies that promote socioeconomic sustainability of production systems through risk management and reduction strategies; creating a Network for Climate Change and Food Security in West Africa and North Africa; developing financial mechanisms to scale up technical and financial support for adaptation in West Africa and North Africa; and improving communication of climate change risks and policy choices.

ICARDA is a member of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). [Conference Website] [IISD RS Sources]