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Cordoba Seminar Focuses on Agrobiodiversity and Climate Change

15 September 2010: Held from 13-15 September 2010, in Cordoba, Spain, the International Seminar on the Role of Agricultural Biodiversity in Addressing Hunger and Climate Change was organized in the framework of the International Year of Biodiversity and in commemoration of World Food Day.

Participants heard presentations by senior representatives of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGR), Bioversity International and the Global Crop Diversity Trust. The Seminar was organized by the Chair of Studies on Hunger and Poverty at the University of Cordoba, Bioversity International, the CBD, FAO, ITPGR, the Government of Spain, and local and provincial authorities. It aimed to: promote awareness raising and dialogue among public institutions, universities, scientists, civil society and the private sector; catalyze action and projects; and contribute to defining priorities and developing policies at all levels.

On the occasion of the seminar, CBD Executive Secretary Ahmed Djoghlaf highlighted the milestones of the International Year of Biodiversity and underscored the linkages between biodiversity loss and climate change. Drawing attention to the report of the CBD Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Climate Change and Biodiversity, he stated that the relationship between biodiversity and climate change goes both ways: the degradation of many ecosystems is significantly reducing their carbon storage and sequestration capacity, leading to increases in emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), while approximately 10% of species assessed so far have an increasingly high risk of extinction for each degree Celsius rise in global mean surface temperature.

Highlighting increasing threats to agricultural biodiversity and the deep connection between biodiversity and human well-being, he added that climate change is destabilizing the global food supply. He also drew attention to the draft post-2010 CBD strategic plan, which addresses both the direct and indirect drivers of biodiversity loss, and links actions to combat it with efforts to combat and adapt to climate change. [The International Seminar at the University of Cordoba Website] [Seminar Programme][CBD Executive Secretary Statement, 13 September 2010][CBD Executive Secretary Statement, 14 September 2010]