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FAO High-Level Forum Highlights Impacts of Climate Change on Agriculture

© FAO13 October 2009: The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) convened a two-day high-level forum on “How to Feed the World in 2050,” from 12-13 October 2009, at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy.

The Forum was sponsored by the FAO in partnership with the Government of Spain and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and convened 300 experts to debate the policies, technology and investment needs to achieve food security by 2050.

FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf opened the meeting, underscoring that “global agriculture will have to cope with the effects of climate change, notably higher temperatures, greater rainfall variability and more frequent extreme weather events such as floods and droughts.” In particular, he said climate change would lead to lower water availability and an increase in plant and animal pests and diseases. He noted the varying impacts of climate change could lead to a 30% reduction in agricultural productivity output in Africa and a 21% reduction in Asia.

The Forum will be complemented by a meeting of the Committee on World Food Security, from 14-17 October 2009, and World Food Day, on 16 October 2009. Each of these meetings will contribute to the World Summit on Food Security to be held at FAO headquarters in Rome from 16-18 November 2009. [FAO Press Release][How to Feed the World in 2050][World Summit on Food Security]