FAO Near East Regional Meeting Develops Declaration on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security

FAOJuly 2011: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) held its Second Forum on Climate Change in the Near East in Beirut, Lebanon, from 27-29 June 2011, with a focus on agriculture and food security.

The Forum took stock of countries' knowledge and gaps, with an opportunity to exchange experiences and identify support needs and regional exchange opportunities. The meeting also exposed delegates to international financial mechanisms to support climate adaptation and food security goals, including the Global Environment Fund (GEF).

The meeting developed a declaration on the commitment to address climate change, agriculture and food security, and a roadmap for implementation. The Forum declaration reconfirmed the recommendation from the first Forum that climate change adaptation is a top priority for the agriculture sector and is required for meeting food security objectives. It recognized the shortage of information on the extent of coordination mechanisms among relevant ministries and institutions and local strategies for coping with adaptation. It described the limited public financial resource available for adaptation, and called for rural development mechanisms to ensure adaptation actions are financed. The forum reaffirmed the link between mitigation and adaptation in the agriculture sector, and called for the development of a regional climate change model, particularly for understanding vulnerability of water resources. It called for cooperation and exchange of experiences between countries of the region and highlighted common themes from preliminary country studies. Finally it recommended that member countries and the FAO should launch cooperative actions to enhance national capacities, and called on funding agencies to simplify their procedures and explain their roles, policies and procedures. [FAO Meeting Website] [Forum Declaration]