Fifteenth SAARC Summit Declaration Addresses Climate Change and Food Security

The fifteenth Summit meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)3 August 2008: The fifteenth Summit meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), held from 2-3 August 2008, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, concluded with the adoption of the Colombo Declaration and the Colombo Statement on Food Security. In the Declaration, entitled “Partnership for Growth for Our People,” the Heads of State and Government reiterate the need for increased regional cooperation in tackling climate change, in particular for capacity building, the development of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects, and awareness raising.

They welcome the adoption of the SAARC Declaration on Climate Change for the UNFCCC by the twenty-ninth Session of the Council of Ministers, held in New Delhi, India, from 7-8 December 2007. Noting the impact of climate change on livelihoods, SAARC leaders stress the urgency to take action jointly, assess and manage its risks and impacts, and call for a study on the human dimension of climate change. As an equitable basis for tackling climate change, they endorse per capita emissions targets for developing and developed countries, taking into account historical responsibility and country capabilities. On energy, the Heads of State and Government recognize the need to: develop and conserve conventional sources of energy; build up renewable energy resources; and introduce energy reforms, energy efficiency and the trade and sharing of technology. While they note current efforts to strengthen regional cooperation in this sector, they direct that the recommendations of the Energy Dialogue, held on 5 March 2007 in New Delhi, India, be implemented through

a work plan. In the Colombo Statement on Food Security, the Heads of State and Government affirm their resolve to ensure region-wide food security, make South Asia the granary of the world once again, and direct the convening of an Extraordinary Meeting of the Agriculture Ministers of the SAARC Member States in New Delhi, India, in November 2008, to develop a people-centered short to medium term regional strategy and collaborative projects. They also direct that the SAARC Food Bank be urgently operationalized. [Colombo Declaration] [Colombo Statement on Food Security]