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First APEC Summit on Food Security Held

17 October 2010: Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers responsible for food security met for the first time in Niigata, Japan, from 16-17 October 2010, and agreed on the Niigata Declaration on APEC Food Security, which contains several references to climate change.

The Niigata Declaration points to the fact that desertification, shortages of freshwater, conversion of farmland to non-food production and the adverse impacts of climate change have increased. It notes that increasing the availability of sufficient, safe and nutritious food in the APEC region needs to be supplemented by cooperation for adaptation to, and mitigation of, climate change and disaster preparedness in the agricultural sector, to help the region achieve a stable supply of food for its people.  In the Declaration, Ministers agree to work in close collaboration with APEC Emergency Preparedness Working Group to enhance regional capacity to mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters affecting the agricultural sector, with a focus on the impacts of climate change and climate variability.

The Declaration contains a section entitled "Confronting challenges in climate change and natural resource management," in which Ministers agree to cooperate to assist the agricultural sector to adapt to, and mitigate, climate change through the development and transfer of new and existing technologies, exchange of information, research collaboration and capacity building, in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. They note the importance of bringing economies together in a bottom-up, voluntary network to increase international cooperation, collaboration and investment in agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) research. Ministers also note their shared need to cooperate on developing second-generation biofuels. [Niigata Declaration]