News

High-Level Event on Climate and Food Security Stresses Vulnerability of Dryland Populations

5 December 2012: A side event held during the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 18) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) brought together ministers and leaders from within the UN system to discuss actions to be taken under the climate-water-food security nexus in the drylands.

The event, titled "Sustainable Solutions for Climate Action, Food Security in Dry Lands under a Change Climate," brought together high-level speakers, including Helen Clark, UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator, COP 18 President Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres.

The speakers addressed their aspirations for COP 18 results, and stressed the particular challenges facing dryland populations. They underscored the particular food security challenges for many dryland countries that are net food importers, stressing that global food crises have large effects on these countries. Many described the need to adapt the water sector in dryland countries to better consider uncertainty and respond to water stresses.

Kieren Keke, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Nauru, drew comparisons between the food and water challenges facing small island developing States (SIDS) and dryland countries.  The high-level event took place on 4 December 2012, in Doha, Qatar, and was co-hosted by the UN and the Government of Qatar. [IISD RS Coverage of the Side Event]