International Symposium on Climate Change and Food Security in South Asia Opens

Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization 25 August 2008: A UN-sponsored International Symposium on

Climate Change and Food Security in South Asia, taking place from 25-30 August

in Dhaka, Bangladesh, aims to develop an agriculture mitigation and adaptation

framework for climate change implementation in South Asia. Participants are

also expected to recommend policy and financial innovations to enable the

implementation of the framework and its integration into the sustainable

development planning of South Asia countries.

The event brings together over

300 experts and is organized by the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO),

the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the UN Economic and

Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), together with Ohio State

University and the University of Dhaka. The workshop will examine the effects

of climate change on this predominantly agricultural region, where close to 300

million are undernourished and live in poverty. During the opening ceremony,

WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud underlined that climate change is a key

factor in formulating sustainable development strategies and noted that it

could hinder progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, in

particular in terms of poverty reduction and food security. He Changchui, FAO

Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific, also emphasized the linkages

between climate change and food security, and called on governments to

implement national development strategies to cope with climate change's impacts

on the farming sector. Siva Thampi, Director, Environment and Development

Division of ESCAP, stressed the importance of policy innovations and the need

to adopt a holistic approach in tackling climate change in South Asia. [Symposium

website] [UN

press release] [WMO/FAO

press release]