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WHO and Biodiversity Experts Present Scientific Findings at Climate Congress

Lower precipitation due to climate change causes water scarcity and reduced food production

12 March 2009: Experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) presented findings regarding climate change impacts to human health at the international scientific congress titled “Climate Change: Global Risks, Challenges and Decisions,” which ran from 10-12 March 2009, in Copenhagen, Denmark. They noted the “adverse consequences” of climate change on health, highlighted the challenges inherent in addressing resulting impacts, and stressed the health benefits of mitigation activities. In addition, they underscored the uneven distribution of health impacts of climate change globally, identifying populations in small island developing States, mountainous regions, large urban areas, coastal areas, and areas that lack access to water among the most vulnerable.

Also during the event, Toby Hodgkin, Bioversity International, a research center of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), gave a presentation on the conservation and use of agricultural biodiversity under a changing agricultural geography brought about by climate change, suggesting four areas for action: expanding ex-situ conservation; using diverse farming systems as adaptation strategy; and improving exchange between gene banks and on-farm conservation as well as access to genetic diversity by famers and plant breeders. [UN Press Release] [Bioversity International Press Release]