General, News

Neglected Crops in Copenhagen

December 17th, 2009

Cary Fowler’s (Global Crop Diversity Trust) article in The Huffington Post laments the lack of attention to agriculture at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen even with strong scientific consensus that climate change will have significantly adverse impacts on food production.

“The impact on food crops from higher temperatures alone could result in the worst famines ever experienced,” says Fowler. He cites not only threatened maize production in southern African states but also Europe’s heat wave in 2003 that cut maize production in Italy by 36 percent and fruit harvests in France by 21 percent. Fowler underscores the importance of conserving as much crop diversity as possible in order to ensure adaptability of food production to climate change.

Fowler points that however imperfect the agreement made in Copenhagen may be, it will set the agenda for at least the next decade. Negotiators must recognize the importance of agriculture and crop diversity in order to avert disaster.