PAR – Special Seminar on Climate Change and CGRFA-13 (16, 18-22 July 2011)

On Saturday 16 July 2011, The Platform for Agrobiodiversity Research participated in a Special Information Seminar on “Climate Change and Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture: State of Knowledge, Risks and Opportunities” which took place at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome, and which was organized back-to-back with the 13th Session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA).

Both the morning and the afternoon sessions were moderated by Toby Hodgkin, coordinator of the Platform for Agrobiodiversity Research (PAR), and both involved experts and national partners dealing with different areas of genetic resources who shared their views and discussed the risks and opportunities, the challenges and the possible responses to climate change. See the Seminar programme here.

The morning session focused on risks and opportunities of agrobiodiversity in the climate change context and it involved six presentations followed by a final discussion.The presentations were delivered by:

  • Irene Hoffman, FAO, who presented on climate change and animal genetic resources;
  • Andrew Jarvis, CIAT   (International Centre for Tropical Agriculture), who presented on climate change risks and opportunities for plant and crop genetic resources;
  • Roger Pullin, FAO consultant, talked about aquatic genetic resources and emphasized that aquatic ecosystems management is key to global mitigation and adaptation;
  • Bruno Fady, French National Institute for Agricultural Research, presented on forest genetic resources;
  • Fen Beed, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, presented on microorganism genetic resources;
  • Matthew Cock, Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International, presented on invertebrate genetic resources and climate change, stressing their crucial role in agriculture.

The final discussion focused on knowledge gaps, ex-situ/in-situ conservation, mitigation and adaptation, with the participants taking part.

The afternoon session focused on Challenges and Responses to climate change.

  • Peter Holmgren, from FAO, in the context of global activities, presented on the international landscape for addressing climate change and food security;
  • Hari Dahal Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Nepal, under the point of view of national activities, presented on the National Adaptation Program of Actions to climate change and agrobiodiversity management in Nepal;
  • Lastly, with regard to the Community level activities, Ximena Cadima, Foundation for the Promotion and Investigation of Andean Products (PROINPA), Bolivia, presented on the role of agrobiodiversity in coping with climate change and the experience of rural communities and indigenous peoples.

During the discussion, the moderator invited participants to introduce their visions on how the international, national and local dimensions could be better connected to tackle climate change related challenges.

Read the full report of the day here and see the presentations here.

On Monday 18th, during the 13th Regular Session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA), agenda item 2.2 Climate change and genetic resources for food and agriculture, The Platform coordinator Toby Hodgkin, made a statement on the importance of agrobiodiversity in adapting to climate change. Read Toby Hodgkin’s statement on behalf of the PAR.

Read 18th July full day report of the CGRFA 13th Session here.