Climate change is now accepted as a fact by most members of the Australian community. This acceptance provides a new climate for governments, decision-makers and researchers to assess the impacts and the necessary solutions across many important sectors around the globe, in our region and in Australia.
But many would argue that agriculture is the sector that is most affected by climate change and with a significant impact on climate change, and there are grave implications in developing countries and Australia not least of which relate to food security and economic prosperity.
Between one quarter and one third of greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, including deforestation. The Asia-Pacific region may contribute almost half of the agricultural emissions. So there is a real role for agriculture in terms of mitigating climate change but also a pressing need for agriculture to adapt to the new climate change environment in order to ensure improved food security.
Therefore, it is timely that the Crawford Fund’s free annual conference should focus on climate change in 2008 in order to assist us to better understand the current position and what action is necessary, particularly in relation to the role of international agricultural research for development. The current global food crisis with escalating food prices and the risk of food shortages only adds to the urgency of the topic.
The program for the 2008 Crawford Fund conference, titled "Agriculture in a Changing Climate: the New International Research Frontier", is almost finalised. Our key public awareness event will be held on Wednesday, 3 September, at Parliament House – please note it is a little later than usual due to changed sitting dates for Parliament.
The conference will be about the impact of agriculture (including deforestation) on climate change, the potential impact of climate change on the distribution and productivity of agriculture, fisheries and forestry, and the need for ongoing and redirected international research to mitigate these effects. We have once again called on a group of outstanding international and national specialists who will consider the key issues across agriculture, scenarios for a range of key industries, and what international agricultural research has to offer.
For more information:
Ms. Frances Seymour, Director General, CIFOR.
Forests & Climate Change:Cause, Casualty and the Opportunity to Capture Co-Benefits