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Side Event

Food Security in an Era of Climate Change: What can Agricultural Biodiversity Contribute and How Can It Do It?

Platform for Agrobiodiversity Research with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, United Nations Environment Programme and other international, national and civil society organizations

Date and Time
26 May 2008 18:15 - 19:45

Ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 9)

The improved use of agricultural biodiversity lies at the heart of our ability to improve food security and develop the strategies that will enable agricultural producers throughout the world to confront the challenges of climate change. It is also central to achieving the effective conservation of agricultural biodiversity. The last few years have seen an increasing interest in the maintenance and use of agricultural biodiversity by a widening range of organizations, working in new and innovative ways, in partnerships with farmers, rural communities and indigenous peoples. There is an increasing recognition that the agricultural biodiversity present in agro-ecosystems constitutes an essential element in the livelihoods of many rural communities and indigenous peoples and is playing a key part in their management of the challenges of change. In this side event participants will describe how agricultural biodiversity is contributing to meeting global challenges, particularly climate change and the renewed concern with food security. Key issues for the international community and for countries around the world will also be identified, particularly in respect of knowledge gaps and the needs for new and innovative partnerships. New initiatives that can help improve capacity to use agricultural biodiversity as part of adaptation and mitigation strategies will be described. The speakers will include representatives from international organizations, the agricultural research and conservation community, farmers groups, indigenous peoples and civil society organizations who come together under the aegis of the Platform for Agrobiodiversity Research. The side event will provide a major opportunity to move forward the work of ensuring that the potential contribution of agricultural biodiversity to climate change adaptation strategies is fully recognized. It will also provide an important opportunity to exchange information, share experiences and strengthen collaboration.