Tuesday, December 21, 2010

International Conference on Preparing Agriculture for Climate Change

International Conference on Preparing Agriculture for Climate Change

6-8 February 2011

Organized by
Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana
in association with Crop Improvement Society of India, PAU

According to Wulf Killmann, who wrote 'Foreword' of a recent FAO publication entitled 'Climate Change and Food Security: A framework document', climate change will affect all four dimensions of food security: food availability, food accessibility, food utilization, and food systems stability. All this will have an impact on human health and purchasing power and market flows. Because, from the standpoint of food, the world is regarded as one civilization, both developed and developing countries will be affected. In developing countries, such as India, climate change could adversely affect the already stressed ecological and socioeconomic systems because of rapid urbanization, industrialization, and economic development.

The world, especially the southern hemisphere, could see a significant drop in agricultural productivity as a consequence of climate change. Agricultural losses related to climate change are expected to hit developing countries hard, as agriculture employs a substantial number of people and contributes greatly to economic growth. Further, poverty in developing world is largely rural with a significant proportion of the population still dependent on agriculture. The Green Revolution of 1970s and 1980s substantially increased food grain productivity and increased rural wages. However, recent agricultural growth rates in countries like India are far below the growth rates of other economic sectors. Thus unlike in developed countries, the adverse impact of climate change on agriculture will disproportionately affect the poor. A key question for agricultural scientists, therefore, is: "Will climate-resilient agriculture technologies mitigate the effects of climate change?"

To develop a consensus global view on this, we are organizing a 3-day international conference of eminent agricultural scientists and climatologists at Punjab Agricultural University at Ludhiana, India, during February6-8, 2011 on the following themes:
1) Agriculture: abettor and sufferer
2) Mitigation strategies – Policy and Management interventions
3) Adaptation strategies: Genetic options/interventions
4) Climate change and biodiversity: Extinction and new emergence

The conference is being organized under the auspices of the Crop Improvement Society of India, whose headquarters are located at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. The conference will comprise invited plenary and symposium presentations and conclude with a panel discussion on "Directed adaptation to climate change and role of long-term forecasting models." There will be symposium lectures in the evenings of the first two days. One session will be devoted to selected contributory posters from bright young scientists and students.

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