Thursday, February 4, 2010

Climate change likely to make it harder to feed 1 billion hungry, says Canadian official

Mike Blanchfield in the Canadian Press: Poor countries are still gripped by the food crisis of two years ago and climate change will only make things tougher in the coming years, says the head of Canadian International Development Agency. CIDA President Margaret Biggs offered that candid assessment of the state of the undeveloped world and what Canada can to do help, in a speech Thursday to University of Ottawa students.

…Food security is expected to be a key part of the G8's outreach to poor countries at the summit Canada is hosting this summer. Reminding her audience of about 80 graduate students of the global food crisis of 2008, Biggs said: "It has not gone away." One-sixth of the world - one billion people - including one of every three inhabitants of sub-Saharan Africa live in poverty and are "chronically hungry," she said.

And the ability of poor people to grow food to feed starving populations will be strongly challenged by climate change in the next five years, she added. "A key factor has been a decrease in agricultural productivity because of the low levels of investment in agriculture around the world. Everybody dropped the ball," said Biggs.

"In some areas, climate patterns are exacerbating some of these tendencies. Arable land and water is becoming scarcer in some cases because of climate change," she added. "It doesn't mean we can't adapt . . . but that's a major new dynamic."...

A wheat field a few days before harvest, shot by Ondrej.konicek, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

1 comment:

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