Friday, April 25, 2008

Tackling drought crucial in finding food crisis solution – UN

UN News Center: Addressing drought is essential in resolving the food crisis the world faces, the United Nations agency tasked with minimizing the threat posed by natural disasters said today. Both drought and unsustainable water management have played a key role in the current problem, and managing drought risk is essential to finding a long-term solution to the crisis, according to a press release issued by the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR).

Reports of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – last year’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate – have shown unequivocally that the world is warming, almost certainly due to human activity, with potentially disastrous effects including worsening drought in some regions and heavier rainfall in others.

“Drought creeps, so we can outrun it,” said Sálvano Briceño, Director of the ISDR Secretariat. “But this will take a genuine mindset and policy shift towards the ethos that prevention is better than cure, and serious political and economic commitment to saving harvests and lives on a global economic level.” Major food exporters such as Australia and Ukraine are experiencing the effects of drought, serving as examples of how climate change can trigger future food crises.

Two images of the Etosha Pan in Namibia. The upper view (March 2006) shows the point where the Ekuma River flows into the salt lake; the lower regional image (June 2005) shows the same inlet—but dry—on the north shore of Etosha Pan. Both photos taken from the International Space Station. NASA, Wikimedia Commons

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