Sunday, August 31, 2008

Proposal for a south Asian climate change network

Daily Star (Bangladesh): The International Symposium on Climate Change and Food Security in South Asia in its Dhaka Declaration has recommended creating South Asian Network on Climate Change and Food Security and establishing South Asia Climate Outlook Forum to combat challenges of climatic changes in the region collectively.

The five-day symposium that concluded at Hotel Sonargaon in the capital yesterday also emphasised the need for stimulating multi-disciplinary research on the burning issue and identifying effective mitigation and adaptation options, including carbon sequestration in different ecosystems.

The programme was jointly sponsored by Ohio State University, World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), Food and Agriculture Organisation, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Dhaka University and the Bangladesh government. Around 250 participants from 17 countries attended the event.

Prof Rattan Lal, director of Carbon Management and Sequestration Centre of Ohio State University, presented the Dhaka Declaration. Experts at the programme observed that climate change will increase temperature, decrease availability of fresh water, contribute to the rise in sea level, glacial melting in the Himalayas, increased frequency and intensity of extreme events, and shifting of cropping zones in South Asia affecting agriculture and food sector, economy, societies and environment.

Prof Lal said, "The serious problems of soil degradation and desertification are likely to be exacerbated by climate change through accelerated erosion, fertility depletion, salinisation and acidification and that subsistence agriculture, characterised by low productivity and extractive farming, is extremely vulnerable to such climatic change."…

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