Food Security Center joins SEARCA and other partners in global conference on climate change
International Conference on Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation for Food and Environmental Security
Climate change is an emerging concern that undoubtedly impacts human civilization today. Many individuals and organizations have been studying its various dimensions and with the waning resources, there is a need to update the stakeholders and integrate efforts to reduce the negative impacts of climate change.
IDr. Reinhold Muschler of CATIE in Costa Rica presents the study of climate-resilient crops as a potential avenue for South-South collaborationt is in this purview that the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) opened its doors to more than 150 researchers, academics, policymakers and planners, development workers, and other professionals from as far as Fiji Islands, Germany, Canada, Egypt, Costa Rica, Africa, Japan, and Southeast Asia to a scientific event on climate change impacts and adaptation. The global event titled “International Conference on Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation for Food and Environmental Security,” was held on 21-22 November 2012 at Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines.
The Food Security Center of the University of Hohenheim, Germany, a center of excellence of the German Academic Exchange Service’s EXCEED program collaborated with SEARCA, the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), and the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN) to realize this global event. Other event partners were Asia Pacific for Global Change Research (APN), Philippine Climate Change Commission, Ministry of Environment Japan Dr. Adriana Murillo-Williams, professor, University of Costa Rica(MOEJ), Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA).
In his welcome remarks, Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit Jr., SEARCA director said that the event is expected to become a platform for facilitating knowledge sharing and exchange towards keeping research, policies, actions, and academic programs focused on these issues and challenges in climate change.
Dr Paul S. Teng, senior fellow of SEARCA and the Center for Non-traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, as well as dean of Graduate Studies and Professional Learning, National Institute of Education, Singapore served as keynote speaker for the said event. He underscored the importance of dealing with climate change effects in a multi-sectoral, multi-lateral, multi-disciplinary but integrated approach, to reduce food insecurity, which can be felt in both rural and urban areas.
Plenary speakers included Dr. William Dar, director general of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT); Dr. Seishi NinomiyDr. Laban MacOpiyo, lecturer from the University of Nairobi, Kenyaa, professor of the University of Tokyo; Dr. John Pulhin, Dean of the UPLB College of Forestry and Natural Resources; and Dr. Reinhold Muschler, Latin American Chair for Agroecology and Agrobiodiversity of the Center for Tropical Agriculture Research and Higher Education (CATIE) in Costa Rica.
Aside from the plenary sessions, the two-day event gave 44 paper presenters the opportunity to discuss their studies related to climate change science. The parallel sessions were divided into four sub-topics of Climate Change Impacts and Vulnerability, Climate Change Adaptation and Agriculture, Institutional and Economic Aspects of Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation and Systems and Tools for Analyzing Climate Change Impacts and Vulnerability. Among the paper presenters were Dr. Adriana Murillo-Williams, professor, University of Costa Rica (UCR), who studied the impacts of the fungi Fusarium proliferatumon rice under climate change scenarios; Dr. Laban MacOpiyo, lecturer from the University of Nairobi, Kenya, who discussed about a tool that can monitor the effects of climate change on the water resources in Eastern Africa; and Dr. Volker Wulfmeyer, professor from the University of Hohenheim, Germany who presented the research entitled “Regional Climate Simulations: Current Performance, Key challenges, and the Fundamental Importance of their Coupling with End User Models.”
Other participants funded by the FSC were Dr. Paul Esker, professor and Dr. Marianella Cortes, Dr. Volker Wulfmeyer, professor from the University of Hohenheim, Germanyresearcher, National Research Center of Food Science and Technology both from UCR, and Dr. Vute Wangwacharakul, Associate Professor and Dr. Kampanat Vijitsrikamol, Vice Head for Research Affairs both from Kasetsart University, Thailand.
The following SEARCA Program Heads also participated in the conference: Dr. Ma. Celeste Cadiz, Knowledge Management Department, Dr. Editha C. Cedicol, Graduate Scholarship Department, and Dr. Bessie M. Burgos, Project Development and Management and Officer in Charge, Research and Development Department.
To cap the meeting, the final plenary session gave emphasis on the importance of networking towards a more integral research and development, as well as capacity building on climate change. The said global conference was expected to initiate and strengthencollaborations across agencies both public and private, at the local, national and global scales.