UN-backed forum in Australia studies climate forecasting and sustainable farming

Sea level rise caused by climate change will displace millions across the world

18 May 2009 – More than 80 scientists, farmers, and agriculture experts from around the globe gathered at a United Nations-backed conference in Queensland, Australia, today to work on long-term sustainability of agriculture through improvements in worldwide distribution of weather and climate projections.

The two-day conference in Toowoomba, Queensland, will “identify the needs for improving current communication of weather and climate information,” according to one of the major sponsors, the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Other sponsors include the University of Southern Queensland and the South Australian Research and Development Institute. Most of the participants came from Asia and the Pacific.

According to the WMO, “more effective approaches to communicate and deliver climate and weather information, including seasonal forecasts and climate change projections, require cross-disciplinary approaches that bring together research and development institutions, relevant disciplines and farmers.

“Considerable work needs to be done globally on improving content, communication methods and associated delivery of core messages,” it stated in a news release.

The agency said the meeting in Australia “will address the gaps and limitations of agrometeorological analyses” and review applications of weather and climate products for agriculture, such as crop calendars and combined climate-agricultural forecast systems.

A similar climate change adaptation workshop was held in Burkina Faso’s capital of Ouagadougou last month, specifically aimed at developing approaches to alleviate the impact of global warming for farmers in the region.

Some 70 experts, brought together with the help of Spain by the WMO, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), recommended measures for the agriculture, livestock, forestry and fisheries sectors in West Africa to help them adjust to a changing environment.


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