Virtual News Conference On the Humanitarian Impact and Response

Published December 8th, 2009 - 02:03 GMT


8 December 2009

                         CLIMATE CHANGE AND HUNGER


                          Virtual News Conference

                  On the Humanitarian Impact and Response

Date: Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Start Time: 1330 GMT (1430 CET 0830 EST)

Duration: 60 minutes

ROME – Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of the United Nations World Food
Programme (WFP), Alex Evans, author of the Chatham House report, The
Feeding of the Nine Billion: Global Food Security for the 21st Century, and
Phil Bloomer, Oxfam Policy Director, will hold an international “virtual”
news conference on climate change and hunger, on Wednesday 9 December.

As the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, has said: “There can
be no food security without climate security,” saying that the number of
hungry poor will be disproportionately impacted by climactic changes as dry
areas get drier and wet areas wetter.

More frequent and intense natural disasters, deteriorating land
productivity and reduced access to food and water are projected to increase
the risk of hunger and malnutrition worldwide. Countries where hunger,
under-nutrition and food insecurity are already widespread -- for example
in sub-Saharan Africa where WFP is responding to major food crises -- will
be hardest hit.

WFP has a 40-year track record in addressing hunger resulting from
weather-related phenomena, and has developed adaptation programmes,
sophisticated tools including early warning systems, vulnerability analysis
and mapping as well as emergency preparedness activities.
Next week, Sheeran will participate in the United Nations Climate Change
Conference in Copenhagen where WFP will highlight the link between climate
change and hunger, and the importance of its partnership with governments
to help communities adapt to climate change.

In Ethiopia, for example, WFP’s MERET (Managing Environmental Resources to
Enable Transitions to More Sustainable Livelihoods) project, has
demonstrated how conservation and better land management practices can
promote food security and more sustainable livelihoods among the rural
poor, while helping to protect them from more extreme weather events.

Sheeran will also join other heads of United Nations humanitarian agencies
in a panel discussion in Copenhagen titled “Advancing Work on Adaptation to
Climate Change: A UN System Perspective,” on Monday 14 December.

Executive Director, Josette Sheeran, who will participate in the climate
change conference the following week, will lead the session from London,
while Alex Evans will join from Washington DC.  Alex Evans is a
non-resident fellow at the Centre on International Cooperation (CIC) at New
York University where he runs CIC’s work on climate change and global
public goods. He was seconded from CIC to the UN in 2007 as part of the
team charged with planning and executing the Secretary General’s High Level
Event on Climate Change.

As the UN Copenhagen Climate Change Conference begins, get more information
about the link between climate change and hunger at 1330 GMT on 9 December,
2009. Journalists can attend in person at the COP15 Bella Center in
Copenhagen or call in from all over the world to ask questions.

Media Arrangements:

      WebEx Best Practices
      Join the session from a wired broadband internet connection when
      Join the session 5 minutes prior to the start time

To join the audio conference over the internet

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