“Coping with climate change - the roles of genetic resources for food and agriculture”
Genetic resources for food and agriculture play a crucial role in food security, nutrition and livelihoods and in the provision of environmental services. They are key components of sustainability, resilience and adaptability in production systems. They underpin the ability of crops, livestock, aquatic organisms and forest trees to withstand a range of adverse conditions. Thanks to their genetic diversity plants, animals and micro-organisms, in terrestrial and aquatic environments, adapt and survive when their environments change. Genetic diversity is also globally threatened by climate change, which poses new challenges to their management, but it also underlines their importance.
Given the importance of the issues, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) prepared, at the request of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, thematic studies on the interactions between climate change and plant, animal, forest, aquatic, invertebrate and micro-organism genetic resources. The results of these studies are summarized in the book entitled: “Coping with climate change - the roles of genetic resources for food and agriculture”. The book has be launched on 19 January 2015 and is available at http://www.fao.org/3/a-i3866e.pdf.
After a brief overview of the main international processes relevant to climate change, the book presents six sections dealing with the various sectors of genetic resources for food and agriculture. Each section addresses two key questions:
- What are the possible effects of climate change on genetic resources for food and agriculture and how does it influence their management?
- What are the specific roles of genetic resources for food and agriculture in coping with climate change?
This book aims to raise awareness of the important roles of genetic resources for food and agriculture in coping with climate change and to contribute to the mainstreaming of genetic resources for food and agriculture into climate change adaptation and mitigation planning at national and international levels.