EPA Climate Change Lecture Series Continues

The Environmental Protection Agency’s climate change lecture series continues on Tuesday, 15th March 2011, at 6.30pm, in the Mansion House, Dublin, with a lecture entitled ‘Climate Change and Agriculture – ensuring food production is not threatened’. The lecture will be given by Alexendre Meybeck of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, based in Rome.

One of the biggest challenges of this century will be providing food for a projected population of nine billion people in the face of climate change and growing competition for the use of natural resources. Mr Meybeck’s lecture will address three intertwined challenges for agriculture:

1 Food systems have to ensure food security for all.

2 They have to adapt to climate change and become more resilient at every level, from local to global; taking regional imbalances into account – since the effects of climate change will vary greatly across regions.

3 How and to what extent food systems can contribute to mitigating the effects of climate change.

Mr Meybeck’s talk will focus on ways to address these challenges and will call for ‘climate smart agriculture’. There are already technical solutions but they need to be up-scaled and enhanced. Developing climate smart agriculture will require renewed efforts across research, development and investment from local to global levels.

Laura Burke, director of the EPA’s Office of Climate Change, says: “This is a topic which goes to the heart of climate change and one in which Ireland has unique interests. The agriculture sector, which produces almost 30 per cent of Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions, remains the single largest contributor to overall emissions. Agriculture is key to Ireland’s economic growth, employing 150,000 people and producing annual exports of more than Eur7 billion. Sustainable intensification of agriculture is required to address the interactions between food security, agriculture and climate change.”

All previous lectures in the EPA’s Climate Change Lecture Series are now available on the EPA’s You Tube Channel www.YouTube.com/EPAIreland and on the EPA’s website at www.epa.ie/downloads/videos/climate/.

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