World Food Day to stress on climate change, bio-energy

October 10th, 2008 - 6:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Rome, Oct 10 (Xinhua) Climate change and bio-energy are the focus of this year’s World Food Day activities, expected to involve over 150 countries, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said Friday.FAO celebrates World Food Day each year Oct 16, the day on which the organisation was founded in 1945.

“Global warming is already under way and adaptation strategies are now a matter of urgency, especially for the most vulnerable poor countries. Hundreds of millions of small-scale farmers, fishermen and forest-dependent people will be worst-hit by climate change,” said Alexander Mueller, FAO assistant director-general for Natural Resources Management and Environment Department.

“Adaptation strategies, especially for the most vulnerable poor countries, where most of the over 920 million hungry people live, need to be urgently developed, reviewing land use plans, food security programs, fisheries and forestry policies to protect the poor from climate change,” said Mueller.

The FAO Committee on World Food Security, with representatives from more than 100 countries and a number of civil society organisations, will meet in Rome Oct 14-17 to assess trends in the world food security and nutrition situation.

Suzanne Mubarak, wife of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, will deliver the keynote address at the World Food Day ceremony in Rome Oct 16.

Former US president Bill Clinton will participate in a ceremony at the United Nations in New York Oct 23.

Major World Food Day events are planned in Albania, Egypt, Morocco, South Korea and a number of Asian and Latin American countries during October. For example, the president of Colombia will participate in World Food Day event in Medellin. In Ecuador, roundtable discussions and seminars on the World Food Day theme are scheduled.

A third edition of the popular Run for Food will take place in Rome Oct 19 involving over 4,000 people with a similar event to be held simultaneously in Milan.

Together with the European Professional Football League (EPFL), FAO will also launch its Professional Football against Hunger initiative Oct 15 in Rome. This campaign, with a special emphasis on raising awareness among young people, will involve 960 clubs that are EPFL members.

Among other activities, the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry will hold a World Food Day seminar in Stockholm Oct 16.

On the same day, in Brussels a joint conference on the food crisis will take place between the EU Agricultural Information Centre, the European Parliament Development Commission and FAO.

Also on World Food Day, Ireland’s Freedom from Hunger Council will organise a seminar in Dublin. Similar events are planned throughout Italy. In Spain, the annual WFD Telefood gala will take place Nov 8 over a period of seven hours.

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