The United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warned on December 11 that in order to protect the 11 percent of the world’s land surface considered the best land to feed a human population expected to reach over 8 million by 2020, a faster and better way of assessing climate change and the impact of global warming on land degradation is needed.

WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said in a workshop in Tanzania attended by more than 53 delegates from 28 countries and five UN agencies:

“It is vital that we redouble efforts to assess the climate…Under the scenario of climate change, droughts, flash floods, dust storms, famine, migratory movements, forest fires, all linked to desertification, are likely to increase, and so will their impact on global food security,”

The WMO reports that there are over 1 billion people in over 100 (mostly developing) countries put at risk by climate change, and that an appropriate response would include “implementation of observance systems at national, regional and international levels; enhancement of prediction capabilities, assessment of vulnerabilities, analysis of hazards; and application of risk management and support to Parties and regional institutions with drought-related programmes.”

Peter Broady
http://www.wmo.ch/web/Press/PR_767_E.doc

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