UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


Communicating Climate Risk and the Implications for Food Security

9 November 2010

There are many indicators that climate-related risks are increasing, particularly in terms of exposure evolving more rapidly than vulnerability is decreasing.

Consequently, ways of managing these risks need to be enhanced, which is why the world will follow with interest developments at the 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP16) in Cancun, Mexico. To mark the run-up to this conference, the UCL Institutes for Risk and Disaster Reduction, Global Health, and the Environment, in collaboration with the Humanitarian Futures Programme at King's College London and the Advisory Committee on Protection of the Sea, are convening a discussion meeting on 16 November 2010 to explore the issue of communicating climate risk and examining its implications for food security.

This UCL event will examine how the science of climate change and weather-related natural hazards is communicated and how this information is used for building resilience, particularly in developing countries. Issues that will be considered are: data availability and access; the local context for uptake and application of information; the need for local capacity in data collection, analysis and application; the integration of local knowledge and data into a global platform for building resilience to climate change and associated natural hazards.

Climate- and weather-related events during 2010 - such as the dry summer in Russia, the Ukraine and Kazakhstan, the Pakistan floods, the wet weather in Canada, and the on-going drought in parts of Africa - are driving a food crisis. Similar events in the future, coupled with issues around water security and the need to grow more food, are likely to force greater food insecurity. Countries in the developing world in particular will continue to battle with such insecurity and it is essential that their internal capacity to meet their food requirements be enhanced. To this end the meeting will explore what food crises mean for countries in the developing world, and examine how knowledge and practices from different cultures may be integrated to build greater food security in these countries, particularly in the context of weather and climate risk.

The meeting will begin with several short presentations, which will be followed by a multi-stakeholder discussion. A key objective is to capture the issues that participants identify as having high importance and to use these to inform future developments on communicating climate risk and associated issues linked to food security in developing countries.

Currently confirmed speakers and panel member are:

  • Julian Hunt (UCL: climate science)
  • Anthony Costello (UCL: food and health issues)
  • Emma Visman (King's College London: climate science-humanitarian policy dialogue)
  • Elsie Owusu (JustGhana: Ghana's work on communicating climate change and knowledge data centres)

The discussion meeting will run from 5.15-7pm in the Cruciform LT2, and will be followed by a drinks reception to be held in the Wilkins North Cloisters:

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For further information, please contact:

Dr Stephen Edwards, UCL IRDR - s.edwards@ucl.ac.uk

Lucy Stanbrough, UCL IRDR - l.stanbrough@ucl.ac.uk

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