On November 30, 2012, AUCA’s Tian Shan Policy Center (TSPC) and Kyrgyz National Agrarian University (KNAU) named after K.I. Skryabin hosted the Conference on Food Security and Land Resources under a Changing Climate – Issues of Adaptation. The Conference took place at the newly refurbished Science Library at KNAU.
This conference convened as part of a series of conferences in Kyrgyzstan to discuss key issues related to Kyrgyzstan’s strategic development of responses to climate change, identify gaps in research, policy, and action, and to provide recommendations to government agencies and policy-makers at the International Conference «Mountains and Climate» to be held December 11, 2012.
Experts modeling climate change have revealed that Kyrgyzstan is experiencing increases in average temperatures and variability in weather that is leading to more seasonal drought, storms, and floods, among other hazards. Within the next seven years, there is expected an additional increase of 2 degrees Celsius. This is likely to magnify problems of declining crop yields, livestock raising, and food security throughout the country. There are a number of activities being undertaken by government agencies, international and nongovernmental organizations, and academic researchers and institutes to better study and identify responses to the challenges faced by Kyrgyz agricultural communities. However, much of the research is new and activities have generally not been shared or coordinated to ensure maximum support for agricultural communities and businesses at risk. Most people engaged in farming and pastoral activities remain unaware of and are vulnerable to the serious predicted climate change. They do not have all of the resources, tools, or support programs that could help them to build resilience and manage the risks.
The TSPC-Agrarian National University Conference brought together experts from academia, international organizations, such as FAO, World Food Program, UNDP, and KR officials including the Deputy Minister of Agriculture Dyikanbay Kenzhebaev, and First Secretary of International Organizations and Security Department of Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Madina Karabaeva, to share current research and some of the model practices and lessons being developed at the international level and which are now being piloted in Kyrgyzstan to improve management of climate risks and community adaptation.
The Conference was opened by the Rector of Kyrgyz National Agrarian University Rysbek Nurgaziev and TSPC Deputy Director Michelle Leighton. Conference participants discussed the most important research and data, and gaps that need to be considered when developing policies in Kyrgyzstan. It adopted a set of recommendations for policy-makers to develop a more strategic set of actions, which will be delivered to the government and National Academy of Sciences at the December 11th Mountains and Climate Conference. The participants also noted that the 18th Conference of the Parties (COP18) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is being held now in Doha, Qatar, in which Kyrgyzstan is participating. Unlike many countries, Kyrgyzstan has not yet developed a program of action or a strategic plan for national adaptation, which would have reflected the views of all stakeholders in the country. It is anticipated that recommendations of this conference are going to be included in the planning of new measures addressing adaption to climate change undertaken in Kyrgyzstan, and incorporated in the dialogue on December 11th this year at the National Academy of Sciences meeting.