Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences | JIRCAS

Symposium on Global Climate Change

JIRCAS International Symposium Proceedings


Date: October 21-22, 2008
Venue: Tsukuba International Congress Center, Epochal

The Fourth Assessment Report of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released in 2007, has revealed that increases in the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) have resulted in warming of the climate system by 0.74°C between 1906 and 2005. It has further projected that temperature increase by the end of this century is likely to be in the range 2 to 4.5°C. It is expected that future tropical cyclones will become more intense, with larger peak wind speeds and more heavy precipitation. Himalayan glaciers and snow cover are projected to contract. It is also very likely that hot extremes, heat waves, and heavy precipitation events will continue to become more frequent. Increases in the amount of precipitation are expected more in high latitudes, while decreases are likely in most subtropical regions. At the same time, the projected sea level rise by the end of this century is likely to be between 0.18 to 0.59 meters.

Such global climatic changes are affecting agriculture through their direct and indirect effects on crops, soils, livestock and pests, and hence the global food security. The IPCC Report has particularly indicated vulnerability of developing countries in the Asian region, especially its megadeltas to increasing climate change and variability due to its large population, predominance of agriculture, large climatic variability and limited resources to adapt. There are likely to be negative effects on livestock productivity due to increased heat stress, lower pasture productivity and increased risks of animal diseases. Increasing sea surface temperature and acidification are projected to lead to changes in marine species distribution and production.

Extreme events including floods, droughts, forest fires, and tropical cyclones have already increased in temperate and tropical Asia in the last few decades. Runoffs and water availability are projected to decrease in the arid and semi-arid regions of Asia. Sea level rise and an increase in the intensity of tropical cyclones are expected to displace tens of millions of people in the low-lying coastal areas of Asia; whereas increased intensity of rainfall would increase flood risks in temperate and tropical Asia.

Asia is the home of more than one half of the world population. The rapid and continuing increase in population and economy implies increased demand for food. It is estimated that by 2020, food grain requirement in Asia would be almost 30-50% more than the current demand. This will have to be produced from same or even shrinking land resource due to increasing competition for land and other resources by non-agricultural sectors. Accordingly, the world food situation will be strongly dominated by the changes that would occur in Asia because of its huge population, changes in diet pattern and associated increased demand for food and feed.

Agriculture, consisting of cropland, pasture, and livestock production, contribute 13% of total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. This does not include indirect sources relating to agricultural inputs such as fertilizer and food processing industries. The agricultural sector therefore provides, in principle, a significant potential for greenhouse gas mitigation.

Alleviating poverty and attaining food security would be the major challenges of most countries in the Asia-Pacific region in the 21st century. Producing enough food with reduced resources in an adverse environmental scenario would be a major challenging task before most of the Asian nations. Concerted efforts would be needed to maximize food production, minimize environmental degradation and attain socio-economic development through reorientation of agricultural research that would comprehensively address all urgent concerns, including adaptation to and mitigation of climatic change.

It is against this background that adaptation to and mitigation of climatic change was identified as an important subject by the members of APAARI during an earlier Expert Consultation on Research Need Assessment organized in late 2006. The issues of climate change and food crisis were also the main themes at the G8 Summit hosted by Japan in July, 2008. Accordingly, APAARI and JIRCAS have jointly decided to organize a Symposium to develop the required framework for reorientation of agricultural research to address issues specifically related to climate change adaptation and mitigation in crops, livestock, fisheries and agro-forestry. The symposium will have technical and plenary sessions and panel discussions to debate the key issues and to develop appropriate recommendations for research to enhance the adaptive capacity and mitigation potential of agriculture in the Asia-Pacific region, while ensuring continued agricultural growth and development. This meeting will be held in the International Congress Center, Tsukuba, Japan on October 21-22, 2008 and is being co-sponsored by GFAR, CIMMYT, ICARDA, ICRISAT, and AVRDC. The specific objectives of this meeting are:

  1. To review the current state of understanding of climate change and to assess its impacts on agriculture in the Asia-Pacific region.
  2. To understand and analyze the available scientific, technological and policy options in the region for adaptation and mitigation to climatic change and their possible implications in agriculture.
  3. To identify short-, medium-, and long-term research priorities that would ensure enhanced adaptation and mitigation in agriculture

The symposium is expected to result in enhanced capacity of the Asia-Pacific region in understanding vulnerability, adaptation and mitigation strategies in agriculture and to foster regional cooperation. Recommendations from the Symposium will be published by the organizers and widely circulated to all stakeholders.




Chair: Raghunath D. Ghodake (Chairman, APAARI)
Co-Chair: Kenji Iiyama (President, JIRCAS)
Rapporteur: Mohammad A. Kamali Sarvestani (AREEO, Iran)
Welcome Statements: Chairman, APAARI and President, JIRCAS
Brief Statements: GFAR, Science Council of CGIAR, CIMMYT, ICARDA, ICRISAT, AVRDC

Keynote Lecture

Lead Paper

TECHNICAL SESSION I: Research Strategies at National Level: Selected Country Reports

Chair: Abd. Shukor bin Abd. Rahman (MARDI)
Co-Chair: Rohan Rajapakse (CARP, Sri Lanka)
Rapporteur: Raul Q. Montemayor (IFAP, Philippines)

TECHNICAL SESSION II: Research Strategies at International Level

Chair: Thierry Mennesson (AINC, New Caledonia)
Co-Chair: Simon Hearn (ACIAR, Australia)
Rapporteur: Anil K. Bawa, (ICAR, India)

TECHNICAL SESSION III: Panel Discussion on Adaptation and Mitigation Options

Chair: M. Harun-ur-Rashid (BARC, Bangladesh)
Co-Chair: John D. H. Keatinge (AVRDC)
Rapporteur: Andrew D. Noble (IWMI)

PLENARY SESSION: Conference Recommendations and Action Plan

Chair: Rajendra S. Pagoda (APAARI)
Co-Chair: Mark Holderness (GFAR)
Rapporteur: C.L.Laxmipathi Gowda (ICRISAT)




Date of issued2008-10-21
CreatorJapan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences
PublisherJapan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences
NII resource type vocabularyConference Paper