Experts Eye World's Food Security amid Climate Change

A three-day food safety conference is under way at Oxford University with about 200 international scientists and rural development experts discussing ways to tackle the threat of climate change to food security. The "Food Security and Environmental Change: Linking Science and Policy for Development" conference is organized by Global Environmental Change and Food Systems (GECAFS), a research project in the university's Environmental Change Institute.

Issues on the agenda include the future of biofuel production; the impact of increasing pressure on land and water supplies; the environmental impact of the food we eat; and how to maintain food production in developing countries. About 150 papers will be delivered.

Oxford said research highlights from those papers include Dr. Polly Ericksen, the GECAFS science officer, discussing inequalities in the patterns of food consumption and trade agreements between the North and South; Mandy Ewing from the International Food Policy Research Institute, explaining how technological improvements to biofuel production can ensure poorer countries still have food on the table; and Dr. Uwe Schneider of Hamburg University and colleagues examining how increasing land and water scarcity affects global food production, meat consumption, and malnutrition in developing countries.

"We live in a complex world where we demand more and more of our environment, but in return we are increasingly compromising its ability to satisfy our food needs. This conference will highlight new strategies to enhance food security for all communities across the world in the face of a changing climate," said John Ingram, co-ordinator of GECAFS.

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