Tuesday, 15 November 2016

No Excuse For Inaction On Global Warming, Warns Malaysia

MARRAKECH: Malaysia has warned that countries have no excuse for inaction or complacency over the threat of global warming and they do not have as much time as they thought.

In sounding out the warning on the sidelines of the high-level segment of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change which kicked off in the Moroccan city Tuesday, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the Marrakech meeting was historic as countries began to map out how they would halt human-induced global warming.

Speaking at the meeting on the Global Action Plan for Agricultural Diversification (GAPAD), Wan Junaidi said increases in global temperatures would have potentially catastrophic consequences, especially for agriculture.

He said the situation would worsen because the world had little scientific evidence for which crops and cropping systems would suit the volatile climates of the future.

"We are in the midst of a critical era. The planet is warming at a pace not experienced in the past 1,000 years. This year is said to be the hottest year ever with consecutive months of record-breaking heat. According to NASA, the average temperature in the first six months of 2016 was 1.3 degree centigrade, warmer than the late 19th century," he said.

Wan Junaidi, who leads the Malaysian delegation to the conference, added that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere had reached a record high relative to more than the past half-million years and had done so at an exceptionally fast rate.

"The tasks at hand are too complex, too urgent and too large for any one country to handle alone. Only by working together will we achieve sustainable development and our climate goals."

He said meeting these challlenges would require fresh and innovative thinking, excellent research and effective leadership as well as strong, proactive leaderships to address the challeges facing agriculture globally.

Wan Junaidi spoke of one such intiatives, the Crops For the Future (CFF) which is hosted by Malaysia.

CFF is the world's first and only centre dedicated to the diversification of agriculture using underutilised crops and cropping systems.

To be successful, the minister said, GAPAD must be parcitipatory, open and inclusive and the combined leadership of the broader international community with diverse resources, talents and abilities was also critical to support such a serious undertaking. - BERNAMA

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