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THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS | An 80-nation conference on food security is urging U.N. climate negotiators to consider agriculture when drawing up strategies to fight climate change.

The five-day meeting has ended with a call to invest in new farming practices that will curb greenhouse gas emissions and better use currently available land to feed a global population of 9 billion by 2050.

About 30 percent of carbon emissions come from farming, livestock and forest destruction.

Dutch Agriculture Minister Henk Bleker says agriculture must be integrated into climate negotiations and should receive some of the funds earmarked for poor countries to help them reduce emissions and adapt to changing climate conditions.

The conference, attended by 60 government ministers, ended Friday.

 

Source: Business Week (AP) | 05 November 2010

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ROTTERDAM, Netherlands -- The city of Alexandria, Egypt's second largest, spills down either side of a thin ridge running some 100 kilometers along the Mediterranean coast, hard up against the sea on one side and marsh and reclaimed fields on the other.

It is an ancient port city, never designed for the car, and traffic congestion has long been the city's bane.

So a few years ago, gridlocked and desperate, the city paved over some of its beaches and ran a six-lane highway for 25 kilometers along the Mediterranean shore.

The corniche was hailed as a solution when it opened in 2006. But that salvation has exposed the city to a second problem: It changed the slope of the sea bottom, worsening erosion and storm surges.

As sea levels rise and storm surges increase in response to a changing climate, Alexandria is finding that a solution to one problem has inadvertently opened the city to others. Nor is Alexandria alone.

Around the world, low-lying cities are facing unexpected challenges that threaten to chew through scarce or non-existent cash and leave residents and property increasingly vulnerable.

Read more: Climate Adaptation: Adding to a Tide of Worry

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Environmental Destruction

The UN fears that the last 20 years of development will be stalled by destruction of the environment and climate change. Photo: EPA

Climate change and destruction of the environment are the biggest threats to improving wealth and happiness around the world, according to a major United Nations report.

The annual Human Development report from the UN found that on the whole most of the world has become wealthier, healthier and better educated over the last 20 years.

But this rapid development is in danger of reversing because of the rise of global temperatures, that could cause an increase in natural disasters, especially in the poor world where countries are ill-equipped to cope.

Highlighting the failure of last year's UN climate summit in Copenhagen, the report called for renewed efforts to make sure that talks in Cancun, Mexico next month can tackle global warming and protect the environment.

Read more: Climate change is main barrier to development - United Nations

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