CSAM Highlights ESCAP’s Work at International Conference on Food Security and Climate Change in Turkmenistan


10 March 2023: The Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization (CSAM) of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) today participated in an International Conference on the theme of ‘Cooperation on Food Security in the Context of Climate Change’ organized by the United Nations in Turkmenistan in Ashgabat. 

Participating online on behalf of ESCAP, Dr. Yutong Li, Head of CSAM, contributed as a Panelist to a Discussion on ‘Interlinkages between Climate Change and Food Security: The Role of Mitigation and Adaptation Measures’. In her presentation, Dr. Li recounted several constraints which are compounding the existing challenges for agriculture and food security in the North and Central Asia sub-region, including use of unsustainable technologies and practices in agriculture; water stress and inadequate irrigation facilities; low farm productivity and incomes; overgrazing by livestock; and high rates of land degradation, salinity and desertification. She noted “Climate adaptation and mitigation is thus clearly an urgent priority for the sub-region”. 

Dr. Li cited digital and smart mechanization technologies as well as conservation agriculture as examples of solutions and approaches for transforming food systems that have shown good results in many parts of Asia and the Pacific. In this context, she highlighted CSAM’s strategic partnerships which have helped strengthen capacities for dryland farming technologies in Central Asian countries. She also outlined initiatives led by other ESCAP offices and divisions such as a publication on ‘Sustainable Agriculture Transformation in North and Central Asia’ produced by the ESCAP Subregional Office for North and Central Asia; joint development of a framework to assess multidimensional risks in food systems in Asia and the Pacific by ESCAP’s Environment and Development Division and other partners; and analysis of the exposure of agricultural production in North and Central Asia to hazards like drought, flood, heatwave and surface wind under different climate scenarios. 

The International Conference was addressed by Ministers of Agriculture from several countries in North and Central Asia and also witnessed participation from FAO, UNEP, UNDP, World Bank and other multilateral organizations and development partners.