Since the domestication of crops and emergence of sedentary societies, our species has never faced a more serious challenge than that which we will confront in adapting to climate change. The scale is global, potential magnitude of impacts catastrophic, timing of onsets unknown, and increased risks due to delayed action real. In the years to come, climate change, coupled with population growth and energy and natural resource depletion, will increasingly challenge our continued ability to feed ourselves. Problem recognition, response formulation, and proactive preparation are the first steps, and will be iterative as our knowledge expands and new interactions and effects manifest themselves.
Extension change agents and advisory service (EAS) providers in particular will be called upon to serve both as the critical link between farmers and sources of information and tools, and as the facilitators of widespread behavioral adaptation. As we move forward, persistent problems, past failures, and new challenges within EAS provisioning have the potential to converge in a perfect storm as the scramble to adapt to the new normal of life under climate change intensifies.
At this seminar, the presenters outlined the nature of the challenges, identified past and present points of successful EAS engagement, and discussed necessary areas of preparation.
Michigan State University
Catholic Relief Services (CRS)