Secretary Vilsack Announces Climate Hub Selections: Hubs Will Help Producers Limit Climate Risk, Educate Public
Wednesday, February 5, 2014.Contact: USDA Office of Communications
WASHINGTON, Feb. 5, 2014—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today the creation of the first ever Regional Hubs for Risk Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change at seven locations around the country. “Climate Hubs” will address increasing risks such as fires, invasive pests, devastating floods, and crippling droughts on a regional basis, aiming to translate science and research into information to farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners on ways to adapt and adjust their resource management. In his State of the Union Address, President Obama pledged that his Administration will continue to do everything in its power to act on climate change. Today’s announcement is part of the President’s Climate Action Plan to responsibly cut carbon pollution, slow the effects of climate change and put America on track to a cleaner environment.
“For generations, America’s farmers, ranchers and forest landowners have innovated and adapted to challenges. Today, they face a new and more complex threat in the form of a changing and shifting climate, which impacts both our nation’s forests and our farmers’ bottom lines,” said Vilsack. “USDA’s Climate Hubs are part of our broad commitment to developing the next generation of climate solutions, so that our agricultural leaders have the modern technologies and tools they need to adapt and succeed in the face of a changing climate.”
For full federal press release No. 0016.14 visit USDA News Release here.
Next phase of President’s Climate Action Plan Comes to the Caribbean
Wednesday, February 5, 2014.Contact: William Gould
Farmers, ranchers and forest landowners in the Caribbean are facing an uncertain future and potential increases in risks to their operations due to increased likelihood of fires, increases in invasive pests, droughts, severe storms and floods. Additionally, local agriculture is tied to larger markets, with climate change affecting imported products and prices and the success of local agriculture. These events threaten our food supply and are costly for producers and rural economies. Such risks have implications not only for agricultural producers, but for all Caribbean islanders.
The new USDA Climate Hubs were chosen through a competitive process among USDA facilities. In addition to the seven Hubs (listed in the full federal press release linked above), the USDA is designating three Subsidiary Hubs (“Sub Hubs”) that will function within the Southeast, Midwest, and Southwest. The Southeast Sub Hub, located at the US Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestry in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, will address issues important to tropical agriculture and forestry. The Sub Hubs will support the Hub within their region and focus on a unique set of issues relative to the network of hubs.
“Climate change directly affects agriculture and forestry in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands,” said USDA Caribbean Sub Hub Leader Dr. William Gould of the US Forest Service. “And climate change impacts in other regions also affect the Caribbean’s supply and demand, the state of agriculture and forestry, food security and the culture of rural life.”
Federal, Commonwealth and Territorial partners have a long history of collaboration among agencies and with the public on natural resource issues in the region. The USDA Caribbean Climate Hub will be co-located with the Caribbean Landscape Conservation Cooperative and share resources and information related to climate change.
“The Caribbean Sub Hub will build on the capacity within the USDA and other climate change partnerships in the region to deliver science-based knowledge and practical information to farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to support decision-making related to climate change,” said Gould.
Coffee, bananas, plantains, tropical fruits, ornamentals, root crops, poultry, cattle, dairy products, wood for fencing and artisanal uses are some of the principle products of agriculture and forestry in the Caribbean. A large segment of production is for subsistence use.
See attached factsheet for information on the USDA Southeast Regional Caribbean Climate Sub Hub and Climate Risks in the Caribbean.
About The Caribbean Landscape Conservation Cooperative
The Caribbean LCC is a partnership among research and management agencies, organizations and individuals in Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and the wider Caribbean working to develop and provide sound management-driven science to help in the conservation of natural and cultural resources. The Caribbean LCC is one of a network of 22 LCCs initiated by the US Department of the Interior that cover the United States including Alaska, the Pacific islands, parts of neighboring Mexico and Canada, and the Caribbean. Visit www.caribbeanlcc.org. Follow us on twitter at @Caribbean_LCC.
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