The rising prices on food and energy is a growing problem, in particular for the most vulnerable. In the long term we believe high food prices could be a source of income in developing countries, and high energy prices could catalyze innovation and more emphasis on the use of alternative, clean energy. But as we have seen over the past few months, increased risk of hunger also means an increased risk of violence, crime and social unrest.
Combined with the challenges from climate change, the global food security situation calls for a strong commitment from all stakeholders to work together to achieve the World Food Summit objectives. Climate change is perhaps the greatest threat to food security. If we fail to place combating climate change at the very top of our food security agenda, we will be seriously neglecting our responsibility. Our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will help us in the long term, but not immediately. In the meantime, adaptation to climate change is paramount.
We must also balance short term and long term measures. In our eagerness to act quickly, we must make sure that actions taken now do not have negative consequences in the long term. For example, when we distribute fertilizer and seed as part of our response, no concessions can be made to proper analysis. Each intervention must be put in a larger context. FAO has, for instance, drawn up excellent guidelines for seed aid. We must make sure they are used.
Norway welcomes the timely leadership shown by Kofi Annan in launching the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. Increased productivity is clearly required to meet the needs of a growing global population. Particularly in Africa, which has not enjoyed the increase in productivity seen in other parts of the world. In this regard, the private sector has to play a central role. Norway firmly believes in encouraging and facilitating public-private partnerships. But increased productivity is of little value to the African farmer if the products cannot reach a functional market. Part of the answer to the crisis is to be found in the traditional development toolbox: infrastructure, improved governance and conducive economic policies. In our efforts to increase production, we must not back down on our principles of environmental sustainability. These efforts must not lead to loss of genetic resources for food and agriculture, including minor crops of importance for food security, and they must not cause pollution or depletion of scarce water resources. Land tenure and property rights are another critical issue.
Let me also, through you, thank the Secretary General for his leadership on the initiatives to develop concrete response measures to the food crisis. We welcome in this regard the final proposal for a Comprehensive Framework for Action that has been developed by the High-level Task Force on the Global Food Crisis. Norway is committed to play an active role in the follow-up to the CFA, and we therefore look forward to analyze the document and the recommendations it contains.