Food security and climate change

Jun 2012

Third report of the Committee on World Food Security's (CFS) High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE), focusing on the effects of climate change on food security11 and nutrition, with a focus on the most affected and vulnerable regions and populations.
According to the report, With many of the resources needed for sustainable food security already stretched, the food security challenges are huge. Climate change will make it even harder to overcome them, as it reduces the productivity of the majority of existing food systems and harms the livelihoods of those already vulnerable to food insecurity. Potential impacts of climate change on food security include both direct nutritional effects (changes in consumption quantities and composition) and livelihood effects (changes in employment opportunities and cost of acquiring adequate nutrition). Climate change can affect each of these dimensions.  The report underlines that climate change adds to the challenges from other threat and that global, national and local social and political institutions will all play important roles in managing the effects of climate change on food security and need to work together to find ways to reduce risks and ensure food security and nutrition for all.
Among its recommendations, HLPE stresses the need to integrate food security and climate change concerns with policies and programs designed to respond to climate change complementary to those needed for sustainable food security; increase resilience of food systems to climate change at every level, from the field to landscape and markets; develop low-emissions agricultural strategies that do not compromise food security.
The report also highlights how the information base available to facilitate policy and program developments to reduce the food security effects of climate change is woefully inadequate and calls for an action both at national level by asking national governments need to improve their efforts, and at the international one, with the need for international data gathering on climate change and its effects to improve information on vulnerable communities, populations and regions. Moreover, it calls for a facilitated participation of all stakeholders in decision making and implementation. In light of this recommendations, the HLPE urges the CFS to include climate change recommendations in the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition; encourage more explicit recognition of food security in UNFCCC activities; support climate change adaptation and mitigation in international trade negotiations; enhance the role of civil society and support the development of a collection sharing mechanism on international data gathering for climate change and food security.


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