Resilient food systems underpin food security. In other words, they ensure that “all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life” (World Food Summit, 1996), despite climate shocks and stresses. Climate variability and change can disrupt key elements of food systems, affecting the availability of food as well as peoples’ ability to access and use it. Whether it is a household suffering from the loss of their subsistence crops due to drought, or a district being cut off from food markets because floods have damaged access to roads, these disruptions can increase the risk of hunger, malnutrition, and poverty.
To better understand the complex relationship among food systems, food security and climate change, IISD, funded by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), has released a conceptual framework for assessing, planning and monitoring climate resilience and food security at the community, regional and national levels. Most research to date has focused on the direct impacts of extreme events such as storms, droughts and high temperatures on food production. However, other aspects of food systems, such as the services supporting food availability or access, are also likely to be affected by climate extremes. The impacts from highly uncertain future climate events on complex food systems cannot be predicted with any confidence. Instead, the authors recommend that communities and policy-makers should assess the resilience of these systems to a broad range of anticipated and potential impacts.
Tyler, S.; Keller, M.; Swanson, D.; Bizikova, L.; Hammill, A.; Zamudio, A.; Moench, M.; Dixit, A.; Guevara Flores, R.; Heer, C.; Gonzalez, D.; Sosa, A.R.; Gough, A.M.; Solorzano, J.L.; Wilson, C.; Hernandez, X.; Bushey, S. Climate Resilience and Food Security: A framework for planning and monitoring. International Institute for Sustainable Development, Winnipeg, Canada (2013) 29 pp.