Ahead of the COP21 Summit in Paris, UN experts are warning of further risks posed by climate change and global warming. Food security may be heavily impacted by climate change.
A lot of hope is invested in the COP21 Summit. The international community anxiously awaits the drafting and implementation of an internationally binding treaty to curb climate change, global warming, desertification and greenhouse gas emissions. These generous topics comprise a myriad of sub-topics, all equally important and existing in perfect synergy.
Among them, food security is tangentially linked to climate change as well. A number of high-profile expert studies have linked global warming to extreme weather events, increasing in intensity and frequency in past decades. Rising sea levels, floods, extreme droughts are contributing factors to the destabilization of global food security. In addition to land grabbing for industrial activities or land use change effects, global warming is the main threat to food security.
Malnourishment is a harsh reality to cope with. While advances have been registered in the past years and under the UN Millennium Development Goals, leaving global warming unchecked will add another 600 million people to the statistics by 2080. Failing to address this issue now is bound to have disastrous effects on food security globally.
Hilal Elver is the UN Special Rapporteur for the right to food. In a press release, Ms. Elver stated:
“All these climate incidents will negatively impact on crops, livestock, fisheries, aquaculture, and on people’s livelihoods”.
In addition to drawing this alarm signal, Ms. Elver explained that the way forward isn’t through large-scale agricultural models. Global food demand cannot be met through such models without further impacting greenhouse gas emission levels.
Alternatively, increasing emphasis should be placed on transformative systems. These are agricultural models focused on the local level, supporting the food demand and food movement at the local level while empowering small farmers. Observing communities worldwide and offering them as a lesson learned approach and models to follow may significantly contribute to a healthy and sturdy promotion of cultural traditions, human rights, food democracy.
Local transformative models are based on local food demands, without adding further strain on the environment. Food security may be heavily impacted by climate change. And sadly, it is those communities that have the least contribution to global warming that reap the negative effects.
Ahead of the COP21 Summit in Paris, the international community needs to be reminded that mitigation and adaptation needs to take into consideration the right to food and global food security.
Photo Credits: public-domain-image.com
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