Climate Change and Food Security: Understanding Vulnerability and Reducing Impacts

Food security — the ability to obtain and use sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food — is a fundamental human need, and achieving food security for all is a widely agreed upon international objective. There has been significant improvement in food security during recent decades, but approximately 11% of the global population continues to suffer from persistent undernutrition and hunger. Human-induced climate change poses a substantial emerging threat to further progress. Measures to decrease the rate and magnitude of climate change and increase the adaptive capacity and resilience of global food systems hold promise for reducing vulnerability and negative impacts. Targeted research and experimentation is critical for the development of effective adaptation strategies.

This paper was written by Dr. Peter Backlund, Associate Director, School of Global Environmental Sustainability, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, U.S.  It is part of the ISGP conference Equitable, Sustainable and Healthy Food Environments, convened in partnership with Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in May 2016.