Food Security: Near Future Projections of the Impact of Drought in Asia

The challenge of moving towards a food secure world is huge. The global population is increasing and human interactions with food are changing (driven by changes in urbanisation, globalisation and the nutritional transition associated with the growth of the global middle class). Global demands for food are consequently growing rapidly. On the supply side, the world has limited scope for expansion of the amount of agricultural land and a growing need for more sustainable food production methods. Climate change-related drought is further increasing food security risk, yet modelling and adaptation plans have focused on the 2050s and beyond. This is too far out of range for policymakers to contemplate – but weather patterns are already changing, and the impacts on agriculture are already being felt.

With this in mind, CLCF commissioned a ground-breaking report from a lead IPCC author based at the University of Leeds to determine the near-term impacts of climate change on food security. Food Security: Near Future Projections of the Impact of Drought in Asia examines the potential risks of climate change-driven drought on production of wheat, maize and rice across Asia in the 2020s. It is coupled with an analysis of adaptive capacity for each staple crop, calculated from projections of key socio-economic drivers.

CLCF's report is both timely and significant for three reasons. First, this report focuses on the 2020s, giving it immediacy for policy makers. Second, the methodology demonstrates that impact predictions are possible by coupling climatic modelling with socio-economic drivers. Third, the results highlight areas of high risk and the potential impacts at local and global scales, and therefore can help inform Asian governments’ mitigation and adaptation strategies. We emphasise that there are strong gains to be made through ‘systems thinking’, coupling both environmental risks with and assessment of society’s ability to cope with them. We hope that this report will instigate informed and timely action to improve food security in the world’s most populated continent and thereby prevent looming hunger crises.

ISBN: 978-0-9575872-0-5

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