IPCC Report Leads to Discussion on Food Security
The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is reporting that the recent IPCC Working Group 2 report, Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, is making waves in the international community. International organizations such as the FAO, the World Bank, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have hosted and participated in conferences addressing the food security dimensions of the recent report.
As mentioned in an earlier blog on our site, the new report includes the impacts that climate change is having on agricultural and aquacultural food systems. By all accounts, two of the primary vulnerabilities in the coming years will be the negative impacts of climate change on crop yields, and shifting ecosystems in the ocean which will affect important fish species. Currently, the majority of the world relies on large-scale agriculture based on farms that grow a very limited variety of staple crops. These techniques have served humanity well in the past few centuries, but are proving increasingly vulnerable to climate fluctuations and the build-up of ecosystem damages.
A common theme among the recent food security conferences is that there needs to be innovation in the agricultural sector. In this case, innovation does not mean a new and improved form of fertilizer or better machinery for planting crops. Innovation means advanced cropping techniques that use a plurality of species to boost growth, minimize pests, and maintain soil integrity. Innovation also means new financing mechanisms for small and medium-sized farms, which are much more common in the poorest and most climate vulnerable countries.
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