Climate Change & its Adverse Effects
The coronavirus pandemic has been proof of how unprepared the world was for a crisis that affected several people. Existential threats which include climate change, the degradation of ecosystems and food insecurity, have exposed people to natural disasters, pandemics and worsening hunger, worldwide. The inability to resolve these issues and in some cases, the ignorance towards them has been one of the leading factors which contribute to the world’s vulnerable state.
Currently for many countries, the food crisis is a leading threat which affects the livelihood of several people. This year alone, food inflation has increased significantly, specifically for cereals, meat, oil, dairy products and sugar. A global standard to measure food prices is the FAO food price index and in March 2022 it reached a record. Even though since March it has decreased several times, today it still remains to be 7.9% above its value a year ago.
Even though issues like these lack simple solutions, it is essential that people recognize and address the threats they face. All these are deeply interlinked and will continue to worsen until and unless significant methods are taken to address them. Disasters like disease, droughts and floods will continue to curtail food production and these disruptions to livelihoods will cause an increased amount of food scarcity which will be compounded by climate-induced migration.
Instead of being afterthoughts in the efforts towards ending the food crisis, biodiversity and climate change should be central to a comprehensive transformation of global food systems.
There are several steps which can be taken towards these issues however the most significant one is building infrastructure such as warehouses, rural connectivity, digital services and cold storage which are both affordable and accessible for farmers. Additionally, technologies like forecasting services, online weather advisory as well as early warning systems for extreme climate-related events can aid farmers in managing their crops. Factors like these can significantly improve land use and management and better rural connectivity can support the logistics of the supplies needed for agriculture.
Another factor which can contribute towards betterment is food production which is climate smart. This can be ensured through approaches like integrating natural resources management into efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Productivity should be balanced against climate
change and mitigation outcomes which ultimately demands a broad perspective which covers the entirety of the food supply including production, processing, packaging and transportation.. Additionally, it is essential that nature based solutions are employed to support agricultural production while helping to regenerate ecosystems.
These solutions involve rehabilitating and conserving natural ecosystems and the enhancement of natural processes in modified or artificial ecosystems. Along the food system, solutions like these require transformative change and innovation at every point. They will also include behavioral changes in consumption patterns in which the responsibilities of private sectors will be critical. Smart investments in agriculture will deliver much needed development and profit.
It can be said with certainty that there will be no food progress without the development of the climate and biodiversity. This triple threat surrounding the world demands an unprecedented level of public, private and multilateral cooperation because without it, there is no hope. People must realize that prompt action should be taken before climate change worsens living conditions and leaves several hungry and vulnerable.