The Last Straw? - The additional burden of climate change on food security in the Himalaya

 

 

 

 

The food price spikes of 2007–08 brought food security into sharp focus on the global agenda. Declines in international commodity markets, financial speculation in low cereal stocks, dramatic weather events, soaring oil prices, and growth in biofuels competing for cropland merged to produce a global crisis. Coupled with the growing impacts of climate change, the question of whether we would have enough food to feed a growing world population in the future vaulted to the top of political agendas.

However, as with so many global issues, some regions are far more vulnerable to food insecurity than others. Mountain regions are particularly hard hit. In places such as the Hindu Kush-Himalaya (HKH), food security is not only a question for the future but for today. Here, vulnerability is a fact of life. Around half of the world’s undernourished people live in Bangladesh, China, India, Nepal and Pakistan, and in all of these countries, the mountain areas have the highest degree of food deficiency. 

Available online: Full report (PDF 6mb)

“The climate has already changed so much and we are dependent on water. After the floods last year, now it has become the time of drought (before monsoon). There is no rain. But we are obliged to cultivate. If not, we have nothing to eat.” 
60-year old farmer, Lower Lawpani, Tinsukia, India 

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Comments/Feedback

Robert Vincin - 22 Aug 2014
As one who studies writes teaches and grows soil food fodder forestry in deserts here is the core issue. The only assets of the Planet and Mankind soil-water-vegetation-atmosphere UN reports 60% damage. A host of issues face the survival of species. Following established science under a well planned protocol by reversing deserts under a master plan reparation of the historical rain patterns from sea to mountain/catchments would aid reparation of historical vegetation microbes flora fauna. Teaching Farmers Herders to manage lands as though it is a Bank of life sustaining Assets (rotate-rest-recover) basically the rest witnesses soil life recovery of weeds that sequesters the great array of elements back to soil. e g Clover fixes nitrogen. Run the planet as if it was (is) a life sustaining production line. I lecture growing soil. Robert Vincin

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