Presentation on theme: "Vulnerability: Progress in food Security Thomas E. Downing Environmental Change Institute Oxford."— Presentation transcript:
Vulnerability: Progress in food Security Thomas E. Downing Environmental Change Institute Oxford
Vulnerability is… An aggregate measure of human welfare that integrates environmental, social, economic and political exposure to a range of harmful perturbations.
The zephyrs of breeze that locate vulnerability within the trade winds of globalisation and climate change … … demand our concern, before they become gales … must be charted with new instruments spawned by multiple disciplines and appropriate technologies … can be buffered through known strategies and measures Mozambique waiting for more rain
Workshop challenges How strong is current knowledge in this area? What do we best and least understand? What new research would be most important? What major synthetic approaches have evolved? Can vulnerability be internalised into broader integrated assessments?
Outline Placing vulnerability in context: Demand for information Historical trends Examples and methodologies State of knowledge Conclusions (if any)
Demand for information Where are the vulnerable? Targeting geographical region, socio-economic class Who are vulnerable? Relative vulnerability among households and individuals What should be done? Link to intervention/adaptation What is the future of vulnerability? Exposure to global change, policy impacts
Emerging Sustainable Farmers An agent-based approach to seasonal climate forecasting Climate Forecasters Dissemination Channels Commercial Farmers Vulnerable Farmers Represent actors as software agents Multi-level vulnerability Processes and pathways Emergence from interactions
State of knowledge Levels Processes Threats Competing definitions Common wisdom Evidence based policy (interventions)
Scales of vulnerability Global: Stable assessment of global poverty Uncertain relations to global change and globalisation Regional/national: Stable ranking of relative vulnerability Local: Patchy, depending on assessments Slow response to emerging vulnerable groups Time scales Short term fluctuations and long term evolution Seasonal scales subject to famine early warning
Processes Human ecology of production: Well known, but connected to other scales Exchange economy and impoverishment: Extent of global linkages poor Political economy and empowerment: Fair understanding Nutritional status and interventions: Well understood Concatenation of exposure: Few studies across the range of exposure Difficult to generalise
HAZARD VULNERABILITY RISK SPACE Risk is the overlay of hazard and vulnerability Disasters are the realisation of risk Both hazard and vulnerability are changing
Confidence in climate change Confidence in future climate change varies. Some elements can be projected--the direction of change is known. For others, the sign of the change is not known, but the range of projections is bounded reasonably well. For complex changes, our knowledge is limited to approximate shifts in risks and potential for surprises.
Vulnerability is… about equity…linking climate change to uneven development concerns people…begin with the humanitarian concerns for vulnerable socio-economic groups an integrating method…for targeting adaptation
Dessication in the Sahel In the last 10 years long-term impacts of droughts and famines of the 1970s in Sahel became evident Major droughts in the past Century 1910-1916, 1941-1945, late 1960 with a peak in 1970s In the last 10 years long-term impacts of droughts and famines of the 1970s in Sahel became evident
Responses Wide range of coping strategies bartering, migration, social welfare, formal insurance, education, etc. Research and monitoring: Creation of CILSS in 1973 Early warning systems Working with the human and drought-induced stress on natural ecosystems Improved agricultural production technologies (improved variety of millet and sorghum, intensive cultivation techniques) Increase of rural mobility
Boosting local capacities Creation of farmers cooperatives Small-scale NGOs and CBOs projects Integration of environmental rehabilitation to development projects and programs Innovative techniques in soil and water conservation Popular erosion control methods Agroforestry
Regional and national levels Improving and strengthening local management and development initiatives Building upon own skills, indigenous knowledge and resources Assess long term trends Improving sustainable livelihood systems
Cyclones and sea level rise Progressive coping capacity in Bangladesh: 1 million deaths in 1960s 100,000 deaths in 1970s 10,000 deaths in 1980s 1,000 deaths in 1990s Aid can be effective