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Response to the Impact of Climate Change on Human Nutrition: A Call for Interdisciplinary Research on Food Production and Environmental Health Yewande.

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Presentation on theme: "Response to the Impact of Climate Change on Human Nutrition: A Call for Interdisciplinary Research on Food Production and Environmental Health Yewande."— Presentation transcript:

1 Response to the Impact of Climate Change on Human Nutrition: A Call for Interdisciplinary Research on Food Production and Environmental Health Yewande Awe (Senior Environmental Engineer) Eija Pehu (Adviser, Agriculture and Rural Development) The World Bank November 17, 2008

2 One Side of the Problem Impacts of Climate change on agriculture will challenge food availability in the future and consequently, nutritional status of population Shifts in farming systems Increased incidence of pest attacks Reduction in crop yields

3 Climate change will reduce production growth in many of the poorest countries and regions Percent change in agricultural production due to climate change, 2080 Source: Cline 2007

4 The other Side of the Problem WHO experts note that half of the consequences of malnutrition are attributable to environmental issues, especially poor water, sanitation and hygiene (Prüss-Üstun and Corvalán 2006) Poor nutritional status, especially in infants and young children, makes infections worse and more frequent (Scrimshaw et al., 1968; Caulfield et al., 2004; Brown 2003) Diseases attributable to environmental factors also have the potential to affect a childs future cognitive functions and educational performance (Berkman et al., 2002; Guerrant et al., 1999; Niehaus et al., 2002; Patrick et al., 2005; Walker et al., 2007)

5 Relationship between nutriton and infection Source: Brown 2003

6 In hotspots, reduced food availability is coupled with increased likelihood of infection as water becomes scarcer

7 Climate change is projected to worsen disease and death burden Malnutrition, diarrhea, malaria and acute respiratory infection Source: Confalonieri et al., 2007

8 Why is this important? High economic burden: up to 9% of a countrys GDP in a country in Sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia, when effects of malnutrition – mortality and impairment of cognitive development and educational performance - are taken into account (World Bank, 2008) Children under the age of 5 and poor, particularly in SSA and SAR, are most vulnerable Health impacts can be prevented by reducing environmental health risks (e.g. improved sanitation, water and hygiene) Multiplier effect - for every death prevented from an environmental health intervention, additional deaths from other diseases are averted (Mills-Reincke phenomenon) In Southeast Asia and Africa subregions, the multiplier ranges from

9 What can be done? Improve availability, quality and analysis of data in developing countries: identify hotspots where food production and infection are most significant improve validity of models for attributing health impacts of climate change. Collaboration on research across multiple sectors– health, agriculture, environment so that impacts of complex inter-sectoral linkages are better understood. Better analysis of health impacts of climate change that takes into account all intersectoral linkages, particularly related to human nutrition. Generation of interdisciplinary research at national level, particularly in developing countries, that takes into account specific regional/national contexts.

10 Thank you. Contacts: Yewande Awe Eija Pehu


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