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Global Environmental Change and Food Systems (GECAFS) Polly Ericksen GECAFS IPO, University of Oxford.

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Presentation on theme: "Global Environmental Change and Food Systems (GECAFS) Polly Ericksen GECAFS IPO, University of Oxford."— Presentation transcript:

1 Global Environmental Change and Food Systems (GECAFS) Polly Ericksen GECAFS IPO, University of Oxford

2 Food security…... exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. (World Food Summit 1996)... is underpinned by Food Systems.

3 Food Security FOOD UTILISATION FOOD ACCESS Affordability Allocation Preference Nutritional Value Social Value Food Safety FOOD AVAILABILITY Production Distribution Exchange Environmental Security / Natural Capital Ecosystems stocks, flows Ecosystem services Access to natural capital Social Welfare Income Employment Wealth Social & political capital Human capital Food System OUTCOMES Contributing to: Food System ACTIVITIES Producing food: natural resources, inputs, technology Processing & packaging food: raw materials, standards, consumer demand Distributing & retailing food: marketing, advertising, trade Consuming food: preparation, consumption Food Systems comprise Activities and Outcomes Ericksen, P. 2008. Global Environmental Change 18

4 Elements of ACCESS to food Characteristics of food security element Major determinants Driver of determinants AffordabilityStaple grains are cheap if imported; expensive if local. Costs of local production higher than external. Income determines purchased quantity. Food System activity: Producing. Social welfare: income. AllocationMost food only available in supermarkets. Supermarket chains dominate in urban areas; local markets have been driven out of business. Food System activity: Retailing. PreferenceFish and rice are traditional foods. Cultural preferences; agro- ecosystem characteristics. Social welfare: Social capital. Ecosystem services. Using the Food Systems framework – (hypothetical example)

5 (Source: adapted from Ingram & Brklacich, 2002; Ericksen, 2008) Capacity to cope with, and adapt to, GEC GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE (GEC) Change in type, frequency & magnitude of environmental threats FOOD SYSTEM RESILIENCE / VULNERABILITY SOCIETAL CHANGE Change in institutions, resource accessibility, economic conditions, etc. Exposure to GEC Vulnerability of the Food System to GEC

6 Vulnerability of the food system to GEC is mediated by coping capacity Source: Multi-authored analysis of IGP food system vulnerability to GEC. GECAFS Report. In prep. Example: Nutritional diversity (milk) in the Indo-Gangetic Plain Milk production is sensitive to drought (it decreases) Rural areas: Urban areas: Weak coping capacity weak markets poor infrastructure low income poor storage or processing HIGH vulnerability access to milk decreases nutritional value decreases Strong coping capacity robust markets sufficient infrastructure higher income good storage and processing LOW vulnerability access to milk maintained nutritional value maintained Food security outcome

7 Adaptation to GEC Is aimed at reducing the vulnerability of food systems to stresses Requires adaptive capacity of individual actors and… An enabling institutional and policy environment

8 Adaptation to reduce vulnerability of food system outcomes Food Security determinant GEC Stress to which determinant will be increasingly exposed Sensitivity to stress (future) Adaptation options Adaptive capacity Future vulnerability Nutritional value [Utilisation] e.g. Main protein (pulses) Affordability [Access] e.g. Household incomes Production [Availability] e.g. Irrigation potential in Haryana


10 Analysing Food Systems in context of drivers and feedbacks Source: Zurek, M. & Ericksen, P. A Conceptual Framework Describing Food System – GEC Interactions. In prep. Food System ACTIVITIES Producing Processing & Packaging Distributing & Retailing Consuming Food System OUTCOMES Contributing to: Food Security, Environmental Security, and other Societal Interests Food Access Food Utilisation Food Availability Environ Welfare Social Welfare Socioeconomic DRIVERS Changes in: Demographics, Economics, Socio-political context, Cultural context Science & Technology DRIVERS’ Interactions GEC DRIVERS Changes in: Land cover & soils, Atmospheric Comp., Climate variability & means, Water availability & quality, Nutrient availability & cycling, Biodiversity, Sea currents & salinity, Sea level ‘Natural’ DRIVERS e.g. Volcanoes Solar cycles Environmental feedbacks e.g. water quality, GHGs Socioeconomic feedbacks e.g. livelihoods, social cohesion

11 Improved Environmental Benefits Improved Social Benefits Improved Food Security Current food systems Adapted food systems Trade-offs Adaptation involves tradeoffs

12 How will GEC affect the vulnerability of food systems in different regions? How might food systems be adapted to cope with GEC so as to enhance food security? What would be the consequences of adaptation options for environmental and socioeconomic conditions? GECAFS “Fundamental Questions” Env & Socio- economic Conditions Current Food Systems Adapted Food Systems Vulnerability & Impacts Feedbacks Adaptation “It depends…” where, by when, by how much, how fast, … => Regional research

13 GECAFS Regional Science Plan & Implementation Strategy Policy-relevant research at national and regional-levels Focus on vulnerability/impacts, adaptation and feedbacks Based on improved conceptual understanding and methods Innovative research partnerships

14 GECAFS IGP Study Districts capture trends in socioeconomic & biophysical conditions across the IGP Gujarat, Punjab Pakistan wheat high ag inputs & effective institutions variable water availability changes in snow/glacier melt rising GHG emissions Vaishali, Bihar India rice low infrastructure & investment low income levels out migration of labour little government policy support seasonal flooding variable water availability Greater Faridpur Bangladesh rice low income levels institutions failing drought seasonal flooding sea level & salt water intrusion Rohini Basin, Terai Nepal rice/wheat out-migration of labour seasonal flooding variable water availability Ludhiana, Punjab India rice/wheat stagnant productivity growth high ag inputs & effective institutions variable water availability groundwater depletion changes in snow/glacier melt rising GHG emissions

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