Owing to the realities accompanying climate change — increasing levels of drought, flooding, extreme weather, and thus crop losses — the global risk of hunger and child malnutrition could rise by around 20% by the year 2050, according to a new report from the World Food Programme (WFP).
Image via FEMA
The researchers involved in the work, though, note that by examining the different risks facing different countries and regions, it may be possible to reduce threats to food supply.
As an example of what’s meant by “different risks,” Northern Africa and Southern Europe, for instance, will face increasingly extreme heatwaves and water scarcity; while South Asia will face extreme floods, sea level rise, and unstable monsoon rains.
“Different groups are affected by different types of risks, at different intensities and at different times,” noted Gernot Laganda, the director of climate and disaster risk reduction programs at WFP.
Reuters provides more: “Building greater resilience to the threats will require ‘layers’ of responses, he said. Catastrophic threats of large-scale losses of crops or animals — the type that might come along every 5 to 10 years, for instance, and force those hit to migrate — might be dealt with in part with insurance plans, Laganda said.
“But more regular seasonal threats — of smaller-scale flooding, for instance — cannot be insured, he said, as the problems come too frequently. In those cases, building savings groups among women farmers, for instance, to ensure cash is on hand to deal with the crop failures, could be a better way to deal with risks.”
Speaking about what should be done to address these looming issues, Mikael Eriksson, who works for the government of Sweden on climate and energy problems, noted that: “Prevention is so much more efficient than disaster management.”
No kidding, but most people remain convinced that they won’t be affected by whatever issue is looming until it’s too late to actually do anything. How does the old joke go? People have only two modes of operation: complacency, and blind panic.
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