Ecosystem-based adaptation can achieve food security

Ecological farming approaches have the potential to build resilient food systems and achieve food security amid a changing climate.

An article in the UK’s Guardian by Dr Richard Munang from the Africa Climate Change Adaptation Programme of the United Nations Environment Programme, looks at ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) which uses “biodiversity and ecosystem services as part of an overall adaptation strategy to help people and communities adapt to the negative effects of climate change at local, national, regional and global levels”.

EbA includes practices such as agroforestry and helps to achieve sustainable water management and livelihood diversification.

The article uses the example of Xai Xai in Mozambique to illustrate the effectiveness of EbA. Here, many people were going hungry for four to five months of the year due to food shortages. EbA, through community-based and community-led interventions of fish and crab farming and mangrove restoration, have helped address food insecurity.

With droughts already affecting the US, Africa and southern Europe, and climate change expected to produce even more, plus an increasing population, it is critical now to build sustainable and resilient food systems. Ecosystem degradation threatens food production and the availability of clean water, placing human health, livelihoods and social stability at risk.

“Reorienting local food systems towards modes of production that are highly productive with ability to improve the sustainability of agro ecosystems by creating beneficial biological interactions and synergies among the different components is imperative,” writes Munang.

Read the full story: Ecological methods can help solve food insecurity issues