191522 Food systems and climate change: Impacts and solutions

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 10:30 AM

Molly D. Anderson , Food Systems Integrity, Arlington, MA
Climate change, combined with trends of increasing population and shrinking supplies of fossil fuel, is already beginning to force dramatic changes in the global food system. Impacts that are directly associated with climate change include water scarcity, increased risks from pests and disease, decreased productivity in areas of high fertility, decreased biodiversity, large numbers of environmental refugees, and inundation of coastal plains. Greenhouse gas emissions have already exceeded a dangerous threshold; and the sooner we can implement adaptive coping strategies, the less disruption we can anticipate in food supplies. Food systems must strive for resilience by increasing redundancy and buffers, promoting diversity and expecting surprises. Resilience will be enhanced by actively promoting agroecological farming practices, integrating different kinds of knowledge, decentralizing agriculture, and adopting “just-in-case” systems with multiple reserves instead of “just-in-time” supply systems.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will identify the impacts of climate change on agriculture. Participants will identify the impacts of agriculture on climate change. Participants will have a framework for understanding structural changes in the global food system. Participants will understand the concept of resilience, and identify some of the ways it can be promoted in the food system.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was a Coordinating Lead Author on the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science & Technology for Development, and Project Manager of an indicators development project on sustainable food.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.