Climate Change and Food Security: HLPE consultation on the V0 draft of the Report

20.03.2012 - 15.04.2012
In October 2010 the newly reformed UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) requested its High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) to conduct a study on climate change, and in particular, to assess: “review existing assessments and initiatives on the effects of climate change on food security and nutrition, with a focus on the most affected and vulnerable regions and populations and the interface between climate change and agricultural productivity, including the challenges and opportunities of adaptation and mitigation policies and actions for food security and nutrition.
 
Final findings are to be presented at the CFS Plenary session in October 2012.
 
The High Level Panel of Experts for Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) now seeks input on the following V0 draft of its report to address this mandate. This e-consultation will be used by the HLPE Project Team to further elaborate the report, which will then be submitted to external expert review, before finalization by the Project Team under Steering Committee guidance and oversight.
The challenges of climate change to food security are multidimensional. Assessing them also requires some assessment of challenges to food security generally. The Committee’s charge includes two focus areas:
 
  • the most affected vulnerable regions and populations
  • the interface between climate change and agricultural productivity
 
In a report of about 40 pages (plus annexes), it is not possible to be exhaustive in coverage. Hence the current draft represents an assessment by the HLPE Project Team members, with guidance from the HLPE Steering Committee, of priority topics and presentation.
 
We propose opening a dialogue on the following topics and questions:
 
  • An important audience for this report is national policy makers concerned with agriculture and food security and their staff. Does the report include sufficient information to support the policy messages and is it written in a way that captures the complexity of the challenges to food security from climate change while not being too technical?
  • It is not possible to provide detailed policy recommendations for specific countries, regions, or groups. Instead we propose a series of policy messages that are intended to provide guidance for developing nationally-relevant policies and programs and that can also assist international efforts. Have we chosen the best set of topics? How could our policy messages be improved? Have important messages been omitted?
  • The chapter on adaptation is incomplete. We would especially value input on whether the concepts presented in annotated outline form cover appropriate material or whether additional topics need to be covered, and some current items eliminated. These inputs will be used to guide the drafting of the final version of this chapter.
  • The report proposes three high level policy messages with detailed recommendations under each. We introduce the three high level messages here and ask the reader to refer to the fifth chapter for the current complete text. Are these the most important messages for national and international policy makers? How can the text be improved to convey these (or other) messages?

    1. Climate change responses should be complementary to, not independent of, activities that are needed for sustainable food security.

    2. Climate change adaptation and mitigation require national activities and global coordination

    3. Public-public and public-private partnerships are essential

 
We thank in advance all the contributors for being kind enough to spend time in reading and commenting on this early version of our report. Supplementary information and references are very much welcomed. We look forward to a rich and fruitful consultation.
 
The HLPE Project Team Gerald Nelson (Team Leader), Zucong Cai, Charles Godfray, Rashid Hassan, Maureen Santos, Hema Swaminathan.