Food in the Context of Disaster Risk Reduction Including Climate Change Adaptation

Authored by: John Campbell

The Routledge Handbook of Disaster Risk Reduction Including Climate Change Adaptation

Print publication date:  April  2017
Online publication date:  September  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138924567
eBook ISBN: 9781315684260
Adobe ISBN: 9781317408659


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The second group of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed upon by member states of the UN in 2015 has as its first target (2.1) to ‘end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round’ by 2030. This is a worthy goal and on the face of it an achievable one, given that global average daily food production is currently 5,000 Kcals per capita, almost triple the daily requirements of 1,800 Kcals per person (Mucke 2015). There are, however, major obstacles to enabling equitable access to global food resources and these lie largely in social, political and economic processes rather than in the environmental sphere. Moreover, the underlying factors that cause much of the global food insecurity are also the causes of vulnerability to natural hazards and hazard drivers such as climate change. Significantly, the sustainable development goals also include the following target (13.1): ‘Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries.’ Herein lies the key conundrum facing those seeking to improve food security, reduce disaster risk and achieve equitable ways of adapting to climate change. All three are fundamentally about social, political and economic rather than environmental processes: while scientific research and technical innovation (e.g., modified seeds, new fertilisers and new tools) are important, the main issues relate to equity and fairness at both local and global scales.

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