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Food Security

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The availability of and access to food requires resilient food systems and value chains.

Food security is directly influenced by climate variability and, increasingly, by climate change. Periods of heavy rainfall, for example, can reduce crop yields and destroy critical infrastructure. Although some countries have established early warning systems to predict and prepare for periods of food insecurity caused by such events, overall, their current policies and measures tend to be reactive rather than preventative. This reactive approach is the result of limited knowledge about the underlying factors that enable food systems and communities to absorb climate shocks and stresses without undergoing emergency situations. For food systems and communities to be truly food secure and climate resilient, we require both a better understanding of these underlying factors and new ways to monitor how they change over time.

We seek to improve climate resilience and food security through an understanding of the factors that influence the resilience of food systems to climate shocks and stresses. Our experts develop practical indicators to monitor such factors at both the community and national levels. We also work with governments and communities to improve our understanding of how policies affect the climate resilience of food systems.

  • Speech
    IISD Speech: IISD President and CEO Scott Vaughan at the UN Economic and Social Council, 2017 Integrated Segment, New York

    IISD Speech: IISD President and CEO Scott Vaughan at the UN Economic and Social Council, 2017 Integrated Segment, New York

    ISD President and CEO Scott Vaughan speaking at the UN ESOSOC 2017 Integration Segment on May 8, 2017 in New York.

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  • Briefing Note
    Private Investments and Agriculture: The importance of integrating sustainability into planning and implementation

    Private Investments and Agriculture: The importance of integrating sustainability into planning and implementation

    Recently, we have seen an increase in large-scale investment into agriculture. An important policy question is to what extent these large-scale agricultural investment contribute to improving local livelihoods, as well as economic and environmental conditions.

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  • Briefing Note
    How Small Businesses Can Support Climate-Resilient Value Chains: Lessons from Uganda

    How Small Businesses Can Support Climate-Resilient Value Chains: Lessons from Uganda

    This brief focuses on investments by domestic seed companies in quality seeds, including climate-resilient varieties, in developing countries and the climate risk management benefits for other actors along the value chain. It is designed for researchers and practitioners working on agricultural value chains, food security and climate resilience in developing countries. 

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  • Briefing Note
    Enabling Climate Risk Management Along Agricultural Value Chains: Insights from the rice value chain in Uganda

    Enabling Climate Risk Management Along Agricultural Value Chains: Insights from the rice value chain in Uganda

    This briefing note proposes a framework of core functions for climate risk management (CRM) along agricultural value chains and highlights the role of service providers in supporting CRM efforts.

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  • Blog
    Policy Solutions for Climate-Resilient Agricultural Value Chains

    Policy Solutions for Climate-Resilient Agricultural Value Chains

    Climate change poses serious risks to agriculture in many developing countries. 

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  • Paper
    Using Process-Based Indicators to Help Design Effective Policies on Food Security in the Context of Climate Change

    Using Process-Based Indicators to Help Design Effective Policies on Food Security in the Context of Climate Change

    This briefing note presents a series of resilience indicators as examples for measuring the resilience of local food systems based on community...

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  • Paper
    Measuring Local Food Systems’ Resilience: Lessons learned from Honduras and Nicaragua

    Measuring Local Food Systems’ Resilience: Lessons learned from Honduras and Nicaragua

    Climate variability and change are already affecting food security of vulnerable populations.Poor communities are particularly exposed to climate...

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  • Paper
    IISD Input to the CFS-RAI E-Consultation

    IISD Input to the CFS-RAI E-Consultation

    This note summarizes IISD’s contribution to the Committee on World Food Security’s e-consultation on the zero draft of the principles for...

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  • Paper
    CRiSTAL Food Security 2.0 User's Manual. Community-based Risk Screening Tool - Adaptation and Livelihoods: Focus on Food System Resilience

    CRiSTAL Food Security 2.0 User's Manual. Community-based Risk Screening Tool - Adaptation and Livelihoods: Focus on Food System Resilience

    CRiSTAL Food Security is a decision-support tool for local-level government staff and development practitioners to support climate resilience of...

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  • Paper
    FIPAT Guidebook: Food Security Indicator & Policy Analysis Tool

    FIPAT Guidebook: Food Security Indicator & Policy Analysis Tool

    The relationship between climate resilience, food security and the policies and actions of multiple levels of government is complex.Government...

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