New Article – ‘Climate Change and Food Security in Southern African Cities’

Summary: This paper explores the links between climate change and food security within the context of the urban transition taking place in Southern Africa. Researchers, planners and policymakers in Southern African cities are already focusing on the impacts of increasingly severe changes in weather associated with climate change. Key issues include how climate science knowledge is used at the level of the city and how the impacts of climate change might affect city functioning at the metropolitan and household scales. What has not been addressed in any detail is the extent to which climate change will affect the food security of the city and its inhabitants, especially within the context of high levels of poverty and widespread food and nutrition insecurity. It is therefore important to understand the linkages between climate change and food security in Southern African cities so that policies and practices can start to ameliorate the negative impacts Climate Change and Food Security in Southern aFriCan Cities through pro-active – rather than reactive –planning and programming.

The paper is divided into four parts. The first part outlines the current state of knowledge on urban food security by providing some background to the emerging urban food security challenge and summarizing the  levels of food insecurity in Southern African cities. The second section examines the latest trends in climate science and suggests that a downscaling from the global and regional level of analysis to the city level is necessary to appreciate the implications of climate change and extreme weather events for urban areas. Thirdly, as a mechanism for exploring the climate change-food security nexus, the paper uses examples that illustrate linkages between the climate change and food security. Finally, it poses questions that may be useful for advancing planning and practice on issues related to urban food security in a changing climate as well as where future research might focus.

Full Citation: Ziervogel, G. and Frayne, B, (2011). Climate Change and Food Security in Southern African Cities,  Urban Food Security Series No. 8. Queen’s University and AFSUN: Kingston and Cape Town (Full article available at here). 

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