Clarifying the links between Climate Change and Hunger 

The latest scientific evidence suggests that changes in climate will exacerbate existing threats to food security and livelihoods through a combination of more frequent and intense climate hazards, diminishing agricultural yields and production, and intensifying competition over scarce resources. 

However, there has been limited research into the impacts on climate change on food security – a fact recognised by contributors to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).   

Aim of WFP Climate Analyses

Through efforts to improve analysis of the food security impact of climate risks today and in the future, WFP is working to help governments and communities better understand the risks and inform resilience, food security, and climate change adaptation plans and programmes, including the National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and WFP’s own programmes. The results of these analyses could also inform the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) on issues related to adaptation. WFP analyses aim to:

  • Examine potential links between the food security and climate risks 
  • Understand the impacts of climate change on food security and nutrition, taking into account all of the dimensions of food security (availability, access, utilization and stability)
  • Identify the most vulnerable communities to current and future climate risks 
  • Identify policies and action to build adaptive capacity and reduce climate-related food insecurity in the most vulnerable communities

 Climate and Food Security Analyses 

WFP's unique network of food security analysts  have developed years of experience in collecting, managing and analysing data with the use of advanced technologies such as satellite imagery, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and mobile data collection platforms in order to identify hungry and food insecure populations and to establish the underlying causes. They are often called upon to examine meteorological data to understand climatic risks, providing essential information to governments, humanitarian organisations and communities.

Supported through the Climate Adaptation Management and Innovation Initiative (C-ADAPT)WFP has conducted a number of climate analyses with partners, in order to understand the impacts of climate variability, risks and change on people’s food security. C-ADAPT has been implemented across a number of regions and at a global level, with the following analyses thus far completed:

Through these efforts, a new analytical approach called the Consolidated Livelihood Exercise for Analyzing Resilience (CLEAR) has emerged as a methodology for understanding how food security is affected by climate risks. WFP has used the CLEAR approach to carry out analyses in a number of countries, including Afghanistan, Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka and Timor-Leste, and has consolidated this into guidance for WFP and partners. WFP is also currently looking into finding ways to do better analyses that explore the impacts of climate risks and change on nutrition.

WFP is also involved within a European Commission supported consortium of 16 partners on the High-End cLimate Impact and eXtremes (HELIX) project, with one of its aims to provides a a window into the future impacts of climate extremes on food security.

Partnerships

Many of these analyses are done jointly with Government and technical partners, including the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) Research Programme of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR); the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD); the Institute for Social and Environmental Transition in Nepal (ISET-Nepal); the Nepal Development Research Institute (NDRI); Overseas Development Institute (ODI); Practical Action Nepal; the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation; USAID’s Mekong Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change (Mekong ARCC); the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); and Afghanistan’s National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA).  

WFP and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have additionally renewed their partnership towards a new three-year effort to undertake joint climate analyses to inform programme design.  Under the partnership, WFP is also providing expert advice on how IFAD can develop in-house capacity in GIS and earth observations