Developing countries face ever increasing challenges in the area of food security. Among these challenges, climate change is arguably one of the most serious and wide-spread threats, since it affects all regions of the world, albeit not equally. There is growing evidence that climate change is decreasing the productivity of many crops around the world, thus increasing the risk of food shortages in developing countries where agricultural systems are low-tech and malnutrition is common. While population growth is often mentioned as a contributing factor to food insecurity in developing countries, changing the rate of population growth is rarely seen as a policy alternative, especially when addressing strategies to adapt to climate change.
We developed a computer simulation model to help clarify the dynamic relationships between climate change, food security, and population growth. The aim was to develop a model that would be simple enough to adapt to a country and that could be used at the policy level to introduce population issues into the dialogue on adaptation to climate change in the context of food security. The resulting model links a population projection, a sophisticated economic model that takes account of the effects of climate change on agriculture, and a food requirements model that uses Food and Agricultural Organization formulas.
The model was tested and piloted in Ethiopia. The Ethiopia pilot demonstrated the usefulness of this model in quantifying the contribution of family planning in adapting to potential climate change-induced food security challenges. The model shows that the food security gap in Ethiopia is expected to be greater with climate change than the food security gap without climate change. The model also shows the potential of family planning to address this gap; the food security gap under an assumption of low population growth and climate change is lower compared to the gap with climate change and high population growth. In fact, by the year 2050 the model estimates that slower population growth will compensate completely for the effects of climate change on food insecurity.
|Keywords:||Population, Adaptation, Modeling, Food Security, Africa, Ethiopia|
Senior Fellow, Futures Group, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
Demographer and Policy Analyst, Futures Group, Washington, Washington, DC, USA
There are currently no reviews of this product.Write a Review