Climate change and food security in South Asia

Authored by: Simi Mehta , Vikash Kumar , Rattan Lal

Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Development in Asia

Print publication date:  June  2018
Online publication date:  May  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138182189
eBook ISBN: 9781351008204
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781351008204-15

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Abstract

Simi Mehta, Vikash Kumar, and Rattan Lal write on “climate change and food security in South Asia.” South Asia (SA), home to around one-fourth of the world’s population, has a unique geographical location on the world map, located entirely in the Northern and Eastern hemispheres. The constituent eight countries have a mix of climates – from equatorial to tropical savannah, and the coexistence of hot humid summers and mild to cold winters, with temperatures below the freezing points in some places. These climatic conditions lend to varieties of agricultural activities and vegetation practices. However, this region is amongst the most impoverished and food insecure part of the world. To add to the gravity of the situation, climate change increases the vulnerability of these low- or lower-middle income countries to weather-related shocks. This chapter establishes that the risk of food insecurity is directly linked to changes in climate, frequent occurrences of drought, flooding, and variability and extremes in rainfall. It elucidates the status of food security in the region as well as the levels of malnutrition and their socio-economic implications on the large section of people across the eight South Asian countries. The authors establish an interconnection between climate change and vulnerability of food production in SA and conclude with policy recommendations toward adapting and mitigating the negative implications of climate change, and contributing to the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations (UN) by 2030 by ensuring a content and food-secure population in South Asia.

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