Wednesday, August 22, 2012

How ecosystem based solutions are bearing fruit in Mozambique

Richard Munang in Responding to Climate Change:  Headlines of late have focused on the worst drought in decades in Africa and elsewhere. In response, the international prices of maize and soybeans have risen past 2007-08 peaks, when they fueled food riots in more than 30 countries. Over the next few decades Africa’s population [1] is expected to expand to more than that of China or India, constituting about 23% of the global population by 2050.

This will place a huge demand on governments and states to provide sufficient survival opportunities. It is therefore critical to build resilient food systems that can enhance food security and address other numerous challenges like climate change, resource scarcity and severe ecological degradation.

However, the questions as to the type of measures/approaches and strategies required still generate divergent views on the international policy arena. Closer attention to a broader spectrum of options is urgently needed. Approaches that go beyond words into actions with potential to informing and guiding policy practices are imperative and urgently needed.

One of these approaches is Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) that has provided flexible, cost effective and broadly applicable alternatives for building robust food systems and reducing the impacts of climate change.

Ecosystem degradation undermines food production and the availability of clean water among other ecosystem services, thereby threatening human health, livelihoods and ultimately societal stability. Degradation increases the vulnerability of populations to natural disasters like the Horn of Africa droughts....

A beach in Xai Xai, Mozambique, shot by Erik Kristensen, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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