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Climate action and nutrition

Pathways to impact








Last updated 25/03/2024, see Corrigendum


FAO. 2023. Climate action and nutrition – Pathways to impact. Rome.




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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Climate action and nutrition pathways to impact
    In brief
    2023
    Climate change and malnutrition are two of the greatest challenges facing humanity today, both interconnected through agrifood, water, social protection, and health systems. Responding to both climate change and malnutrition with integrated actions provides one solution to two of our biggest barriers to sustainable development. This brief provides key messages and an overview of the many options for integrated actions addressing jointly climate change and malnutrition accross all systems.
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    Book (series)
    Adoption of climate technologies in the agrifood sector. Methodology 2017
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    The food production and supply chain consumes about 30 percent of total end-use energy globally, and contributes to over 20 percent of total annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (excluding emissions or sinks from land use change). A growing worldwide population, changing diets and growing economic development will all serve to increase competition for land, water and energy resources – which already face problems of environmental degradation and, in some cases, scarcity. To address these challe nges, agrifood systems at every scale, from the small family farm to the vertically integrated corporate farm level, will have to become more efficient by using less land, water, fertilizers, energy and other inputs to produce more food more sustainably, and with greater resilience to weather pattern changes and extreme events. Technology adoption is bound to play an important part in this adjustment process. There are significant regional variations in the ability to respond to these challenges . In particular, countries that face food insecurity naturally put concerns over GHG emission reductions or other environmental issues in second place. Still, in specific situations technology adoption can help reduce a country’s environmental footprint and go hand in hand with both improved food security and rural development. The goal of this document is therefore to provide guidance in assessing options for GHG emission reductions and decoupling the agrifood industry from its dependency on fo ssil fuels in a context where various goals are important: increased crop productivity, efficient use of water, improved livelihoods for the rural poor, and sustainable development. As a contribution to quickly expanding literature on the subject, the present document provides a practical methodology to enable a country or funding agency to assess and monitor the market penetration of sustainable climate technologies and practices in agrifood chains. Market penetration is defined as a measure of the adoption of an agrifood technology or practice in a specific market. The guidelines are useful not only to estimate the current market penetration, but also – and more importantly – to assess the potential for further adoption and to reduce GHG emissions efficiently. The methodology therefore takes into consideration important features of each technology including: market potential, technical and non-technical barriers to adoption and unit cost in terms of US dollars per tonnes of carbon di oxide equivalent (USD/tCO2eq). The result is a characterisation of a set of technologies and practices which can lead to identification of “best bet” options to reduce emissions from the agrifood sector on the basis of local conditions. Moreover, the results include a discussion of policy areas that may need reform, and specifically what can be the drivers to promote adoption of such best bet technology options.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Comparative analysis of livelihood recovery in the post-conflict periods – Karamoja and Northern Uganda 2019
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    This paper examines the parallel but separate trajectories of peace-building, recovery and transformation that have occurred over the past 15 years in northern (Acholi and Lango sub-regions) and northeastern (Karamoja sub-region) Uganda. While keeping in mind the key differences in these areas, we highlight the similarities in the nature of recovery, the continuing challenges and the need for external actors to keep in mind the ongoing tensions and vulnerability that could undermine the tenuous peace. The initial peace processes in both northern Uganda and Karamoja were largely top-down in nature, with little participation from the affected populations. In Karamoja, the Ugandan military started a forced disarmament campaign in 2006. This was the second such effort in five years and was top-down and heavy-handed. Although many observers gave it little chance of success, by 2013 large-scale cattle raids were infrequent, and road ambushes were almost non-existent. Critically, local initiatives eventually emerged in parallel to the top-down disarmament efforts. Prime amongst these were local resolutions adopted in 2013–2014 that created a system of compensation for thefts, enforced by “peace committees.” In northern Uganda, a top-down, politically negotiated peace process between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Government of Uganda ended two decades of fighting in 2006. The internally displaced person (IDP) camps were disbanded, and thousands of displaced people returned to their rural homes, some because they no other option once assistance in the camps ceased. One of the most important factors in recovery in Karamoja has been the growth of markets. Traders were reluctant to bring wares to the region during the period of insecurity, and hence goods were few and prices high. Today, most trading centres host markets on a weekly basis, and shops have consistent inventories. In northern Uganda, the biggest driver of recovery has been the return of displaced people to their homes and the resumption of farming. By 2011, crop production had resumed its pre-conflict status as the primary livelihood in the region. In both locations, however, engagement in markets is limited, and many people remain economically marginalized. Challenges to recovery and long-term stability are similar across the two locations. Both northern Uganda and Karamoja continue to struggle with food insecurity and malnutrition, despite the massive influx of development funds, improved security and expansion of markets. In northern Uganda, the conflict continues to influence household livelihoods. Households that have a member who experienced war crimes are consistently worse off. These continuing problems with food security and nutrition call into question many assumptions about recovery and development. In particular, the idea that peace will bring a natural bounce in economic and household well-being does not appear to hold up in these cases. Additional structural challenges to recovery in both locations include climate change and environmental degradation, poor governance and corruption, limited opportunities for decent work, livelihood transformation and loss, and conflict over land. These factors reinforce each other and make it extremely difficult for average households to develop sustainable and secure livelihoods. External interventions often fail to take into account the local priorities and realities in these areas. Many programmes are place based or focus on rural areas, but the population is in flux. This is especially true for young people. In addition, while many people are doing much better than they were 15 years ago, others are being pushed out of pastoralism and are struggling to achieve diversified and sustainable livelihoods. Overall, while the recent trajectories of recovery in Karamoja and northern Uganda are remarkably similar, the context, livelihoods and challenges in each location are importantly unique. National actors should not seek to derive combined approaches or policies that lump together these two areas. In both cases, the lived reality, history and experiences of the population should be central to designing appropriate, effective and sustainable responses to the ongoing obstacles to a stable peace and full recovery.

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