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Impact of climate change and bioenergy on nutrition

Publication date:
M., J. Cohen
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This paper examines the consequences of climate change and rising bioenergy demand for sustainable development, food security and nutrition throughout the lifecycle. It also explores the implications of climate change and rising bioenergy demand for nutrition and analyses potential strategies for cultivation of bioenergy crops that can contribute to poverty reduction, food security and sustainable natural resource management. The authors discuss that efforts to assure food security and good nutrition in the face of current climate change challenges must continue to place the achievement of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) as internationally agreed-upon development targets at the centre of human endeavour. Some of the key issues noted include:

mitigation of negative impacts of biofuels - steps to assure that biofuel development is pro-poor, environment friendly and supports food security and nutrition
the need for direct nutrition improvement programmes towards reaching the MDGs
the impacts of female education in increasing in food availability

A series of recommendations are produced. These include:

it remains essential to accelerate progress in reducing poverty, hunger and malnutrition while mitigating risk and protecting the environment
civil society organisations have a key role to play in a rights-based approach which engages affected stakeholders as active participants in this process
agriculture, food and nutrition issues need to be placed onto national and international climate change agendas in order to devise effective and pro-poor policies. The expiration of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012 offers an opportunity to bring these issues to the table
adaptation is a key factor to address the impacts climate change will have on food production and food insecurity
developing country governments should give high priority to implementing proven nutrition interventions on a national scale and international donor agencies should substantially increase support for efforts to improve nutrition
due to the complexity of the determinants of malnutrition, research and information on the links between climate change-related food insecurity and malnutrition are necessary.