Climate-smart agriculture practices, such as drip irrigation and tunnel farming, both seen here, can help communities conserve water and cope with climate change at the same time.

Editor’s Pick: Food Security and Climate Risk Management Tools and Resources on Climatelinks

By Stephan Hardeman

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on Climate Change and Land, changing precipitation patterns, increasing temperatures, and more frequent extreme weather events are already affecting food security. As extreme events occur more regularly, food systems are likely to be disrupted, creating challenges in food access and potentially causing price fluctuations. Projections show that crop yields will increase in some areas and decline in others. Additionally, higher carbon dioxide levels will simultaneously improve crop productivity and lower the nutritional value of some crops.

Global food security is an immense challenge both in terms of climate and development. With an eye toward an anticipated worldwide population of 9 billion people by 2050, USAID is prioritizing the advancement of global food security. Initiatives like Feed the Future seek to combat global hunger by ensuring access to sufficient food. Feed the Future also works to advance climate-smart agriculture, which prioritizes increased productivity, better adaptation, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions below business as usual. These efforts address modern challenges while also anticipating the uncertainties of the future.

In February, Climatelinks focused on climate risk management (CRM) and food security. A selection of ongoing activities, as well as current blogs, resources, and tools, can be found below.

BLOGS:

Common Themes in CRM Screenings of Food Security Programs looks at a number of recurrent climate risks that have been identified during climate risk screening for USAID programs around the world. While increased uncertainty is the pervasive theme, a number of others are characterized and framed in the context of food security.

Managing Fisheries in the Face of Climate Risk introduces a successful example of applying climate risk management in the field. In the Philippines, severe storms are damaging both fishing communities and the fisheries that they rely on. The five-year Fish Right project, which employed the climate risk screening and management tool during its design process, is supporting strengthened data collection and focusing on enhancing the climate resilience of communities and other stakeholders.

Identifying and Managing Climate Risk in Global Nutrition Interventions focuses on the Multi-Sectoral Nutritional Project, which was a pilot project for the climate risk management process. The project, which is based on the USAID Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Strategy 2014-2025, explicitly requested climate risk considerations in an effort to expand the development, application, and research of climate-smart approaches across all the sectors involved in nutrition.

A Stocktaking of Climate Risk Management at USAID provides a snapshot of how climate risk management is being integrated across all sectors in which USAID works. The blog provides examples of how CRM is being implemented on the ground, as well as recommendations for improving the CRM process and results.

RESOURCES:

The Climate Risks in Food for Peace Geographies series focuses on countries in which the USAID Food for Peace project is working. In those countries, vulnerable populations are faced with hunger and instability, and food insecurity is a high priority. These fact sheets provide an overview and climate summary of each country, as well as projected climate changes, sector impacts, and vulnerabilities to climate change.

Climate Risk Management at USAID is a brief video that introduces CRM and how it is applied at the strategy, project, and activity levels. The video also provides an overview of the uncertainties that climate change causes for international development work, and the ways that considering CRM can increase the effectiveness and sustainability of that work. 

Climate Risk Profiles (and ATLAS-specific Climate Risk Profiles) are some of Climatelinks’ most frequently accessed resources. These fact sheets are available for many regions and countries. Each climate risk profile provides an overview of the region or country and a summary of the historical and future (projected) climate in that area. Impacts and vulnerabilities are provided for key sectors, and a policy context frames climate policies at the national and institutional levels.

TOOLS:

Climate Risk Screening and Management Tools (also available in Spanish) are designed to assist with climate risk screening and management in strategy, project, and activity design. With these tools, users can assess and address climate risk, improving the effectiveness and sustainability of development interventions. Sector-specific annexes (including the Agriculture Index) provide illustrative questions and examples designed to help users think through risks, opportunities, and CRM options. 

The Climate Change in Your Sector tool details both adaptation and mitigation responses to climate change across nine sectors, including agriculture, natural resource management, water, and others. The tool, which is one of Climatelinks’ most widely accessed resources, is useful for users who are new to thinking about climate change in relation to traditional urban development sectors.

The Climate Impacts Decision Support Tool - Vietnam helps urban planners and project developers address climate risk in their planning and operations. The Excel-based tool can be applied to a project in about 15 minutes, and provides relevant climate projections, spatial data, climate impacts information, and best practices.

Sectors
Agriculture
Strategic Objective
Adaptation, Integration
Topics
Adaptation, Climate Change, Climate Risk Management, Food Security and Agriculture, Climate-Smart Agriculture, Land Use, Resilience, Self-Reliance
Region
Global

Stephan Hardeman

Stephan Hardeman is the Site and Community Manager for Climatelinks. He draws on more than five years of experience in communications for international environmental trust funds to support Climatelinks through USAID’s Sharing Environment and Energy Knowledge (SEEK) initiative by engaging the Climatelinks community and featuring its work. Stephan has MAs in International Affairs (American University) and Natural Resources and Sustainable Development (United Nations University for Peace) and BAs in English and Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin.

More on the Blog

A wide range of environmental changes threaten development. Of these challenges, climate change and plastic pollution in particular inspire concern and action from governments, scientists, and advocates alike. USAID’s work on ocean plastic pollution operates at the intersection of these related problems, and highlights opportunities for innovation in waste management.
In November 2020, two back-to-back category 4 hurricanes, Eta and Iota, struck Central America, making landfall on the coast of Nicaragua, near its border with Honduras, and also affecting El Salvador and Guatemala. Altogether, they caused an estimated one billion US dollars in damage. Despite such impacts, the region was better able to prepare for and respond to Eta and Iota using space-based technologies.
Part II: Climate Finance in Action