This week the Landscapes Blog has explored some of the recent work regarding agriculture and climate change, a critically important issue for both food security and the environment. Bearing in mind the integration of people’s livelihoods, food production, and environmental conservation stressed by the Landscapes Initiative, it is important to consider the development pathways that can achieve these multiple goals. In preparation for Rio+20 last month, CARE International prepared a report entitled One Planet – One Future: Equity and Resilience for Sustainable Development. But according to the report, little if any progress has been made in the twenty years since the first conference on sustainable development in Rio de Janeiro. Proposing solutions to the current unsustainable use of the planet’s resources, the report calls for urgent collaborative action and global political leadership.
So the issue: by 2030 the world will need 50% more food, 45% more energy and 30% more water to meet needs of ever growing population and increasing consumption habits. At the same time, the poorest inhabitants are the ones who will suffer the most from climate change impacts on natural resources. Adaptation has been a particular theme this week on the Blog, and this publication is no different; addressing climate change is necessary to develop a more resilient society. How does CARE suggest the international community proceed?
The report emphasizes equity, particularly where gender inequality is concerned, as countries in which women lack rights to land and credit suffer greater food insecurity. Good governance and strong institutions are at the foundation of this, and are critical to driving sustainable development. But the report also stresses support for low-carbon, climate resilient strategies that benefit the poorest and most vulnerable, the smallholder farmers, most of whom are women.