As the world gets hotter and rainfall more erratic, the type and availability of ingredients for daily meals are changing. For some countries these changes are more dramatic as climate change has already cut into the global food supply and many communities are struggling to get enough food on their plates. However, there is another story to tell: one of resilience and adaptation.
Whether farming millet in the deserts of Mali, rearing cattle in the semi-arid regions of Sudan or growing mangoes on the coast of Haiti, the environments we inhabit, along with our cultural history, shape the meals we eat. With climate change increasingly affecting these environments, cultural practices and types of food will need to adapt to keep pace.
Our Culinary World in a Changing Climate
With support from the Government of Canada and the Global Environment Facility’s Least Developed Countries Fund, the Canada-UNDP Climate Change Adaptation Facility (CCAF) has been supporting six least developed countries and small island developing states (Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Haiti, Mali, Niger and Sudan) to strengthen climate resilience and enhance food security. The CCAF is working with rural farmers to improve water access and management, introduce new varieties of crops, and strengthen alternative livelihoods that are not dependent on climate-sensitive natural resources.
Facilitating access to land for cultivation, and improving the agricultural inputs for women farmers is not only enhancing food security, but is also promoting gender equality and improved nutrition – through an increased diversity in vegetable gardens.
FOOD IS PERSONAL; FOOD IS CULTURAL.
While each country’s experiences and adaptation approaches are unique to their local context, All the CCAF projects had a similar focus on not only enhancing food security, but also in generating additional income and diversifying livelihood options. Positive results are already being seen across all six countries.
In Niger, increased yields from crop production are reducing the number of food-insecure days, and ameliorating the need to earn additional income to purchase food. In Cambodia and Mali, women are enhancing their vegetable gardens to produce a wider variety of crops for families to eat, which helps strengthen nutrition.
In Cabo Verde and Sudan, farmers are piloting new varieties of crops that are more resilient to the expected drier conditions. In Haiti, farmers are developing and implementing individualised farming plans based on specific family needs, vulnerabilities, and opportunities, to achieve both subsistence food production and income generation.
Food as a celebration
To better understand and share the experiences from these six countries, and to celebrate some of the successes of the CCAF projects, a cookbook, using traditional recipes, has been created to examine and raise awareness on the links between food security and climate change.
The “Appe-teaser“ version of the cookbook, a taste of the final product, offers a recipe from each country:Adaptive Farms, Resilient Tables: Building secure food systems and celebrating distinct culinary traditions in a world of climate uncertainty - Appe-teaser version.
The full cookbook will be available in early 2017, showcasing more delicious recipes, presenting information on how climate change is impacting specific ingredients - and subsequently recipes - and how each country‘s adaptation efforts are changing the foods and cooking methods traditionally used.
For more information on the CCAF, visit www.adaptation-undp.org/projects/ccaf.