The interlinkages between climate change and food security also dominated the panel discussion that followed on the presentation of the report. Bruce Hewitson, University of Cape Town, South Africa, urged consideration of large-scale climate drivers, such as El Niño, to understand how food security is affected by climate change. He highlighted the importance of transdisciplinary research and evaluation of the entire food system, rather than of individual crops. “We must understand the mechanism, from local to large,” Hewitson explained. Taking action does not allow any further delay. If we don’t act soon, we should expect impacts affecting food systems under climate change regime”, he said.
John Ingram, Oxford University, United Kingdom, emphasized the need to adopt a food system approach when looking a climate shocks and stresses. Shocks disrupt infrastructure like roads, rails, harbours as well as supply chains. The latter have been already elongated through globalisation and thus have becoming very vulnerable. Ingram sees priority in enhancing food resilience and creating foresight for food systems. He also said that private sector participation, hand in hand with governments and civil society, is fundamental to achieving food security.
Tui Shortland, Te Kopu, Pacific Indigenous and Local Knowledge Centre of Distinction, New Zealand, spoke up for stronger partnerships with civil society and indigenous peoples. As she pointed out, land and water rights are key to greater food security. Shortland also stressed the need to consider traditional approaches to adaptation and improving food security, as well as the role of traditional knowledge in building resilience. She referred to Aichi Biodiversity Target 18 that is devoted to the traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities and their relevance for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.