Many consequences of climate change undermine the stability of global food systems, decreasing food security and diet quality, and exposing vulnerable populations to multiple forms of malnutrition. The emergence of pandemics such as Covid-19 exacerbate the situation and make interactions even more complex. Climate change impacts food systems at different levels, including changes in soil fertility and crop yield, composition, and bioavailability of nutrients in foods, pest resistance, and risk of malnutrition. Sustainable and resilient food systems, coupled with climate-smart agriculture, are needed to ensure sustainable diets that are adequately diverse, nutritious, and better aligned with contextual ecosystem functions and environmental conservation. Robust tools and indicators are urgently needed to measure the reciprocal food systems-climate change interaction, that is further complicated by pandemics, and how it impacts human health.
AbstractDietary health and sustainability are inextricably linked. Food systems that are not sustainable often fail to provide the amount or types of food needed to ensure population health. The ongoing pandemic threatens to exacerbate malnutrition, and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). This paper discusses threats and opportunities for food environments and health status across the WHO European Region in the current context . These opportunities and threats are focused around four key areas: NCDs and health systems; dietary behaviour; food insecurity and vulnerable groups; and food supply mechanisms. Food systems were already under great stress. Now with the pandemic, the challenges to food systems in the WHO European Region have been exacerbated, demanding from all levels of government swift adaptations to manage healthiness, availability, accessibility and affordability of food. Cities and governments in the Region should capitalize on this unique opportunity to ‘build back better’ and make bold and lasting changes to the food system and consequently to the health and wellbeing of people and sustainability of the planet.
descriptionPublicationkeyboard_double_arrow_right Article 2022 Denmark, Norway English
Authors: Luke J Harrington; Piotr Wolski; Izidine Pinto; Anzelà Mamiarisoa Ramarosandratana; +16 Authors
Luke J Harrington; Piotr Wolski; Izidine Pinto; Anzelà Mamiarisoa Ramarosandratana; Rondrotiana Barimalala; Robert Vautard; Sjoukje Philip; Sarah Kew; Roop Singh; Dorothy Heinrich; Julie Arrighi; Emmanuel Raju; Lisa Thalheimer; Thierry Razanakoto; Maarten van Aalst; Sihan Li; Remy Bonnet; Wenchang Yang; Friederike E L Otto; Geert Jan van Oldenborgh;
Abstract Southern Madagascar recently experienced a severe food security crisis, made significantly worse by well below average rainfall from July 2019 to June 2021. This exceptional drought has affected a region with high pre-existing levels of vulnerability to food insecurity (subsistence agriculture and pastoralism in the region is rain-fed only), while impacts have been compounded further by COVID-19 restrictions and pest infestations. The rainy seasons of both 2019/20 and 2020/21 saw just 60% of normal rainfall across the Grand South region and was estimated as a 1-in-135 year dry event, only surpassed in severity by the devastating drought of 1990–92. Based on a combination of observations and climate modelling, the likelihood of experiencing such poor rains in the region was not significantly increased due to human-caused climate change: while the observations and models combine to indicate a small shift toward more droughts like the 2019–2021 event as a consequence of climate change, these trends remain overwhelmed by natural variability. This result is consistent with previous research, with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s Sixth Assessment Report concluding that any perceptible changes in drought will only emerge in this region if global mean temperatures exceed 2 °C above pre-industrial levels.
Serafim Bakalis; Vasilis P. Valdramidis; Dimitrios Argyropoulos; Lilia Ahrné; Jianshe Chen; Patrick J. Cullen; Enda Cummins; Ashim K. Datta; Christos Emmanouilidis; Timothy J. Foster; Peter J. Fryer; Ourania Gouseti; Almudena Hospido; Kai Knoerzer; Alain Le-Bail; Alejandro G. Marangoni; Pingfan Rao; Oliver Schlüter; Petros Taoukis; Epameinondas Xanthakis; Jan Van Impe;
Within a few weeks the world has changed, at the time this text is written (May 2020) more than 3.5 million people have been confirmed cases of COVID-19 and estimations propose up to a hundred times the number of actually infected. A third of the global population is on lockdown and a large part of our global economic activity has stopped. Food and access to food has played a visual role in portraying the impact of the outbreak on our society, with images of empty supermarket shelves appearing in mainstream media. In some countries closed schools resulted in many children not having access to free meals and mobilised a number of charities. While parts of the world are now exiting lockdown and measures start relaxing the near future remains uncertain with more waves of the pandemic expected. Given that there is currently no evidence to show that transmission of COVID-19 could occur through food or food packaging there has been limited discussion on the issue, implications and potential future scenarios within the wider food science community. peer-reviewed
Responses to the COVID-19 emergency have exposed break-points at the interface of science, media, and policy. We summarize five lessons that should be heeded if climate change ever enters a state of emergency perceived to warrant stratospheric aerosol injection.
descriptionPublicationkeyboard_double_arrow_right Article , Other literature type 2021 Denmark, Netherlands
Authors: Lukoye Atwoli; Abdullah H Baqui; Benfield Thomas; Raffaella Bosurgi; +19 Authors
Lukoye Atwoli; Abdullah H Baqui; Benfield Thomas; Raffaella Bosurgi; Fiona Godlee; Stephen Hancock; Richard Horton; Laurie Laybourn-Langton; Carlos Augusto Monteiro; Ian Norman; Kirsten Patrick; Nigel Praities; Marcel G. M. Olde Rikkert; Eric J. Rubin; Peush Sahni; Richard Smith; Nicholas J. Talley; Sue Turale; Damia´n Va´zquez; Revista de Sau´de Pu´blica; Cmaj; Pharmaceutical Journal; Nejm;
> Wealthy nations must do much more, much faster. The United Nations General Assembly in September 2021 will bring countries together at a critical time for marshalling collective action to tackle the global environmental crisis. They will meet again at the biodiversity summit in Kunming, China, and the climate conference (Conference of the Parties (COP)26) in Glasgow, UK. Ahead of these pivotal meetings, we—the editors of health journals worldwide—call for urgent action to keep average global temperature increases below 1.5°C, halt the destruction of nature and protect health. Health is already being harmed by global temperature increases and the destruction of the natural world, a state of affairs health professionals have been bringing attention to for decades.1 The science is unequivocal; a global increase of 1.5°C above the preindustrial average and the continued loss of biodiversity risk catastrophic harm to health that will be impossible to reverse.2 3 Despite the world’s necessary preoccupation with COVID-19, we cannot wait for the pandemic to pass to rapidly reduce emissions. Reflecting the severity of the moment, this editorial appears in health journals across the world. We are united in recognising that only fundamental and equitable changes to societies will reverse our current trajectory. The risks to health of increases above 1.5°C are now well established.2 Indeed, no temperature rise is ‘safe’. In the past 20 years, heat-related mortality among people aged over 65 has increased by more than 50%.4 Higher temperatures have brought increased dehydration and renal function loss, dermatological malignancies, tropical infections, adverse mental health outcomes, pregnancy complications, allergies, and cardiovascular and pulmonary morbidity and mortality.5 6 Harms disproportionately affect the most vulnerable, including children, older populations, ethnic minorities, poorer communities and those with underlying health problems.2 4 Global heating is also contributing to the decline in …