United Nations
Environment Programme

What Does Climate Change Mean for Rural Livelihoods and Food Security?

News Date: 
Monday, November 21, 2016

Kabul, Afghanistan – Climate change in Afghanistan is not an uncertain, “potential” future risk but a very real, present threat whose impacts have already been felt by millions of farmers and pastoralists across the country. In the lead up to the Marrakech Climate Conference (COP22), a new publication raises crucial issues about how the world’s least developed countries are experiencing climate change.

Prepared by UN Environment, the World Food Programme (WFP), and Afghanistan’s National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA), the publication is titled “Climate Change in Afghanistan: What Does it Mean for Rural Livelihoods and Food Security?”. It draws specific attention to the country’s agricultural base, upon which the vast majority of the population relies for daily subsistence.

Climate projections developed by UN Environment and the National Environmental Protection Agency over the past two years predict a wide range of climate-induced risks. Using these projections, this report reflects on changes to drought and flood risks over the past three decades, and how they impact on rural livelihoods and food security across the country.

The poorest people, particularly subsistence farmers and pastoralists who are often already living on marginal land, are also those who suffer most from climate change. This report combines climate projections with nationwide livelihood zoning in order to determine where floods and droughts are most likely to severely impacts rural livelihoods and food security, and identify the population groups most vulnerable to these changes.

Since 2002, UN Environment has supported the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to build its adaptive capacity to the adverse impacts of climate change. Across the country and at the national level, UN Environment and NEPA have worked closely to address climate change at both the policy and practical levels, including the development of the country’s most accurate and up-to-date climate change projections.

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