Climate Resilient Food Systems (CRFS)
This CRFS Alliance provides a platform for achieving climate resilient food systems by synergizing efforts across the different actors who are part of the alliance. The mission of the alliance is to join forces to accelerate action towards climate resilient, sustainable, equitable and inclusive food systems in a coherent manner, focusing on the most vulnerable countries and regions, in particular arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs), small island developing States (SIDS), land-locked developing countries (LLDCs) and least developed countries (LDCs).
The main themes under this alliance are:
- Climate adaptation, mitigation, and resilience;
- Climate Risk Reduction and Risk Management;
- Integrating resilience in international and national policy plans and initiatives;
- Nexus approach to Water-Food-Energy;
- Resilience Frontiers initiative.
Science based evidence to prioritize this coalition
Climate-related impacts, ranging from floods to heatwaves and wildfires, are projected to increasingly impact food security and nutrition and disrupt food systems (IPCC, 2021; Fanzo et al, 2018; Al-Delaimy et al, 2020). Indeed, agriculture and other aspects of food security, as well as water, biodiversity and ecosystems, health systems, infrastructure (in particular energy, transportation and tourism) and loss of territory, livelihoods and habitats are identified as areas of particular concern from climate risks and impacts in countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the UNFCCC (UNFCCC NDC Synthesis Report 2021). Similarly, adaptation of agriculture and food security is an utmost priority identified by countries in their NDCs, National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs), and National Communications, with a wide range of related actions.
Unsustainable food systems aggravate water scarcity, cause deforestation, degrade soils and contribute 19-29% of global greenhouse gas emissions (Vermeulen et al, 2012). Mitigation options in agriculture (relating for e.g. to cropland management, livestock management, management of organic soils, land use change, improving energy efficiency, the use of renewable energy) therefore have significant potential to lower farm emissions while also contributing to cost savings and thus increasing farm profitability (Frelih-Larsen and Dooley 2020).
Integrating resilience in the food systems in international frameworks and national policies, plans and initiatives is increasingly crucial to deliver more sustainable, inclusive, resilient and equitable food systems, and in ensuring that different actors and stakeholders adopt systemic approaches to confronting climate change related challenges. The integrating framework for NAPs and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) follows a systems’ approach to coordinating the different entry points or aspects (e.g. climate hazards, sectors, actors, development goals and scale) of the adaptation planning cycle. This helps to manage coherence between the NAPs, SDGs, the Sendai Framework on disaster risk reduction, and other frameworks, whilst promoting nexus approaches. Similarly, Climate Risk Reduction and Management (CRRM) is gaining traction and focuses on actions to mitigate the impacts of climate variability and climate-driven disasters deploying climate information solutions to trigger action, programming, relief, and finance.
Agriculture is the largest user (70%) of freshwater. The food supply chain also accounts for 30% of global energy use (Willet et al, 2019). Over 80% of smallholder farmers in low to middle income countries (LMICs) produce food in water scarce areas (Ricciardi et al, 2020). The Water-Food-Energy (WFE) Nexus approach offers opportunities to build resilient systems, harmonize interventions, and manage trade-offs, especially in fragile contexts (Wymann von Dach, 2019).
Future food systems are threatened by present practices including lack of regenerative, sustainable and resilient food generation; inaccessibility and inadequacy of healthy and nutritious food; unhealthy production practices which include industrial production and monoculture, lack of respect for indigenous knowledge and practices, and overexploitation of resources resulting in soil degradation and water resources depletion. The Resilience Frontiers initiative pathway on regenerative food production addresses the perils facing future food security and sustainability through foresight methodologies that prioritize forward-looking actions that are innovative, regenerative, and driven by frontier technologies.
Mechanisms of implementation
Member States currently engaged or participating in the alliance’s initiatives
Australia, Bangladesh, Belize, Bhutan, Bissau, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cote Denmark, Dominican d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, EU, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Guinea Haiti, India, Iraq, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lucia, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, São Tome’ and Principe, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Tuvalu, UAE, Uganda, UK, Uruguay, USA, USA, Zimbabwe.
United Nations Organizations and Others currently part of the alliance:
- UNFCCC, WFP, FAO, UNDRR, ICCAD, SHE Foundation, Club of Rome, World Bank.
Prospective partners from intergovernmental and other organizations are also being approached. A list will be available in this section soon.
Indicators and targets
- Section coming soon
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- Willett,W., Rockström, J., Loken, B., Springmann, M., Lang, T., Vermeulen, S., et al. (2019). Food in the Anthropocene: The EAT–lancet commission on healthy diets from sustainable foodsystems. The Lancet, 393(10170), 447–492. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0140-6736(18)31788-4.
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- Travis, W. R., & Bates, B. (2014). What is climate risk management? Climate Risk Management, 1, 1–4. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.crm.2014.02.003
- Wymann von Dach, S. & Fleiner, R. 2019. Shaping the water– energy–food nexus for resilient mountain livelihoods. Issue Brief on Sustainable Mountain Development. Bern, Switzerland: Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), with Bern Open Publishing (BOP). http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/user_upload/mountain_partnership/docs/Issue_Brief_Mountain_WEF_Nexus.pdf
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- Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT–Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems, Willet et al., 2019, Here
- IPCC AR6 Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis Here
- UN Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR), 2020. Here
- Nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement. Synthesis report by the secretariat, 2021. Here