The negative impacts of climate change on food systems – including on food production, water security, health and well-being, and settlements and infrastructure – are already hindering efforts to meet Sustainable Development Goals across continents and countries. But the impacts are more pronounced in Africa which only accounts for about 2-3% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change impacts, including extreme drought and heat events in the continent are killing livestock, shortening growing seasons, reducing crop yields, and driving displacement.
As the urgency and need for effective adaptation policies to reduce food insecurity in Africa grows, it is important to take a stock of current government plans to build adaptive capacities and resilience of their food systems. With this objective, Climate Focus, with WWF, assessed food systems adaptation measures as planned in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) of countries in the continent.
The report, Scaling and Accelerating Adaptation in Food Systems in Africa: An Assessment of Nationally Determined Contributions and National Adaptation Plans, demonstrates that while governments have planned many adaptation actions in the agriculture sector, more comprehensive planning is needed for addressing vulnerabilities in the aquatic ecosystems. Similarly, policy interventions for improving adaptive capacities in other parts of food systems like food storage, transportation, retail, and consumption need to be developed and incorporated in the NDCs and NAPs more thoroughly.
The report recommends policymakers should plan more comprehensive measures in their NDCs and NAPs by incorporating Nature-based Solutions including ecosystem-based adaptation, while maximizing opportunities to reduce food loss, and accelerating implementation through meaningful participation of all stakeholders. Further, the report recommends donors increase funding allocated for adaptation projects in food systems, including capacity-building, technology transfer, insurance mechanisms that help farmers safeguard against climate change risks, research, and food systems innovation.