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Environment Magazine September/October 2008


January-February 2013

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Using Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Actions to Tackle Food Insecurity

Headlines of late have focused on the worst drought in decades in the United States, Africa, southern Europe, and elsewhere. This has led to a justifiably heightened concern about problems of food security and hunger, especially for Africa. In response, the international prices of maize and soybeans have risen past 2007–2008 peaks, when they fueled food riots in more than 30 countries. With a global population that crossed the 7 billion mark earlier this year and is expected to hit 8 billion by 2025, it is critical to build resilient food systems that can enhance food security and address other numerous challenges like climate change, resource scarcity, and severe ecological degradation.

Richard Munang holds a PhD in environmental change and policy from the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom. He is currently the UN Environment Programme Policy & Programme coordinator for the Climate Change Adaptation & Development programme. He specializes in societal and ecosystem-based adaptation and has conducted several assessments to understand how adaptation strategies and policy can be formulated to reduce climate change impacts.

Ibrahim Thiaw has been the director of the Division of Environmental Policy Implementation (DEPI) in the United Nations Environment Programme since February 2007. He worked as IUCN regional director for West Africa and as the acting director-general of IUCN before joining UNEP. He has advised intergovernmental processes ands collaborated with government agencies, civil society, and private-sector organizations.

Keith Alverson is the head of the Climate Change Adaptation and Terrestrial Ecosystems Branch of the Division on Environmental Policy Implementation at UNEP. In this role he coordinates, inter alia, UNEP's Ecosystems Based Adaptation Climate Change program of work and the Global Climate Change Adaptation Network.

Mounkaila Goumandakoye is the regional director for UNEP in Africa. Before joining UNEP, he worked for UNDP Drylands Development Centre, where he started first as a policy advisor and since 2007 was acting director.

Desta Mebratu has more than 22 years of experience working for industries, government agencies, universities, and international organizations. He is the deputy regional director of UNEP Regional Office for Africa.

Jian Liu is the director of UNEP International Ecosystem Management Partnership (IEMP). Prior to this appointment, he served as the chief of the UNEP Climate Change Adaptation Unit and as the deputy secretary of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

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