Climate change risk index on Agrifood systems

Climate change risk index on Agrifood systems

Context: The index is prepared by reports that involves several organizations. (Not important to know which.)

• The Climate Change Risk Index in Agri-food Systems is a comprehensive tool for evaluating the consequences of climate change on various aspects of food systems and the economy. It takes into account factors such as temperature, precipitation, evaporation, and weather patterns.
• This index is particularly important because climate change poses a significant risk to agri-food systems, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where people’s livelihoods often depend on agriculture and the food sector.
• Moreover, the index can help identify and map localities where climate change poses a high risk, especially for women in agri-food systems due to gendered exposure and vulnerability. These localities are referred to as climate-agriculture-gender inequality hotspots.

Key Findings:
• It ranked 87 countries based on the level of climate change threat faced by women working in agricultural sectors. The study covered nations in Latin America, Asia and Africa.
• India stood 12th on the risk index developed by researchers from six institutes.
• The research was published in the journal Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems on November 16, 2023.
• The research combined insights on climate, gender and agri-food systems to map the regions as ‘climate– agriculture–gender inequality hotspots’. The study calculated each country’s risk based on these indicators and plotted the score for each LMIC country on a color-coded map.
• The hotspot maps can guide gender-responsive climate action, especially in upcoming climate conferences like Climate Conference (COP 28) and climate investments.
• Previous studies highlighted that women and girls are more likely to go hungry following natural disasters linked to climate change. In India, twice the number of women compared to men reported eat less in response to a drought.
• The hotspot maps can aid decision-makers and investors in targeting finance and investments to areas where women are hardest hit by climate change risks.

How does Climate change affect women engaged in Agri-food systems?
• Gender Inequality: Women suffer disproportionately from the adverse effects of climate change due to gender inequality. Social, economic, and political barriers increase women’s exposure and susceptibility to the negative impacts of climate change.
• Agriculture and Livelihood: Women play a large role in agriculture, especially in Asia and the Pacific. However, their contribution is often overlooked and undervalued. For billions of women, agriculture is a life-support system, providing food, resources, and jobs
• Employment: Agriculture remains the largest employment sector in Asia-Pacific. A large proportion of this labor force is made up of women.
• Climate change affects the health and well-being of women farmers, who are more exposed to heat stress, waterborne and vector-borne diseases, malnutrition, and mental stress. Women farmers also have less access to health care, sanitation, and hygiene facilities, which increases their vulnerability to climaterelated health risks.
• Policy and Decision Making: Women’s agricultural work lacks formal recognition, and women are greatly underrepresented within policy and decision-making related to agriculture and climate change. 

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