No. 8: Climate Change and Food Security in Southern African Cities

The current urban transition in the Global South is at the heart of discussions about the relationship between climate change and food security. This paper explores the links between climate change and food security within the context of the urban transition taking place in Southern Africa. Climate change is expected to negatively accentuate existing levels of urban food insecurity and these adverse impacts are likely to fall disproportionately on the poor. Researchers, planners and policymakers in Southern African cities are starting to explore how changes in weather associated with climate change are likely to affect urban lifestyles and systems. In order to do this, it is important to understand how climate science knowledge is used at the level of the city and how the impacts of climate change might affect city functioning at the metropolitan and household scales. One of the critical areas that has not been addressed in any detail is the extent to which climate change will affect the food security of the city and its inhabitants, especially within the context of high levels of poverty and widespread food and nutrition insecurity. This paper argues that it is important to understand the linkages between climate change and food security in Southern African cities to begin to design and implement pro-poor planning and programming.

Gina Ziervogel & Bruce Frayne

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