Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Global food crisis: Climate change imperils Guatemala's food security

The impact of global warming is already compromising food security in many developing countries, according to a report on food security released on Tuesday by Oxfam.

Its research predicts that climate change will have further devastating consequences over the next 20 years as yields of staples in some regions decline dramatically. Wheat yields may fall by more than 20% in Brazil, for example, while maize production in central and west Africa may fall by more than 10%, it says.

In Guatemala, climate change has affected smallholders dramatically in the last two years. The country is particularly vulnerable to climate change and extreme events, thanks to its geographical position in an earthquake and hurricane zone.

The experience of 260 families living on the settlement of Guadalupe in the Suchitepéquez region of the Pacific coast is typical. They lost much of their staple crop last year and the year before. There is more rain in winter now, and the rains that used to come in April now only come towards the end of May. Rains have recently been accompanied by increasingly violent storms, followed by prolonged drought. Deforestation and diversion of rivers by plantation owners producing food or biofuel for export have exacerbated the problems. More >>>

Location: Cayman Islands