IIED 'Critical Theme' seminar: Climate change and food security [LONDON]

Join the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) on 12 February for a seminar on environmental change and food security, presented by Dr John Ingram of Oxford University's Environmental Change Institute (ECI).

Date: Thursday, 12 February, 2015

Time: 4-5.30pm

Venue: International Institute for Environment and Development, 80-86 Gray's Inn Road, London WC1X 8NH.

To attend this event: contact Claire Hatfield (claire.hatfield@iied.org), assistant coordinator of the Partnerships team at IIED.

Dr Ingram leads the Environmental Change Institute's Food Systems Research and Training Programme, which aims to increase understanding of the interactions between food security and environmental change. The programme's research products have been adopted by national and international organisations, including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the UK and Dutch governments.

IIED hosts Critical Themes meetings to explore new ideas, introduce new research and broaden the knowledge of its staff. Guests are welcome – see details of how to book at the end of this page.

In his presentation at IIED, Ingram will be looking at food system activities and 'planetary boundaries' – the safe operating space for humanity with respect to the earth's biophysical systems. If these planetary boundaries are crossed, then important subsystems, such as a monsoon system, could shift into a new state. Such shifts could have damaging consequences, including undermining the environmental conditions and the natural resource base on which our food security depends.

In 2014 Dr Ingram and his colleagues published an analysis of four extreme weather events and their impact on food security: the 2010 heat wave in Russia, the 2010 flooding in Pakistan, the 2010-11 drought in East Africa, and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013.

The study, funded by Oxfam, showed that the extreme weather events have played an important role in the destabilisation of both short-term and long-term food security. The weather events affected many more people than farmers, and in most cases the impacts left citizens vulnerable and authorities unprepared.
Ingram believes that improving food system governance arrangements among key actors will be central to increasing food system sustainability.

About the speaker

Dr Ingram leads the Food Systems Programme at the University of Oxford's Environmental Change Institute (ECI).  During the 1980s, Ingram worked in East and Southern Africa, and South Asia on agriculture, forestry and agroecology research projects. In 1991 he joined the UK's Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) to coordinate research on global change and agroecology as part of International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme.

In 2001 Ingram was appointed executive officer for the Earth System Science Partnership's joint project on 'Global Environmental Change and Food Systems' (GECAFS). In 2011 he was appointed the NERC's food security leader. He has published widely on environmental and food security issues.

About the 'Critical Themes' series

Previous events have looked at the governance of marine resourcesurban poverty reduction and the relationship between financial systems and the green economy.