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Small Island Developing States, Climate Change, and Food and Nutrition Security

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Background: Climate change is a critical concern globally and small island developing states in the Pacific region are especially vulnerable to climate change-related phenomena. Pacific Islands have been identified as being amongst the countries most vulnerable to the health impacts of climate change. The purpose of this paper is to describe impacts of climate change on food and nutrition security in Pacific Island countries, the mechanisms linking climate change and nutrition, and strategies and policies to address them. Method: A literature review and documentary analysis was undertaken. Case materials from Pacific Island countries are used to illustrate both climate change impacts and promising strategies. Results: Climate change exacerbates the existing burden of malnutrition. Food and nutrition security are affected through changes in local food production and transition from traditional nutritious diets to dependence on less nutritious imported foods, undermining efforts to reduce hunger and promote nutrition. Undernutrition, in turn, weakens climate resilience and the coping strategies of vulnerable populations. Nutrition-sensitive adaptation and mitigation measures, climate-resilient and nutrition-sensitive agriculture development, improved maternal and child care and health, and both community development and food system resilience measures are proposed as means to address the impacts of climate change on food and nutrition security. Conclusion: Pacific Island countries should not face these challenges alone. Strengthened global, regional and community responses to organize better preparedness, adaptation and mitigation against climate change and its impact on nutrition in Pacific island countries is needed. Specific opportunities to address these issues in the Pacific will be presented.
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Keywords: Climate Change; Food and Nutrition Security; Pacific Island Countries; Small Island Developing States

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: The University of Queensland, School of Public Health, Herston Road, Herston, Queensland 4006, Australia 2: The University of Queensland, Global Change Institute, St Lucia Queensland 4067, Australia

Publication date: April 1, 2017

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  • ADVANCED SCIENCE LETTERS is an international peer-reviewed journal with a very wide-ranging coverage, consolidates research activities in all areas of (1) Physical Sciences, (2) Biological Sciences, (3) Mathematical Sciences, (4) Engineering, (5) Computer and Information Sciences, and (6) Geosciences to publish original short communications, full research papers and timely brief (mini) reviews with authors photo and biography encompassing the basic and applied research and current developments in educational aspects of these scientific areas.
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