In the last couple years, food security has become a more prominent issue especially after the war in Ukraine. But war is not the only reason for food security crisis, from now on, the biggest threat would be climate change.
Climate change or often referred to as global warming, is the gradual alteration of the Earth’s climate patterns due to repeated actions of burning fossil fuels and deforestation, making the climate changes faster than it should. The impacts of climate change are touching every aspect of our lives, from harming the environment, causing extreme storms and heatwaves, increasing sea water levels, to making it harder to grow food and find clean water. From the rice paddies of Indonesia to the cornfields of the Midwest, the way we produce, distribute, and enjoy our food is changing, and the consequences are global.
So, how exactly does climate change affect our food security?
With the rise in temperatures, hotter days are becoming the new norm. For many crops that have thrived in relatively stable conditions, these temperature extremes are causing a shock to the system. For example, Indonesia, a country heavily reliant on rice as a staple. The current higher temperatures are affecting the growth of this crop, threatening yields and food security for millions. This means less food will be available to yield, which can result in food shortages and higher prices. As climate change intensifies, we must adapt our farming practices and food systems to ensure everyone has enough to eat.
Here are some recent impacts of climate change on food security that we can find in Indonesia:
- Crop Yield Reduction:
According to Antara News 2022, extreme weather, such as hotter temperature and changing rainfall patterns has put pressure on Indonesia’s agricultural production. These changes resulted in a decline in crop yields like rice, corn, and soybeans which affects food security for millions of people.
- Fisheries Decline
Other than crop yields, Indonesia also heavily rely on fisheries for their livelihoods and food, especially those who reside in the coastal areas. Rising sea temperatures and ocean acidification have disrupted marine ecosystems, leading to reduced fish catches and threatening the food security of these communities. Not only that it declines fish catches, the fierce storms and high waves are also dangerous to go fishing.
- Extreme Weather Events
Indonesia has been increasingly affected by extreme weather events such as droughts and floods. Droughts severely reduce crop yields which leads to crops failure and lower agriculture productivity. It also affects the availability of water for livestock which potentially causes a decline in the health and number of animals and supply of meat, milk, and eggs. On the other hand, flooding destroys crops and disrupts the local food supply leading to immediate food shortages.
- Deforestation Impact
Indonesia has experienced significant deforestation, which not only contributes to climate change but also affects food security by reducing biodiversity and degrading soil. Loss of forests reduces the variety of foods available in local diets and disrupts the ecosystems leading to nutritional problems and impacting the availability and quality of food resources for communities that depend on them.
- Health Impacts
Climate change can indirectly affect food security by impacting public health. For example, increased temperatures can lead to the spread of diseases that affect livestock and crops, further threatening food production. It can lead to crop failures, food shortages, and the spread of foodborne diseases. These disruptions in the food supply can result in malnutrition and malnutrition, impacting the health of vulnerable populations, particularly children and the elderly.
These recent impacts of climate change on food security in Indonesia highlight the urgent need for mitigation strategies to the country’s food supply and the well-being of the population. Moreover, addressing climate change’s impact on food security is a collective responsibility. Governments, organizations, and individuals must collaborate to ensure equitable access to resources and knowledge that can help communities adapt. By recognizing that the health of our planet and our ability to feed its inhabitants are intrinsically linked, we can take the necessary steps to secure a sustainable and food-secure future for all.
BMKG Head Warns Climate Change Could Threaten Indonesia’s Food Security. (2022). Antara News. [https://en.antaranews.com/news/243429/climate-change-could-threaten-indonesias-food-security-bmkg-head](https://en.antaranews.com/news/243429/climate-change-could-threaten-indonesias-food-security-bmkg-head)
Warming Seas Bring Indonesia’s Fishermen Deadly Storms, Empty Nets. (2022). The Jakarta Post. [https://www.thejakartapost.com/business/2022/10/24/warming-seas-bring-indonesias-fishermen-deadly-storms-empty-nets.html](https://www.thejakartapost.com/business/2022/10/24/warming-seas-bring-indonesias-fishermen-deadly-storms-empty-nets.html)
The Jakarta Post. (2022). Warming Seas Bring Indonesia’s Fishermen Deadly Storms, Empty Nets. [https://www.thejakartapost.com/business/2022/10/24/warming-seas-bring-indonesias-fishermen-deadly-storms-empty-nets.html](https://www.thejakartapost.com/business/2022/10/24/warming-seas-bring-indonesias-fishermen-deadly-storms-empty-nets.html)
IPCC. (2019). Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change and Land: An IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems [P.R. Shukla, J. Skea, E. Calvo Buendia, V. Masson-Delmotte, H.- O. Pörtner, D. C. Roberts, P. Zhai, R. Slade, S. Connors, R. van Diemen, M. Ferrat, E. Haughey, S. Luz, S. Neogi, M. Pathak, J. Petzold, J. Portugal Pereira, P. Vyas, E. Huntley, K. Kissick, M. Belkacemi, J. Malley, eds.].