Food systems, climate change adaptation and human health in Australia
25 March, 2011
25 March 2011 | Nutritious, safe, affordable and enjoyable food is a fundamental prerequisite for health. As a nation, Australia is currently classified as food secure with domestic production exceeding domestic consumption of most major food groups. However, the viability of the Australian food system sits counter to the continued presence of a stable and supportive climate. For Australia to adapt to climate change it is essential to implement evidence-based research and policy that will increase the adaptive capacity and resilience of Australia’s vulnerable food and health sectors, while also considering the implementation of transitional, transformational, and mitigation strategies to ensure long term sustainability. This discussion paper reviews the current state of science to reveal key issues and gaps in the fields of human health and food systems research, with implications for Australia’s capacity to adapt to climate change. It uses a food systems approach to identify observed and potential climate change impacts along the food chain and highlights the direct and indirect pathways to health outcomes. The paper represents a collaborative work bringing together expertise from leading Australian researchers and policy-makers in the fields of health and food, as part of a series being developed by the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Network for Human Health and builds on the National Adaptation Research Plan on Human Health (Nicholls 2009).
Authors: Fern Edwards, Jane Dixon, S. Friel and G. Hall
Academic research centre