Published by the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, Environment Reports is a collaboration between an international group of scientists, writers, and designers to combine incisive narratives about environmental challenges, backed up by cutting-edge data. Food Matters, the first report, focuses on the sustainability of our global food system. The article below—Is climate change a risk to global grazing lands?—is reproduced here by permission.
We found that areas where livestock grazing is an important part of local food availability (Fig. 3, dark red) and economies (dark blue) experience the highest levels of CVP (coefficient of variation of precipitation).
Initially intended only as insurance against the death of livestock, the insurance scheme has evolved into a product to help pastoralists keep their animals alive, according to Masresha Taye, who coordinates the programme in Ethiopia for the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).
The following excerpts of an opinion piece were written by ILRI’s Andrew Mude and originally published by The Standard newspaper (Kenya): Insurance only way to guard against weather-gone-awry phenomenon, 28 Apr 2017.
A recent study by the Biosciences eastern and central Africa-International Livestock Research Institute Hub (BecA-ILRI Hub) and the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) shows that farmers in semi-arid region of Kenya could stall the adverse effects of climate change on their farms by planting drought-tolerant Brachiaria grass.
For the first time since anyone can remember, there is a very real possibility of four famines—in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen—breaking out at once, endangering more than 20 million lives.
More than one hundred vulnerable people of the South—most of them old and young—have died from lack of food and water-borne diseases in a 48-hour period in the rural Bay administrative region of southwestern Somalia. This hot and semi-arid southern region is devastated by drought as well as by the operations of a militant Islamist group known as Al-Shabaab.