USA Pavilion 2015: What It Means to Be Climate Smart For Food Security
What does it mean to be climate smart for food security? This is one of the questions at the heart of Expo Milano 2015, bringing together over 140 countries and 20 million visitors to collaborate on solutions for how to feed 9 billion people sustainably and securely by 2050.
Connecting the effect of people on climate change and its consequences on the production of food is vital. “It’s a cycle, and we’re all part of it,” says Secretary of State John Kerry, “and we all have a responsibility to deal with it.”
To be climate smart means being aware of the impact that climate environment has on the ability to grow crops. For example, if the climate becomes hotter or suffers from exceedingly high levels of flooding or drought, the crops in the fields will be destroyed. Likewise, if the sea levels continue to rise so will the levels of salt, as in the Vietnam delta, causing the land to become untillable. A new program launched by the U.S. Department of State called the Lower Mekong Initiative works to protect the area against the encroaching sea, which destroys so much of the land, by strengthening water management in the Mekong River Basin.
Another important way to deal with climate change in securing our food is creating better growing practices to preventing the impact in agricultural areas. We need to do “research on different kinds of seeds that may be resistant to those climate effects,” continues Secretary Kerry. This agricultural innovation continues to contribute to food security by developing seeds for crops such as rice as well as various vegetables to be developed to resist the absence of sunshine or amounts of water that would have been formerly intolerable. While there has been a healthy debate on this kind of exploration, this type of research and continued analysis done over a long period of time greatly increases the ability to produce more crops, more food in a way that is harmless to human beings and allows us to sustainably and securely meet the demands of a growing population.
As the USA Pavilion gets ready to open its doors at Expo Milano 2015, the United States will actively continue to collaborate with our friends around the world to explore innovative ways to sustainably and securely feed the planet by 2050.