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Brief Bio. Karen Fukofuka, PGDipPH , NZRD, PGDipDiet , BCApS , BSc My family relocated to Port Vila early this year. I have only just started working on a short term consultancy work for WHO to develop the national food security policy for Vanuatu.

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Brief bio
Brief Bio

Karen Fukofuka, PGDipPH, NZRD, PGDipDiet, BCApS, BSc

My family relocated to Port Vila early this year. I have only just started working on a short term consultancy work for WHO to develop the national food security policy for Vanuatu.

Prior to relocation, I previously worked as the Nutrition Adviser for the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) over the last five and half years. During my term with SPC, I was a member the Food Security Working Group that developed the Framework for Action on Food Security in the Pacific. I also supported several countries to develop their national plans to improve food security.

As a Pacific Islander, I love food, especially our local foods. As a Public Health Nutritionist, I am passionate about promoting and protecting our local foods

Impacts of climate change on food and nutrition security

Impacts of climate change on food and nutrition security

Assessing vulnerability

Building resilience to climate change in the Pacific

Vanuatu, 2012

Karen Fukofuka, Pacific Nutritionist


  • Pacific context

  • Food security challenges

  • Impact of climate change on food security

  • How do we build resilience?

    • Challenges and opportunities

Pacific context small islands big challenges
Pacific Context‘Small Islands – Big Challenges’

Pacific region of contrast
Pacific – region of contrast


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Food security
Food Security

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.

(World Food Summit 2009)

World Food Summit, 1996/2009)

Food security challenges
Food Security Challenges

  • Food security in the Pacific is threatened

    • Conservative estimate indicates that:

      • 40% of the 8million people in the Pacific suffer from hunger and food-related disease.

      • Between 6.5% and 11.4% of all children in the region do not receive enough nutritious food and thus, suffer from hungerand food related illnesses

  • Food production per capita declining in most countries

    • Low growth in crop production, with stagnant or declining yields while offshore fisheries and livestock production increasing

    • Increasing reliance on imports to supplement declining local production - affecting livelihoods

    • Most countries are net importers

    • Local foods competing with cheap unhealthy food imports

    • Limited arable land due to small size of many countries, unstable topography for some staple crops

    • Rapid urbanization, loss of rural labour force

    • Limited investment in agricultural support services (research and extension)

Food security challenges1
Food Security Challenges

  • Increasing dependence on imported foods

    • Susceptible to volatile global food prices and economic shocks

    • Food prices increasing =>  people living below poverty

    • Imported foods often unhealthy, contributing to increasing health problems

      • Unhealthy workforce ->affecting economic development

  • Increasing energy costs threatening transportation, storage and distribution of food

    • Markets become inaccessible

    • Increasing food prices – increasing poverty and malnutrition

    • Food spoilage and wastage

  • Climate change affecting all aspects of food production

    • Land degradation

    • loss of plant and animal genetic resources

    • Spread of invasive species, pests and diseases

    • Water shortage for drinking and agriculture & aquaculture production

Health challenges health in transition
Health Challenges – health in transition

  • Epidemiological

    • Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) increasing

    • Communicable diseases still present – Malaria, TB, food borne illnesses

    • Double burden of disease

  • Nutritional

    • Diets rapidly changing

      • Over nutrition – overconsumption of poor quality diet that is high in fat, refine sugar and salt

        • Obesity, diabetes, hypertension, some cancers

      • Under nutrition – diet not containing adequate energy and essential nutrients for good health

        • Micronutrient deficiencies – Vitamin A, iron, iodine

        • Double burden of malnutrition

  • Urbanisation - changes in lifestyles, less active , over crowing & poor living conditions contributing to rising incidence of communicable diseases

  • Globalisation - increasing global influence, increasing susceptibility to global economic & environmental shocks

Impact of climate change
Impact of climate change

  • Climate change is the biggest threat to food security in the Pacific, exacerbating already fragile environments & ecosystems, livelihoods and economies

  • Climate change affects all dimensions of food security, from production to consumption

    “When climate change affects one area, other areas feel the repercussions.“

    (Ulu o Tokelau, FouaToloa. 2011, draught induced water shortage)

Impact of climate change domino effect along the food chain
Impact of climate change – domino effect along the food chain

  • Production

  • Crop production, livestock & fisheries production

  •  Import

  • Processing, storage & distribution

  • Already weak, may be damaged, leading to  food prices,  availability & access to food

  • Consumption

  • Dependence on imported foods , often unhealthy =>poor nutrition =>  health problems

  • Threaten livelihoods

Pacific people are aware of the vulnerability and fragility of our ecosystems and learnt to cope. However as the extreme changes in weather patterns increase in frequency and intensity, the ability to adapt and cope may not be able to keep up, threatening our way of life, our very existence as Pacific people

Impact of climate change1
Impact of climate change

  • Despite the strong geographical and cultural differences that characterize the region, many share common ecological and economic vulnerabilities because of their:

    • small size and land and water insecurity

    • limited economies of scale and isolation from markets

    • agricultural homogeneity and food import dependency

    • growing dependence on fuel imports

    • relative poverty, growing populations and urbanization

    • fragile ecosystems

    • susceptibility to natural disasters.

Impact of climate change2
Impact of climate change

  • International Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report (IPCC 4AR)

    • Extent of impact uncertain

      • Substantive uncertainty surrounding the magnitude, distribution and timelines of climate change in the Pacific

    • Vary significantly across the region

    • Climate change act as “threat multiplier” exacerbating already fragile unstable food ecosystems

      • Rising sea levels

      • Ocean warming and acidification,

      • Changing rainfall patterns

      • Changing atmospheric temperatures

      • Increasing intensity and frequency of extreme weather events, including tropical cyclones, depressions and droughts.

How do we build resilience
How do we build resilience?

  • Uncertainties high - effects of climate change on our food supply systems are uncertain

  • Challenges to overcome

    • Weak leadership and coordination

      • Need strong leadership at highest political level

    • Food security is becoming everybody’s business and no one’s responsibility

      • Food security is everybody’s business and responsibility – partnerships, multi-sectoral collaborations

      • Strong leadership and coordiantion

    • Limited accountability for progress

      • Strong leadership and coordination

      • Strengthen M&E capacity and communication & information systems

    • Turnover of staff and “many competing priorities”

      • Strong leadership commitment, setting clear policy directions

      • Capacity building

Towards a food secure pacific framework of action
Towards a food secure Pacific – Framework of Action


All people in the Pacific have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life


To strengthen and improve:

  • Availability of food – is there sufficient healthy foods to eat?

  • Access to food – can healthy food be grown or purchase

  • Stability of food system – are there risks of economic (price surges) and environmental (climate variability)shocks that jeopardize healthy food availability and access all the time?

  • Food utilization – can the food be used to meet dietary and health (nutrition quality, food safety) and are healthy choices preferred?

Framework of action
Framework of action

  • The Framework for Action on Food Security in the Pacific outlined seven themes related to improving food security. It’s purpose is to help guide future actions, policy directions and funding decisions on:

    • Leadership and cooperation;

    • Regulatory frameworks, enforcement and compliance and public-private sector collaboration;

    • Enhanced and sustainable production, processing and trading of safe and nutritious local food;

    • Protecting infants and vulnerable groups;

    • Consumer empowerment and mobilizing partners;

    • A food security information system; and

    • Enhancing land tenure systems and land-use policies, energy, transport, education and communication systems to underpin food security.

Commitment and leadership from highest political level is required

Way forward for food security climate change
Way forward for food security & climate change

  • Theme 1 – Leadership and coordination

    • Expected outcome – Strong leadership and effective multi-sectoral coordination for food security regionally and nationally

  • Theme 3 – Enhanced and sustainable production, processing, marketing, trading and use of safe and nutritious healthy foods

    • Expected outcome – Improved production, processing, marketing, trading and use of safe and nutritious local foods

      • Focus on actions that strengthen and build resilience, diversity and sustainability

  • Theme 6 – Food security information system

    • Expected outcome – a comprehensive food security intelligence capacity established to document progress, identify vulnerabilities, spread innovation and provide evidence for appropriate implementation of programmes

Brief bio

Healthy & Thriving Pacific Communities

Robust & secure healthy food supply

Thank you
Thank you


Brief bio



Physical existence of food be it through local production or imports


The food is available, accessible in sufficient quantities is also safe, nutritious and preferred


Ability of the human body to utilise the food.


Food is accessible and available in sufficient quantities to meet nutritional and health needs


How well household and individuals utilise their available resources (capital, labour skills, knowledge) to access available food


The risks of economic, political (price surges) and environmental (climate variability) shocks that jeopardize healthy food availability and access all the time