Food Security in a Changing Climate

18 Aug 2014, Arendal, Norway and Kathmandu, Nepal


Collaboration between Norway and regional mountain knowledge centre in Hindu Kush Himalayas highlighted during Arendalsuka 

Partners of a joint project tackling issues related to climate change adaptation, food security and gender issues in the Hindu Kush Himalayas shared insights with Norwegian bureaucrats, community leaders, and the public in a half-day seminar on 14 August during Arendalsuka.

The event was hosted by GRID-Arendal, Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo (CICERO), and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) – promoters of the Himalayan Climate Change Adaptation Programme (HICAP). The HICAP initiative is funded by the governments of Norway and Sweden. 

Over 100 people attended the event – a part of the celebration of GRID-Arendal’s 25th anniversary 14-15 August, organized in conjunction with Arendalsuka (Arendal Week), an annual gathering of Norway’s political, business, and community leaders. 

The event served as a platform for dialogue between HICAP promoters and policy makers working on food security and gender issues in mountainous regions. It also provided a diverse Norwegian audience representative of policy, industry, politics, and the general public an opportunity to see examples of Norwegian engagement in critical issues in a largely developing part of Asia. 

Collaborative work carried out under the HICAP initiative on food security and the promotion of women’s leadership for enhancing climate change adaptation were showcased at the event. 

One of the participants from Arendal said, “This brought the flavour of the Himalayas to Arendal. I am grateful for the dialogue on global challenges and local responses. Very inspiring!”

[L-R] Dr David Molden, ICIMOD; Mr Kjell Tormod Pettersen, Norwegian Amdassador to Nepal; Mr Lawrence Hislop, GRID-Arendal; Dr Suman Bisht, ICIMOD; Ms Tiina Kurvits, GRID-Arendal

Photo: Riccardo Pravettoni/GRID-Arendal

Mr. Børge Brende, the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, was present at the launch of the HICAP initiative products during the seminar: a publication on food security, a scoping study on gender and adaptation in Nepal, and a short documentary film on women’s leadership. The products were launched by Dr. David Molden Director of ICIMOD and H.E. Kjell Tormod Pettersen, Norwegian Ambassador to Nepal. “Making environmental information available to policy makers and facilitating environmental decision making for change is more important than ever”, said Mr Brende. 

H.E. Kjell Tormod Pettersen, Norwegian Ambassador to Nepal, said, “Through the partnership we have with ICIMOD, Norway invests in work aimed at promoting women’s leadership and documenting, adapting to, and mitigating the effects of climate change worldwide”. 

"Given the vital role women are play in agricultural production and safeguarding food security, adaptation actions need to be gender-sensitive and inclusive", said Dr Suman Bisht, one of the authors of the gender scoping study.

[L-R] Ms Anne Solgaard, GRID-Arendal; Dr David Molden, ICIMOD; Mr Kjell Tormod Pettersen, Norwegian Ambassador to Nepal; Dr Suman Bisht, ICIMOD; Ms Tiina Kurvits, GRID-Arendal

Photo: Riccardo Pravettoni/GRID-Arendal

Dr David Molden, Director General of ICIMOD, said, “Climate change impacts mountain agriculture, forests, and water, all of which rural mountain women manage and nurture. For adaptation programmes to succeed, we must invest in women’s leadership and strengthen their engagement in local-level climate change planning”. 

Dr Eklabya Sharma, Director of Programme Operations at ICIMOD, acknowledged the support provided by the Norwegian Government to ICIMOD’s core funding and its support to the Centre’s regional programmes on adaptation to change, cryosphere and atmosphere, and transboundary landscapes.

Addressing the scientific work on food security and climate change in the Hindu Kush Himalayas, Kristin Halvorsen, Director of CICERO, said, "The diverse region of the Hindu Kush Himalayas is experiencing many compounding changes and needs a local approach, combining local knowledge and multidisciplinary science, to ensure successful adaptation, to sustain livelihoods, and provide local food security for the future”.

Lawrence Hislop from GRID-Arendal said, “People ask me all the time what climate change looks like on the ground, and when you go to the Hindu Kush Himalayas and experience meeting people living in high-altitude communities you quickly see the various impacts that climate change is having on their daily lives, particularly when it comes to water availability and crop production”.

The seminar concluded with the panellists engaging in dialogue with the participants to gather input for a ’A 2020 vision on food security and adaptation to climate change’.

The seminar in Arendal was preceded by an information sharing event at the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation’s (NORAD) premises in Oslo.

For more information please contact: 

Ms Janet Fernandez Skaalvik
Acting Head of Communications, GRID-Arendal
Tel +47 41499472

Ms Nira Gurung
Senior Communications Officer, ICIMOD
Tel +977-1-5003222 Fax +977-1-5003277