Monday 5
Water, food and social-ecological resilience
Sylvestre Delmotte, Christo Fabricius
› 11:05 - 18:00 (6h55)
› PNR Camargue
Water, food and social-ecological resilience: Means and Extremes - The Conjuncture of Food Security, Drought and Public Investments in NE Brazil
Don Nelson  1@  , Hallie Eakin  2@  , Maria Carmen Lemos  3@  , Francisco De Assis De Souza Filho  4@  
1 : University of Georgia
2 : Arizona State University
3 : University of Michigan
4 : Universidade Federal do Ceará

This paper analyzes data from a longitudinal household study of drought preparedness and food security impacts during two significant drought events 15 years apart. The analysis focuses on the role of public policy investments on the adaptive capacities of small-scale agriculturalists. We explore the level to which policy responses contribute to an increased level of adaptedness by looking both at past climate variability and future trends. Although drought occurrences are unpredictable at an annual level, historically the magnitude of droughts has remained within a particular range that has served as a contextual marker for drought policy investments. Recently, some state-level emergency drought programs have been eliminated and in their place is a national-level poverty reduction program designed to increase long-term development of human capital. In this sense, the region represents a large-scale experiment in which poverty reduction programs serve as an integral component of the government's drought adaptation and food security approach. Our analysis reviews current policy approaches in light of a projected drying trend punctuated by more frequent and extreme droughts. The ongoing, and exceptionally severe, multi-year drought challenges the implicit belief that adaptation to historical climate means is sufficient to meet future development needs and belies a system in which the relationships between people and their food and water system are undergoing rapid and poorly understood, transformational change.

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