ISSUE ADDRESSED: Climate change is one of the greatest challenges to public health and wellbeing. Steps taken by governments now will have a significant effect on public health outcomes, including the food system and food security.
METHOD: This study reviewed municipal public health and wellbeing plans from 79 local government areas (LGAs) in Victoria, Australia. Documents were included if they explicitly mentioned climate change and food insecurity. Of the 79 LGAs, 13 met the selection criteria and a content and framing analysis was conducted to identify the level of recognition of climate change on food security and proposed mitigation actions and strategies.
RESULTS: Of the 13 LGAs, the documents of six were identified as having a high level of responsiveness to climate change and food insecurity, five were assessed as medium, and two low. Framing analysis identified council acknowledgment of how climate change effects food access through availability and price, and growing food locally and sustainably seen as a common action to improve food security.
CONCLUSION: The findings of this study suggest that planning for climate change and food insecurity is not a high priority for Victorian LGAs. Given the current political climate in Australia, where many in federal government continue to deny the existence of climate change or are reluctant to implement mitigation strategies, it is now and will be increasingly important into the future that local governments plan for the impact of climate change on food insecurity. SO WHAT?: Climate change will impact how people access food and what foods are available to them. Unless all levels of government start to address, and plan for, climate change, the impact on communities will continue to intensify and grow more costly and damaging.
SOURCE: Beaudry E, McKay FH, Haines BC. “How are Victorian Local Government’s Responding to Climate Change and Food Insecurity?” Health Promotion Journal of Australia, February 2020.
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The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present
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