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It is uncontroversial that climate change has an impact on nutrition, since it affects all basic, underlying and immediate causes of undernutrition and brings additional pressures for the already food insecure regions of the world. However, the absence of nutrition in the major climate change agendas is alarming, and makes clear that despite its importance, nutrition only plays a supporting role in the agriculture and food security discussions on climate change.

The UN System Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN) is willing to promote the debate and strengthen the participation of nutrition on ongoing and future climate change discussions. Climate Change has been a very important topic of discussions of the UNSCN Working Group on Household Food Security. These discussions resulted in a publication, in 2009, of the UNSCN Statement on the Implications of Climate Change on Nutrition. This was then followed by the SCN News 38 on Climate Change - Food and Nutrition Security Implications, a peer reviewed publication which examined climate change and nutrition across a range of different sectors, using an underlying multisectoral perspective.

There is a need to increase public and institutional attention to the negative impacts of Climate Change on Nutrition and the relevance of this area for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Nutrition and Climate change eGroup is an ad hoc online discussion forum, created with the aims of bringing a nutrition lens into climate change issues and increasing the participation of interested sectors to discuss how this can be done and what the priorities are.

This eGroup also intends to identify opportunities for the nutrition agenda and weaknesses that hinder the participation of nutrition in such debates. It also intends to influence the agendas of:
  • The research community, since scientific publications feed the IPCC for the production of their publications, and the IPCC itself shapes the UNFCCC agenda;
  • The nutrition donors, since there is the need of an increasing sensitivity of donors to these issues in order to gather funding for climate change related initiatives.

The eGroup aims to initiate and facilitate discussions on climate change and nutrition.

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