Hunger · Nutrition · Climate Justice Conference

Hunger · Nutrition · Climate Justice – A New Dialogue: Putting People at the Heart of Global Development

The Hunger · Nutrition · Climate Justice Conference took place in Dublin Castle from 15-16 April 2013, during Ireland’s Presidency of the EU.

The Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, together with the Irish Government, hosted this unique event, combining key policy makers in global development with the people living on the frontlines of climate change and food insecurity.

The Conference was organised in partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP) and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).

Download Introductory Conference Papers (PDF)
Download Conference Report (PDF)

Key messages for the global development process are outlined in the Hunger ● Nutrition ● Climate Justice multimedia Conference Report

Hunger · Nutrition · Climate Justice (HNCJ) was a conference with a difference. Held in April 2013, the Conference explored the links between climate change, hunger and poor nutrition, and their impact on the world’s most vulnerable people.

Of the 300-plus delegates from 60 countries at Hunger · Nutrition · Climate Justice, 100 were representatives of grassroots communities. They told their stories, and high-level policy makers listened and learned, while informing them of the processes in train for the next steps in global development.

In the Conference Report, the organising partners of Hunger · Nutrition · Climate Justice use a range of multimedia – from videos to weblinks and tweets – to provide a snapshot of the events and discussions that took place during the two-day event.

The report also outlines the Conference’s highlights, its objectives and achievements, the commitments made by representatives of government, policy, business and civil society there, the lessons learned from organising such a unique event and the key messages that came out of vibrant and respectful dialogue between grassroots community representatives and the people whose global policy decisions affect their lives.

Download Hunger – Nutrition – Climate Justice Conference Report (PDF) here 

Watch videos from conference delegates:

The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) also supported the event, which opened dialogue and debate on the linked challenges of hunger, nutrition and climate justice, while encouraging and inspiring innovative thinking and solutions.

With the international community beginning to review progress on the Millennium Development Goals – two years before the target date for their achievement – policy discussions are also beginning on the Sustainable Development Goals and the post-2015 framework for international development.

By bringing together key international policy makers with those who are living with the impacts of climate change and are often the most vulnerable to hunger and under nutrition, the conference was an important first step in enabling a respectful dialogue on the future of development.

In evaluating the conference, Ugandan farmer Constance Okollet said the key messages she took from the conference were: ‘Strengthen partnership – that the smallholder farmer is not ignored. Give them the information about the MDGs and the plans. We are moving away from the dark to light.’

In evaluating the conference, Ugandan farmer Constance Okollet said the key messages she took from the conference were: ‘Strengthen partnership – that the smallholder farmer is not ignored. Give them the information about the MDGs and the plans. We are moving away from the dark to light.’

Today nearly one billion people still suffer from hunger, most of them women and children. Under nutrition among mothers and children is the underlying cause of 2.5 million deaths every year.

With the world’s population set to reach 9 billion by 2050, agricultural production will need to increase by 60% just to meet the growing demand. Over the same period climate change, water scarcity and land degradation could reduce food production by one quarter, leading to further increases in the number of people suffering from hunger.

The global challenges of hunger, nutrition and climate justice are linked – so our response also needs to be linked, coherent and consistent. To be credible, the global response must be based on a clear understanding of the rights and the reality of the lives of the people most affected, now and in the future. We need to move away from a business-as-usual approach to development if these global challenges are to be resolved in our lifetimes.

In anticipation of this conference, Mary Robinson; Irish Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore; Ertharin Cousin, executive director of the World Food Programme; and Frank Rijsberman, CEO of the CGIAR Consortium wrote about the need for climate justice in the most vulnerable communities in the world.

You can also read more about hunger, nutrition and climate justice on the websites of Irish Aid and EU2013, the blog of CGIAR CCAFS and the latest WFP Global Food Security Update.

Go to the summary of the event on Storify.

Case Study: The right to food security in a changing Arctic

Case Study: Bangladesh’s Enhancing Resilience programme

Case Study: Getting a seat at the table: fisher folk empowerment for policy change in the Caribbean

Case Study: Linking local agriculture into national policy by studying climate change economics in Colombia

Case Study: Enhancing climate resilience in Ecuador’s Pichincha Province and the Jubones River Basin

Case Study: Harnessing local innovation to improve food security, nutrition and climate resilience in Ethiopia

Case Study: Scaling up an integrated watershed management approach through social protection programmes in Ethiopia: the MERET and PSNP schemes

Case Study: The Rural Resilience Initiative: building a risk management market for poor farmers

Case Study: Empowering a local community to address climate risks and food insecurity in Lower Nyando, Kenya

Case Study: Lessons from Lesotho: how a ‘joined-up’ approach, centred on keyhole gardens, is tackling linked issues of hunger, nutrition and poverty

Case Study: Promoting empowerment and knowledge through smallholder farmers’ associations in Malawi

Case Study: Less hunger, better health and more wealth: the benefits of knowledge sharing in Malawi’s Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato project

Case Study: Seeds for change: a certified seed project in Malawi is boosting local incomes and supporting emerging national agricultural policy

Case Study: Food security in the face of climate risks – Mongolian herders’ experiences

Case Study: Biogas for climate justice: a story of change in Nepal

Case Study: Women’s land rights in a changing climate: a case study from Maradi, Niger

Case Study: Building resilient cities from the community up: lessons from Manila

Case Study: Communicating seasonal forecasts to farmers in Kaffrine, Senegal for better agricultural management

Mary Robinson held a keynote speech at the Hunger – Nutrition – Climate Justice Conference:

“The devastating effects that climate change has on the food crisis facing millions of people in the developing world is clear to see in the unpredictable weather patterns experienced across the globe, destroying crops, increasing food prices and pushing millions into poverty and hunger,” Mrs Robinson said.

“By holding this conference, we will give voice to those who all too often go unheard – the poorest and most vulnerable. Listening to their experiences and learning from their actions is essential in building solutions that will have a clear and definite effect to their daily lives.

“My four grandchildren will be in their forties in 2050, and will share the world with nine billion others. How will they all look back on this vital period, when it will be clear to them that we had the opportunity to take the right course by the end of 2015? How will we be judged – not in the long term – but in only 37 years?

“Will we stand accused of shirking responsibility or will we grasp the opportunity to set a new and viable course for humanity?”

Download Mary Robinson’s full Keynote Speech (PDF) here

Read the Official Opening Remarks of President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins

Read the Closing Remarks by Tánaiste and Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore TD

Read Mary Robinson’s Outlining of the Key Messages from HNCJ

Report back from Dublin conference on hunger, nutrition and climate justice – GGIAR, 29 April 2013

Small farmers hold the key to tackling climate change – Reuters, 25 April 2013

A unified approach to climate change and hunger – IRIN News, 24 April 2013

Gore calls for action on climate change – Irish Times, 17 April 2013

Al Gore warns of climate devastation in Dublin visit – Irish Independent, 17 April 2013

Small farmers take the stage to sway climate justice debate – AlertNet, 17 April 2013

Climate Conversations – Sustainable agricultural intensification: Tackling food insecurity in a resource-scarce world – AlertNet, 17 April 2013

Robinson still breaking down barriers as she takes on global hunger – Irish Independent, 16 April 2013

Two-day international Hunger Conference opens in Dublin – Irish Times, 16 April 2013

Severe weather ‘pushing millions’ into starvation – Irish Independent, 16 April 2013

Former US Vice President Al Gore addresses conference on climate change – RTÉ, 16 April 2013

Hunger ‘grossest rights violation’ – Irish Independent, 16 April 2013

Climate justice and hunger top agenda for Dublin summit – Famine, drought and food security will dominate the agenda of a climate change summit hosted by the Irish government. – The Guardian, 15 April 2013

Impact of climate change, hunger and poor nutrition to be explored at major international conference
–, 15 April 2013

Dublin hosting international hunger and climate change conference – RTÉ, 15 April 2013

Child food issues stunting progress in global welfare – Irish Times, 15 April 2013

Robinson links climate change to hunger and undernutrition – Irish Times, 15 April 2013

Climate change: how a warming world is a threat to our food supplies – The Guardian, 15 April 2013

Climate change and hunger: an issue of justice – AlertNet, 15 April 2013

Robinson: Previous targets on world hunger have ‘not served us well enough’ – Irish Examiner, 15 April 2013

Tackling climate change and hunger on agenda at major conference –, 15 April 2013

Al Gore visits Dublin for global hunger conference –, 15 April 2013

Changing climate has devastated agricultural economy in Malawi – RTÉ, 15 April 2013

Conference to look at how climate change affects hunger and poverty – RTÉ, 15 April 2013

Climate change: how a warming world is a threat to our food supplies – Observer, 14 April 2013

Millions face starvation as world warms, say scientists – Observer, 14 April 2013

Al Gore to attend Dublin summit on hunger next month – Irish Independent, 27th March 2013

Provisional Agenda now availble

Media Notification: Hunger – Nutrition – Climate Justice Conference – Irish Aid, 27 March 2013