6. Rural development and food security
Convenors: Frank Berendse, Adri van den Brink, Saleemul Huq
A most prominent characteristic of delta regions is the high competition for space for urban development, food production, industry and port development, nature and leisure. Climate change and protection against flooding adds to this pressure, but also provides opportunities.
Rural development and food production in deltas will be affected by climate change. Agricultural systems might have to transform due to drought, higher temperatures and salinization. Food security is at stake. Flood protection measures require changes in land use to improve the potential for water retention. Urban populations demand more space in rural areas as they attribute greater value to ecosystem and landscape services. Adaptive strategies are needed to keep deltas productive and attractive.
How to respond to the increasing pressures in an efficient way is a major challenge for all deltas of the world. How can science help to better understand the priorities and help to generate options? Linking science and practice with institutions and policies is a must in this complex geographic and political environment.
The theme covers recent research on impacts of climate change on land use, urban development, nature and food production with special interest in solutions to mitigate the pressures and impacts. It welcomes research on urgent situations and options for delta regions, being multifunctional and multi-scaled social-physical systems, to adapt to climate change.