Agriculture, climate disasters and the law

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    Agriculture depends on a stable climate. Crops need fertile soil, sufficient water and temperatures that remain within a certain (plant specific) bandwidth. Livestock needs healthy grazing land, sufficient water and livable temperatures. The climate needs to be predictable, so that farmers can plan their activities with the aim to secure the best possible harvest. Such stable conditions only occurred after the previous major climate change that took place on Earth and which marked the end of the last ice age, around 12,000 years ago. Around that time, man began to live in settlements and started to grow his own food through agriculture. The major climate change that we are witnessing in the 21st century, this time man made, severely threatens the necessary climatic equilibrium, hence threatening food security.
    This chapter briefly summarizes the nature of climate disasters that are and will be hitting the agricultural sector, relying mainly on the IPCC’s 5th Assessment Report. Then, following the disaster cycle, the chapter discusses: how disaster risks for agriculture can be prevented or mitigated, what emergency response needs to be prepared, and how compensation and rebuilding should be organized after disaster has struck. The aim of this chapter is to find and analyze the main issues on which law and policymakers at the international and at the domestic level should focus on when developing a legal framework that is sufficiently equipped to deal with climate disasters that affect agriculture.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationResearch handbook on climate disaster law
    Subtitle of host publicationBarriers and opportunities
    EditorsRosemary Lyster, Robert Verchick
    Place of PublicationCheltenham
    PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Print)978-1-78643-002-1
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

    Publication series

    NameResearch Handbooks in Climate Law
    PublisherEdward Elgar Publ.


    • climate law
    • Agricultural Policy
    • climate smart agriculture
    • Disaster management
    • Disaster Response
    • disaster recovery


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