Global food crisis

Introduction

Currently, humanity is under threat because of an acute food shortage and food price shortages. This essay will highlight the causes, effects and measures to take to address the issue.

Causes

The major cause that has acquired global recognition is the continued change in climate. This refer to universal increase in the temperatures in the atmospheres. This change has resulted to more desertification, and rainfalls that are low, erratic, poorly distributed and unreliable.[1] Food production has consequently reduced. This phenomenon has resulted to food crop destruction by the torrential rainfalls.

In addition to the global warming, developmental research has led to a recent discovery of biodiesel fuel that is extracted from major food crops especially maize. Since land is a limited resource and in the past, it has been inadequate for food production, the replacement of food crops with biofuel crops and the use of already produced food crops for extraction of the fuel has led to an acute shortage of food.[2] This is because of the good prices for the biodiesel crops.

Again, land has a limited productivity, but the world population has been increasing significantly and exponentially in the third world countries. This has led to production of food that can not meet the requirements of the population. Land degradation due to overstocking and excessive human activity on the resources has led to erosion, infertile soil and desertification which contributes to food shortages in the world.

Recently, new strains of pests and disease causing organisms have emerged. These pests have infested on crops in field and food in store and caused a great damage.[3] Subsequent drought that are prolonged have left people without food in many parts of the world.

Results/ effects 200

The outcome of this phenomenon include lack of both the food and nutritional security. This means food is not adequate for the world population while the kind of limited food available does not meet the nutritional requirements of various social classes especially based on age. Protein and vitamin rich foods and are more scarce than the rest of food kinds.

As a result, the world is facing hunger and human suffering. For example, in Asia, people have died during famines. The most affected population are the women and young children. There has also been an increased rate of poverty and more deaths from diseases related to malnutrition.

Under such circumstances, people have sought for ways of survival. Most young girls have turned to prostitution to generate income to sustain their families. Most youth have also joined  in crime activities such as stealing from the rich or the running of quick money businesses such as drug trafficking.

Developing economies have faced a major challenge from this food crisis. Their economies have been stretched further as they attempt to feed their much affected populations. Money that could be used in buying of agricultural inputs like fertilizers and seeds for improved yields or for development of more irrigation schemes is used to import food. Thus the food crisis phenomenon in third world is more complex. The hiked prices of foodstuffs have worsened the situation at family level.

Prevention

There is need to give relief food to those who have been affected. This action is not sustainable but it is very fundamental because we have first to prevent the people from dying before a lasting solution can be settled at. Development of genetic engineering technology has attempted to address this issue by developing GMOs (crops and animals) which are more yielding.[4] For example a genetically modified sweet potato plant can yield very large potatoes where two are enough for a family of five instead of the current one person. However, the idea has been politicised.

A more welcomed solution is the use of food crops that are adaptive and resistant to drought, diseases and resilient to pest attacks.[5] This will  reduce the risk of hunger where these crops will adapt to prevailing conditions. However, maize which is the most common food crop has not done very well. Today, many agricultural research stations have set up trials in search of crops that are resistant, good yielding, environment friendly and resilient to pest and disease attack.

Conclusion

World food crisis is the most burning issue at global conferences. It has been caused by the introduction of biofuel technology, climatic change, overpopulation and environmental degradation of soil and water resources. The effects are a threat to humanity and include even death. However, there is still hope if more research and the GMO idea will be successful.

Part B: A Post-Conflict Case Study

Introduction

This case is about conflicts, human security and the role of international community. It shows localised and small scale conflicts may blast to ruin a country when not properly handled.

Major issues

There are a number of issues that are evident in this case study. First, there is the issue of conflict which is presented in different ways. The people of this area are in conflict with their environment. There is a large mining company whose establishment has led to damaging of the environment. It appears the landscape has been damaged, there is too much dust from the industry operations and much smoke is being released to the people's atmosphere. Perhaps there is a lot of noise coming from the machines used for mining.[6] The residents are thus claiming compensation from the company. It starts as a civilised campaign. There is conflict over resource use especially the river which supplies the families and also the industry.

Another conflict is human- human which is evident from when the company owner fails to pay compensations and the people respond by sabotaging the company which eventually leads to its closure. It also comes clearly in the case where police under the instruction of the senior government administrators attacks the people, destroy their properties and burn down their villages as they conduct a campaign terror.

The people are resistant and react by forming local militia to fight back the police and environmental platform is set under the support of the people and local militia as they fight for their independence. The situation is worsened when the government in rule instead of protecting the people send more armed force to fight the people. It appears that the government is formed on tribal basis. This is because later, there is a very worse fighting between the local tribes. It appears the local tribes that are supporting the government are in conflict with the rebels.

Another issue is the displacement of people. The first incidence occur when people are evacuated to give space for the mining company. They do this willingly after an agreement that the company will compensate them for any damages When the tribal war begins, people are again displaced to the government run care centres. However, this displacement is bases in tribal divisions because when the rebellious people try to go to the centres, they are attacked by the government forces.

The issue of insecurity, hunger and human suffering comes clearly. First, there is the withdrawal of foreign aid when the NGOs withdraws. Military forces prevent medicine and food from reaching this island. People are suffering from diseases and are dying due to lack of medicines. During war, there is little activity on the farms and hence a food shortage.[7] The people suffer from hunger because all external avenues for getting food are blocked by the military. Women are raped, people killed and are denied almost all their basic rights.

How the issues are solved

Decalogue which had been ignored all this time plays a key role in bringing back human security. Ten years later, we have peace agreements by the two waring sides. This comes after the government has spend so much money in the war, yet the people are still rebelling. Democracy is also used. The government accepts to hold its first general election in 2008. Through democracy, the people will be ruled as per their wish and by leaders of their choice.[8] Human rights shall be respected through this system.

For a lasting solution, there is need to build peace across the nation.[9] It is a viable solution because majority of the people are wishing for peace despite the fact that the island is still divided. To reach at peace also involved the intervention of international community. Perhaps this is what led the government to withdraw its forces. For eight years, there has been a peace monitoring force from the international community.

Peace building goes hand in hand with reconciliation.[10] Since the local communities were initially cohabiting and united before the conflict began, everlasting peace will be attained if individual people who hurt one another reconcile. The new democratic government has to make laws to prevent occurrence of such conflicts in future.

Conclusion

Major conflicts begin as mild and localised disagreements Force cannot be  used to restore peace. International community play key role in peace restoration. Sustainable peace is participatory and based on democracy.

References

Barbara Harff,  Ethnic Conflict ( Westview Press, Boulder, 1998).

Cheng Chunshu, Climate and agriculture (CMP, China, 1996).

David Hulme.  NGOs and Peace-Building ( Seabury Press , New York, 1999).

Goldstein Hansen, Future food: GMOs (HUP, Harvard, 2005).

Fisk Larry and John Schellenberg, Paths to Peace ( Broadview Press, Peterborough, 2000).

Huertos Elderd, Green revolutions ( MIT Press, Boston, 2004).

Judy Zimmerman, Transforming Violence ( Herald Press, Waterloo, 1998).

O'Reilly Siobhan, Peacebuilding in the Community ( World Vision UK, UK, 1998).

Parry Danaan, Conflict Resolution Handbook ( Earthstewards Network Pub.,  Bainbridge, 1997).

Reychler Luc and Thania Paffenholz, Field Guide for Peacebuilding (Lynne Reiner Pub., Boulder, 2001).

[1]    Reychler Luc and Thania Paffenholz, Field Guide for Peacebuilding (Lynne Reiner Pub. [2]    Parry Danaan, Conflict Resolution Handbook ( Earthstewards Network Pub.,  Bainbridge, 1997). [3]      O'Reilly Siobhan, Peacebuilding in the Community ( World Vision UK, UK, 1998). [4]    Huertos Elderd, Green revolutions ( MIT Press, Boston, 2004). [5]    Goldstein Hansen, Future food: GMOs (HUP, Harvard, 2005). [6]    Cheng Chunshu,  Climate and agriculture (CMP, China, 1996). [7]    Judy Zimmerman, Transforming Violence ( Herald Press, Waterloo, 1998). [8]                  Barbara Harff,  Ethnic Conflict ( Westview Press, Boulder, 1998). [9]    David Hulme.  NGOs and Peace-Building ( Seabury Press , New York, 1999). [10]  Fisk Larry and John Schellenberg, Paths to Peace ( Broadview Press, Peterborough, 2000).