Wealthy capital cities vary greatly in their dependence on the global food market. The Australian capital Canberra produces the majority of its most common food in its regional hinterland, while Tokyo primarily ensures its food security through import. The Copenhagen hinterland produces less than half of the consumption of the most common foods. For the first time, researchers have mapped the food systems of capital cities, an essential insight for future food security if population growth, climate change and political instability will affect the open market. Several partners in the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU) are behind the study.
"The three major cities in our study achieve food security by different degrees of self-provision and national and global market trade. It is important to understand such food flows in order to relate it to the energy challenge and the risk of national political unrest caused by food shortages and its effect on the open food trade," says Professor Dr. John R. Porter from the University of Copenhagen, who is leading author on the study recently published online in the journal Global Food Security.
John R. Porter is also the main lead author of the forthcoming report from the IPCC Working Group 2 on food production systems and food security, which will be released following governments' review, in March 2014.
Higher farmland yields have influenced the cities self-provisioning over the past 40 years, but overall the ability of cities to feed themselves is unlikely to keep pace with increasing population, the research shows.
Self-provisioning does not increase in line with population Growth
Particularly in the capitals of Australia and Japan, where the population has increased tremendously over the past 40 years, the self-provision has declined; in Canberra from 150 to 90 percent and in Tokyo from 41 to 27 percent.
This is despite the increase
|Contact: John Porter|
University of Copenhagen