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Overview

How are rapid recent food price changes linked to climate and environmental change? How do people who are vulnerable to these changes view these links? This Institute of Development Studies (IDS) note explores the views of people living on low and precarious incomes on these connections. It is based on the 2012 findings of the four-year (2012–2015) Oxfam–IDS research project Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility which was designed to explore experiences of food price volatility, through qualitative research in 23 research sites in 10 countries.

The research was not specifically designed to study perceptions of climate and environmental change; these views are collected here because they offer interesting, relatively unmediated insights into how people perceive the causal connections between their food security and environment, across varied social and ecological settings. High and volatile food prices were an important topic of discussion in all the communities, as were the causes and effects of this situation. This note suggests that the public discourse about food price changes in these low-income communities treats them as causally connected to climate change and overall the links between climate and environmental change and food insecurity for many of the respondents were robust and clear.

Read the global reports from year one of the project, Squeezed, and year two, Help Yourself!

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