Food security in small-scale fisheries under climate change: a vulnerability assessment in the Western Indian Ocean

Lara Paige Brodie

Food insecurity is one of the greatest challenges facing our modern world, affecting millions of people reliant on coastal marine resources, and is exacerbated by a rapidly changing climate. Assessments of this key issues are an important step for understanding and subsequent decision-making to reduce vulnerability of coastal communities. This study presents a nuanced food security social-ecological vulnerability assessment framework, specifically for coastal developing communities under a changing climate. A local-scale case study is applied to four communities of the Western Indian Ocean, which integrates local survey data, local ecological knowledge, expert scientific opinion, and external data sources into a unified framework. The results of the assessment reveal that overall, the food security status of all four communities assessed in the study are likely to be vulnerable, and their index values fall within a similar range to one another, from 0.53 to 0.58. Key differences across vulnerability components are identified to provide a precise and detailed understanding of the drivers of vulnerability and to identify effective intervention strategies for local practitioners. A combination of socio-centric and eco-centric intervention policies are suggested to alleviate food insecurity concerns and achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 of zero hunger.