International Trade and Food Security

International Trade and Food Security

Exploring Collective Food Security in Asia

NUS Centre for International Law series

Edited by Michael Ewing-Chow and Melanie Vilarasau Slade

Food security is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Through a collection of commissioned studies, which draw upon the experience of leading experts and scholars in trade, investment, law, economics, and food policy, this book assesses whether self-sufficiency is an adequate response to the food security challenges we face

Chapter 4: A case study of regional food security: APTERR

Michael Ewing-Chow and Melanie Vilarasau Slade

Subjects: law - academic, asian law, international economic law, trade law, public international law


As this book will further explore, climate change and environmental degradation pose a critical challenge to food security policies. When the significant increase in human population growth is also taken into account, a Malthusian scenario where global supply of food fails to keep up with demand, once held at bay by faith in scientific advancement in agricultural techniques, becomes alarmingly possible if not probable. Unilateral policies by individual States to address this dystopian future will not be sufficient. Collective action at the international level either by multilateral agreements, joint action within existing international institutional structures or specific regional approaches will have to be explored as a set of responses for enhancing global food security. One of the authors of this chapter was fortunate enough to be involved in the creation of a regional initiative to address the problem. While regional arrangements are only one of several options available, they often represent the low hanging fruit for collective food security initiatives. First, they often deal with the same staple food – in the case of Asia, it would be rice.

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