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 9: Environmental change, food security and trade in Southeast Asia

J. Jackson Ewing

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


Environmental changes in Southeast Asia are creating pronounced food security challenges. The region is deeply endowed with natural resources valuable for agriculture, yet environmental stresses continue to threaten the region’s future food production potential. These challenges are accelerating during a period of transformative change in regional food systems and impacting livelihoods, nutritional profiles and – in some cases – regional food trade dynamics. This chapter reviews the intersection of environmental change, food security and trade challenges in Southeast Asia through three primary sections. First, the chapter explores the relationship between urbanisation, environmental change and shifting food systems, and introduces a related debate over what food production strategies are most apt for the region. Second, the chapter reviews the causes and implications of environmental stresses in ecosystems essential for agriculture – namely forests, freshwater sources and coastal/marine zones – and examines the ways that climate change is amplifying these challenges.

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