Freedom from hunger, climate change and the sinking ark of agro-biodiversity: Any options for SADC?

Authors Anganile Willie Mwenifumbo

ISSN: 2026-8556
Affiliations: Works for UN Office of the High Commission for Human Rights, but writes in his own capacity
Source: SADC Law Journal, The, 2012, Issue 1, p. 55 – 77


This contribution examines the general impact of climate change on agro-biodiversity for a predominantly agro-based Southern African Development Community (SADC) economy. It contends that any efforts to deal with the adverse effects of climate change need to be focused at the SADC region level, considering that the effects of climate change would significantly vary from one region to the other. It is, therefore, argued that the geographic proximity of SADC states and the effects of climate change on the region’s common agenda identified by Article 5 of the SADC Treaty justify the need that any climate change interventions primarily need to focus on the specific needs of the region. On this point, the paper notes that almost all SADC Member States are party to the United Nations International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). The contribution argues that SADC Member States have an obligation under the fundamental right to freedom from hunger prescribed both by the ICESCR and the SADC Treaty to preserve agro-biodiversity as a tool to combat the adverse effects of climate change. The contribution further explores the options available for SADC to successfully respond to the effects of climate change by examining possible strategies for mitigation and adaptation.