Changing behavior as a policy tool for enhancing food security

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Recent developments in international markets point to a dramatic food crisis all over the world. The media today is repeatedly dominated by staggering reports on the global food crisis, soaring crop prices and demands for bio-fuels, raising fears of political instability. Since 2002, media reports have mostly highlighted the dramatic situation of food insecurity. The Arab region is most seriously affected by the global food crisis. It is clear that the root causes of ‘the Arab springs’ and revolutions underway in various Arab countries are not only a desire for transformation to a more democratic political system but also desire for the realization of social justice among citizens, the eradication of poverty and hunger, and a narrowing of the gap between rich and poor.

This paper addresses the need for a change in individual and societal behavioral patterns. It addresses the need for communities to assist governments in preventing and managing water-related food crises. It brings together world waters in its complexities, with new dimensions of institutional context and cultural norms. The effectiveness of ongoing traditional approaches may be limited without additional measures and tools to help governments understand how to engage in cooperative behavioral change.

Keywords: Changing behaviour, Culture and ethics, Food security, Integrated water resources management (IWRM), Water–food crisis

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