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Challenges of Global Food Security


Global food security, providing access for the world’s population to affordable, safe and nutritious food, is one of the major challenges of the 21st century.

This module will provide an understanding of the elements that contribute to the food security agenda. An essential element of the module will be a critical review of current physical, political and biotic drivers. We will explore the strategies being deployed that influence food security including projected population changes, climate change, ecosystem servicers and resilience, disease and fossil fuel dependence. The module will present a global perspective.


On completion of this module participants will be able to:

  • Evaluate the scale of the global challenge of food security.
  • Evaluate critically the drivers of change in the context of food security.
  • Communicate contemporary issues relating to international responses to food supply.
  • Understand the scope of the components of the food security agenda thus providing a platform for subsequent modules on this course.
  • Analyse the conflicting requirements of environmental protection and food production.


  • Introduction: What is Food Security?
  • Drivers for change.
  • Population change.
  • Climate change.
  • Global markets.
  • Ecosystem services and resilience.
  • Food vs fuel.
  • Disease and pests.
  • Fossil fuel dependency.
  • Future developments.
  • Case studies and tutorials.