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Food security and livelihoods under a changing climate in Mozambique, preparing for the future - March 2021

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Executive summary Food security and the climate are closely linked in Mozambique. The key economic sectors in Mozambique include agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and livestock. Altogether, these sectors constitute a quarter of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Agriculture is the major contributor to incomes and the economy. 70 percent of the population lives in rural areas and practices agriculture as a main livelihood. Crops are grown in largely rain-fed systems, which makes the sector highly vulnerable to natural hazards, which are principally drought and floods.

Mozambique's climate is characterized by relatively uniform temperatures across the country and a north-south rainfall gradient which results in higher more reliable rainfall amounts in the North, and lower more variable rainfall amounts in the South.

Mozambique experiences hot, wet summers and cooler, dry winters. Annual average temperatures are relatively uniform across the country. Conversely, rainfall distribution varies. Rainfall is mainly driven by the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). The ITCZ movement up and down along the equator results in higher and more reliable rainfall amounts in the northern regions (around 1000-1500 mm per year) and lower and more variable rainfall amounts in the southern regions (less than 500 mm per year in some parts). The position and intensity of the ITCZ varies year-to-year as it is influenced by large-scale dynamics in the climate system, such as the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

Historical climate analysis for the country shows that temperatures are already increasing and rainfall trends are dominated by year-to-year variability.

Analysis of observed climate trends shows that temperatures are already increasing, mostly concentrated within the rainfall season and more marked in the southern and central regions. There is no clear long-term trend for all-country annual rainfall, as rainfall is dominated by year-to-year variability in amounts and timings. However, small increases in the south and small decreases in the north have been observed. Accordingly, observed trends of vegetation shows decreases matching the rainfall trends.