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Monday, 22 October 2012

Ecological foundations supporting food security undermined

The aim of achieving food security across the globe will become increasingly elusive unless countries factor the planet's nature-based services into agricultural and related planning, a report released on 16 October by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) says. Safeguarding the underlying ecological foundations that support food production, including biodiversity, will be central if the world is to feed seven billion inhabitants, climbing to over nine billion by 2050, argues the study ‘Avoiding Future Famines: Strengthening the Ecological Basis of Food Security through Sustainable Food Systems’.
Inefficiencies along the food delivery chain further complicate the challenge, and the report highlights that an estimated one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted, amounting to 1.3 billion tonnes per year. The report aims to increase the focus on these crucial aspects, which are being undermined by overfishing, unsustainable water use, environmentally degrading agricultural practices and other human activities. It also frames the debate in the context of the green economy, calling for food production and consumption practices that ensure productivity without undermining ecosystem services.

Source: UNEP