Laurent Hategekimana, a villager from Nyabihu, a district from Western Rwanda, recalls the terrible condition of the Gishwati natural forest a few years ago when it was overrun by illegal loggers and invading farmers.
In the days following the UN Food Systems Summit I have read a number or articles questioning whether there is a role for the private sector in transforming global food systems into something healthier, more sustainable and more equitable. Frankly, I don’t see how food systems transformation is possible without meaningful participation of the private sector.
More than 2,000 young leaders and youth-led organisations from across the Commonwealth are urging governments to respect the needs and contributions of the world’s most vulnerable groups, in the lead up to global climate talks in Glasgow in November.
The global food system needs a massive overhaul – this was clear before the Covid pandemic and it is even more true today.
Feeding the world in a sustainable and healthy way is entirely possible but it is also inextricably linked to tackling the climate crisis by reaching net zero emissions, and to halting the dizzying decline in bio-diversity which is currently threatening the survival of one million plant and animal species.
Rondrotiana Barimalala is a climate researcher at the University of Cape Town in South Africa and a lead author for the IPCC report to the recently released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report
titled Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis
In 2020, every human on Earth created an average of at least 1.7 megabytes of data per second, collectively amassing 2.5 quintillion data bytes
. Some 90% of the world’s total data was created in the last two years alone
After climbing a steep hill along winding paths, you reach a huge water tank at the top that supplies peasant farmer families who had no water and instead set up their own community project on this coastal strip in central El Salvador.
For the first time in decades, Jordan’s economy contracted in 2020. COVID-19 took a heavy toll on the economy, and it was concerning for the country, particularly because Jordan had managed to grow at an average rate of 2%, despite regional and international shocks to its economy amounting to 44% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over the past decade.
On September 10th
, on a sweltering summer afternoon, three fishers drove a van around the residential community of Castle Comfort in Dominica, blowing forcefully into their conch shells – the traditional call that there is fresh fish for sale in the area.
Sepesa Curuki and his community are coming to terms with the prospect of relocation from Cogea village on Fiji’s second-largest island of Vanua Levu. Their village, which lies between two rivers that flow into the Pacific Ocean only 2km away, has been battered by intense and frequent cyclones, flooding and erosion, threatening their very existence.
Current food systems are no longer fit for the 21st century. Inequitable distribution, poor nutritional habits, and climate change are three issues breaking down our global food systems today, forcing us to look for solutions to transform them. Food aid – very much part of our global food systems – needs to be responsive to the challenges that lie ahead.
With the world still counting the social and economic costs of the Covid-19 pandemic, amid a fresh “code red
” on the climate crisis, food may not seem like the most pressing threat to humanity.
September 23, 2021 is the first-ever UN Food Systems Summit, convened to mobilize the highest-priority transformations needed to end hunger through the sustainable production and distribution of food. Transforming food systems to ensure food security for all has never been so urgent.
Food processing extends shelf-life and can transforms raw food into attractive, marketable products. It can also prevent contamination. The transformation can involve numerous physical and chemical processes such as mincing, cooking, canning, liquefaction, pickling, macerating, emulsification, irradiation and lyophilization. Frozen processed and raw food changes transport and storage requirements radically; while the packaging of food, both raw and processed, is an industry unto itself.
Food security experts have raised an alarm that with as many as 811 million people the world over or 10 percent of the global population going hungry, the world is off-track to ending hunger and malnutrition.
COVID-19 has exposed serious vulnerabilities in how people around the world access and consume food.
One of the more alarming trends is the significant increase in the consumption of foods that may be tasty and convenient, but harm our heath. These ultra-processed products include sugary drinks, snack foods, frozen meals, packaged breads and frozen desserts.
Why is the UN holding a Food Systems Summit? Two issues that need discussion at the international leadership level are: Long before the Covid crisis was upon us, the number of hungry people in the world was increasing. Why ? What is the cause of this disturbing trend? And, can a country really claim to be food secure, unless it produces or can buy enough food to feed its population and its people can access sufficient quantities to keep themselves fit and healthy? Disquietening questions as extreme weather begins to show the destructive power that climate change will have on the planet and its people.
When the NDC Partnership, the alliance which helps governments to determine and achieve their climate goals, held its first-ever Global Youth Engagement Forum in July, several segments were underpinned by Jamaica’s model of engaging young people and sustaining youth interest in climate initiatives.
Dubbed ‘the People’s Summit, the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) hopes to put the world back on a path to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, through food systems overhauling. From the tempered to the extremely optimistic, experts in various food system sectors share their expectations of transformation.
COVID-19 has exposed numerous fractures in global food systems that leave millions at risk of food insecurity. Like the numerous political failures in dealing with COVID, the repercussions of food system failings are experienced by rich and poor countries alike, with the poorest and most marginalised paying the greatest price.
In the San Lorenzo Huitzizilapan Otomí indigenous community, in the state of Mexico –adjacent to the country’s capital–, access to water has been based on collective work.