"While current trends in biodiversity and ecosystem services are sharply and dangerously negative, the right actions -- developed and implemented promptly -- can restore a biologically rich and ecologically viable planet." stresses Dr. Anne Larigauderie, executive director of DIVERSITAS and co-author of the brief.
Led by Oxford University Prof. John Ingram, authors of the food security brief say that despite a marked increase in global food production over the past half century, nearly one billion people still have too little to eat, and a further billion lack adequate nutrition. It showcases a new indicator of food security -- children under the age of five suffer stunted growth due to inadequate food -- and offers a map showing that in much of the world, the problem affects 40 per cent or more of children.
While the brief calls for the urgent development of policies and technologies for increasing food production in a more sustainable manner, it highlights the need for a food system that recognizes that improving access to food is the key issue to reduce food insecurity, rather than concentrating solely on increasing production.
"The challenge of feeding the world efficiently and equitably is considerable, but not insurmountable," the authors say. "Institutions operating effectively at multiple levels will be at the centre of sustainable food systems; these will need to be flexible, promote appropriate use of innovative technologies and policies, and recognize the increasingly important role of non-state actors in enhancing food systems. Above all, there is need for a strong focus on resilience, equity and sustainability."
As global population has tripled in the past century, water use has increased six-fold, and the qua
|Contact: Terry Collins|
Earth System Science Partnership