Archives for posts with tag: FoodSecurity
From Diplomat Artist Buzz: Mother Nature and the FAO has a labor-free cure-all to help solve food security – bees. Moving from flower to flower, these natural pollinators determine crop yields. –MORE–


“Let There Be Bread”
Diplomat Artist Buzz on Pope Francis, the FAO, & eradicating hunger as an obligation.

Diplomat Artist Buzz on Hunger, Food Security, and the role of capitalism & wholesaling

Benefits of Investing in Protection of Biodiversity Outweigh Financial Costs

VP for Conservation Policy at Conservation International: ““If we see how governments behave it’s quite contradictory. On one hand, we see agencies promoting development with a high environmental cost, & on  other hand we see environmental agencies trying to repair damage that development agencies have created. We need governments who are able to break down this kind of silo effect.”

Food Airlifts Begin in CAR Amidst Worsening Security

Ethnic religious cleansing could lead to a full-scale food & security crisis. Success of the planting season could be a critical turning point where around 75 % of the population rely on small-scale agriculture for food & income.


As the world population soars from over 7 Billion today and with estimates topping 9 Billion by 2015, drastic measures must be undertaken now to secure a sustainable future. One billion people today suffer from chronic hunger and food insecurity.  At the same time, one-third of all food produced is lost or wasted. This is unacceptable.

Climate change is linked to food security. Witness the famine and draught in the dry lands of Africa: Sahel, Somalia, and the Ogaden, which captured the headlines through most of last year. To feed the masses and achieve the Zero Hunger Challenge posed by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, there must be sustainable agriculture and water security. Governments, business, and civil society organizations must implement measures to ensure a greener, more sustainable future toward a hunger-free world.

Hunger is not just endemic to developing regions of the world. According to the US Department of Agriculture, (USDA) 17 million US households are food insecure. 16 million US kids, roughly one in five, do not have enough food to eat and/or are not eating healthy.  This is unacceptable.

However, one US company PANERA BREAD with its PANERA CARES COMMUNITY CAFES, has come to the table giving back to the community as its shared responsibility.

Ron Shaich is the Founder Chairman & Co-CEO of Panera Bread. In its Mission Statement: “Panera Cares® community cafes exist to feed each and every person who walks through our doors with dignity regardless of their means.” In the cafes, there are no prices or cash registers, only suggested donation levels and bins.  Its goal goes further – to raise the level of awareness about food insecurity in the United States.

Coincidentally, one day following the announcement of the new campaign launched by the United Nations and its partners, “Think, Eat, Save, Reduce Your Footprint,” to eliminate food waste, financial news channels announced the opening of the fifth Panera Cares in Boston, Massachusetts. The four other non-profit locations are in St. Louis, Missouri; Dearborn, Michigan; Portland, Oregon; and Chicago, Illinois.  Ron Shaich is a global citizen practicing green business and is one restaurateur practicing the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Food & Agriculture Oranization (FAO) campaign initiatives.

UN News Centre Source

Launched by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and partners, the campaign – ‘Think, Eat, Save. Reduce Your Foodprint’ – seeks to accelerate action to eliminate wasteful practices and help countries share successful initiatives on these issues. It specifically targets food wasted by consumers, retailers and the hospitality industry.

“In a world of seven billion people, set to grow to nine billion by 2050, wasting food makes no sense – economically, environmentally and ethically,” said UNEP’s Executive Director, Achim Steiner. “To bring about the vision of a truly sustainable world, we need a transformation in the way we produce and consume our natural resources.”

About one-third of all food produced globally, worth around $1 trillion, gets lost or wasted in food production and consumption systems, according to FAO. Food loss occurs mostly at the production stages – harvesting, processing and distribution – while food waste typically takes place at the retailer and consumer end of the food supply chain.

Roughly 95 per cent of food loss and waste in developing countries are due to unintentional losses at early stages of the food supply chain as a result of limitations in harvesting techniques, storage, packaging and marketing systems.

In the developed world, however, food waste occurs because consumers are quick to throw away food due to over-buying, inappropriate storage, and preparing meals that are too large, while food manufacturers are retailers produce waste because of inefficient practices, confusion over date labels and quality standards that overemphasize appearance.

“In industrialized regions, almost half of the total food squandered, around 300 million tons annually, occurs because producers, retailers and consumers discard food that is still fit for consumption,” said FAO’s Director-General, José Graziano da Silva. “This is more than the total net food production of Sub-Saharan Africa, and would be sufficient to feed the estimated 870 million people hungry in the world.”

“If we can help food producers to reduce losses through better harvesting, processing, storage, transport and marketing methods, and combine this with profound and lasting changes in the way people consume food, then we can have a healthier and hunger-free world,” Mr. da Silva added.

Susan Sacirbey

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From desertification, floods, locust, and severe drought in the Sahel, Africa has been in the headlines much of this year with major ramifications for health, lifestyle, food security, and the economy. Today, 6 December, 2012, communities across Africa will be better able to adapt to a more sustainable livelihood and food security with the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) new initiative  to combat the negative impact of climate change.

UN News Centre Source

The information portal known as the Africa Adaptation Knowledge Network (AAKNet), launched by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), will serve as a hub for knowledge, research, successful initiatives and collaborative partnerships on climate change adaptation.
“It builds on ongoing efforts around the continent to mobilize existing knowledge and provide robust solutions to the major impact of climate change on lives and livelihoods in Africa,” the UN agency stated in a news release. Disasters such as severe droughts in the Sahel in 2012 and the Horn of Africa in 2011, noted UNEP, have brought into sharp focus the serious impacts on water, land, soil and other resources linked to climate change on the continent, and the need to build resilience to such pressures.
Global warming is expected to pose serious challenges to sustainable development, particularly as most African economies depend on climate-sensitive sectors such as water, agriculture, fisheries, energy and tourism.
“Yet the region lacks the capacity and resources needed to face the challenges of climate change – a problem that could have major economic consequences,” stated UNEP.
The AAKNet aims to support climate change adaptation in Africa by providing services such as aggregating knowledge in addressing pertinent climatic risks and sharing information across regions and countries, and providing tailored support to countries in developing strategic planning processes for climate change adaptation.
It also seeks to build partnerships with governments, research bodies, non-governmental organizations and others, with the aim of supporting climate change response. To reach those directly affected by climate change, the AAKNet initiative will also conduct workshops with community organizations, farmers, and other groups, to share knowledge and practical advice.
The initiative comes as countries continue their negotiations at the UN Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar, hoping to reach agreements on issues such as the way forward on climate finance, a response to the widening emissions gap, and an extension of the Kyoto Protocol.
Under the 1997 Protocol, whose first commitment period expires at the end of 2012, 37 States – consisting of highly industrialized countries and countries undergoing the process of transition to a market economy – have legally binding emission limitation and reduction commitments. Today at the conference, which brings together the 195 Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the parent treaty of the Kyoto Protocol, participants underlined their commitment to a range of priority actions, reviewed progress and pledged to re-double efforts to reduce short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs).
Six new countries – Chile, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Maldives, the Netherlands and the Republic of Korea – today joined an international effort aimed at fast action on reducing black carbon, methane, some hydrofluorocarbons and other SLCPs.
This brings to almost 50 the number of partners in the Climate and Clean Air Coalition – a voluntary initiative aimed at maximizing the health, agricultural and climate benefits of swift action on SLCPs.
Fast action on black carbon and methane have the potential to slow a global temperature rise by up to 0.5 degrees Celsius by 2050, reduce air pollution-related deaths by as much as 2.4 million and crop losses by around 30 million tonnes annually, UNEP said in a news release.
Scientific assessments indicate that the near-term benefits in places like the Arctic and on glaciers in mountain regions could be even higher, it added. The Coalition, which was launched initially by six founding countries and UNEP in February this year, is already acting on several fronts. Among other actions, it is supporting an initial group of 10 major cities, including Rio de Janeiro, Lagos, Stockholm, Accra and New York, to accelerate methane reductions from landfills and black carbon or ‘soot’ from burning wastes.

Susan Sacirbey

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PHOTO: Courtesy of UNEP

“One in 8 people around the world are still hungry. In a world of plenty, that already has enough food to feed all. This is unacceptable. For us FAO the only acceptable number for hunger is zero,” asserts Carlos Sere, Chief Development Strategist, IFAD.  Almost one billion persons 870 million – are still chronically undernourished according to new Report just issued (October 9, 2012).

After a year of relative stability, global food prices soared by 10% in July from a month ago, with maize & soybean reaching all-time peaks due to unprecedented summer of droughts & high temperatures in US & Eastern Europe, according to World Bank Group’s latest Food Price Watch report. Droughts in developing countries may have very serious effects on economy, poverty, nutrition.

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim for questions, comments & views on the best ways to eradicate poverty. He received over 1,000 posts from 62 countries via Facebook, Twitter, & World Bank Live. Watch Dr. Kim answering some of your questions – on impact of the global financial crisis on developing countries, jobs & unemployment, gender equality & child malnutrition.