Food Security: Key measures to achieve responsible production, consumption

*1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted every year, while almost two billion people go hungry or undernourished, says UNDP

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Countries’ effort at achieving economic growth and sustainable development requires that we urgently reduce our ecological footprint by changing the way we produce and consume goods and resources.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in a piece on the attainment of

Goal 12 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) via its Web site, stated that agriculture is the biggest user of water worldwide, and irrigation now claims close to 70 percent of all freshwater for human use.

The global organisation stressed the importance of efficient management of our shared natural resources, and the way we dispose of toxic waste and pollutants, are important targets to achieve this goal.

According to UNDP, “encouraging industries, businesses and consumers to recycle and reduce waste is equally important, as is supporting developing countries to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption by 2030.”

A large share of the world population is still consuming far too little to meet even their basic needs, it said.

The body further stressed that “halving the per capita of global food waste at the retailer and consumer levels is also important for creating more efficient production and supply chains.”

This can help with food security, and shift us towards a more resource efficient economy.

Reeling off the facts and figures in this regard, it noted that 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted every year, while almost two billion people go hungry or undernourished.

The food sector accounts for around 22 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions, largely from the conversion of forests into farmland, whereas globally, two billion people are overweight or obese.

The organisation said only 3 percent of the world’s water is fresh (drinkable), and humans are using it faster than nature can replenish it.

“If people everywhere switched to energy efficient lightbulbs, the world would save US$120 billion annually.

“One-fifth (20 percent) of the world’s final energy consumption in 2013 was from renewable sources,” the UNDP added.

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