Report Outlines Sustainable Food Future

WRI3 December 2013: The World Resources Institute (WRI), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Bank have issued a report on achieving a sustainable food future. ‘Creating a Sustainable Food Future: Interim Findings' recommends reducing waste and demand for animal products, as well as following other "climate-smart” guidelines. The publication is the 2013-2014 issue of WRI's World Resources Report.

According to WRI, the world must meet food demands "in a way that creates opportunities for the rural poor, limits clearing of forests, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture."

The report finds that the world is unlikely to close the food gap through yield increases alone. Instead, it recommends: cutting the rate of food loss and waste by 2050; reducing excessive demand for animal products, thereby sparing hundreds of millions of hectares of forests that otherwise would be cleared for grazing; and achieving replacement level fertility by helping sub-Saharan Africa in its efforts to reduce fertility rates through improvements in healthcare and education.

The report also recommends: improving soil and water management; improving pastureland productivity; using degraded lands; avoiding shifting agricultural land from one place to another; and focusing on bringing the most inefficient farmers up to standard farming efficiency levels.

The report is being released at the Third Global Conference on Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Security and Climate Change, taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 3-5 December 2013.

The final version of the report, expected to be released in mid-2014, will further quantify the contribution of each “menu item” toward closing the food gap. [UN Press Release] [UNEP Press Release] [Publication: World Resources Report 2013-2014: Creating a Sustainable Food Future] [World Resources Report Website] [WRI Press Release] [Website of 3rd Global Conference]