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The Environmental Food Crisis


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Press release

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The Environment's Role in Averting Future Food Crises

A new rapid response assessment report released by UNEP warns that up to 25% of the world’s food production may become lost due to environmental breakdown by 2050 unless action is taken. Prepared by the Rapid Response Assessment Team at GRID-Arendal and UNEP-WCMC, the report provides the first summary by the UN of how climate change, water stress, invasive pests and land degradation may impact world food security, food prices and life on the planet and how we may be able to feed the world in a more sustainable manner. The report concludes that we need to get smart and more creative about recycling food wastes and fish discards into animal feed. While major efforts have gone into increasing efficiency in the traditional energy sector, food energy efficiency has received too little attention.

The Preface and Summary are available in html format:

PDF format PDF  Download   Download the full report. (15 mb)

Maps and graphics featured in this report are available in the Maps & Graphics Library


The report offers seven major recommendations, including, short, medium and long-term
1) Regulate food prices and provide safety nets for the impoverished;
2) Promote environmentally sustainable higher-generation biofuels that does not compete for cropland and water resources;
3) Reallocate cereals used in animal feed to human consumption by developing alternative feeds based on new technology, waste and discards;
4) Support small-scale farmers by a global fund for micro-finance in developing diversified and resilient ecoagriculture and intercropping systems;
5) Increase trade and market access by improving infrastructure, reducing trade barriers, enhancing government subsidies and safety nets, as well as reducing armed conflict and corruption;
6) Limit global warming; and,
7) Raise awareness of the pressures of increasing population growth and consumption patterns on ecosystems.

Photo from the launch of the Environmental Food Crisis report in Nairobi
Photo taken by Peter Prokosch



Stacia Nordin, RD - 20 Sep 2010
Thank goodness this is finally receiving attention! Everyone eats, but no one seems to want to get into the nitty gritties of how food is grown and how it gets to their plate. We all need to take part in improving our food systems.
Esteban Bruna - 03 Feb 2011
Is there a version of this document in Spanish?
Analdo Bermúdez Herretes - 19 Aug 2011
Good Artocle....but it is unfortunate that our planet is in crisis because of the quity man hand, many wars and little investment in the salution to word poverty.
The emergence in sight, we must now do something about that tomorro woul be late.
From Venezuela: Analdo Bermúdez Herretes.
Arne Eide - 09 Feb 2012
I am more than surprised to see the poor and misleading information given about the worlds fisheries and aquaculture production. To state that "The world's fisheries have steadily declined since the 1980s..." is simply incorrect, the total quantity marine catches have been fairly stable since the 1980s after a tremendous increase during the thirty previous years (about 4 times larger in 1980 than in 1950). Equally important: Today fish is the main source of protein for 20% of the world's population. The per capita consumption of fish has increased from 10 to about 17 kg in 2005. Furthermore is an increasing share of the world fish production used for direct fish consumption (77% in 2006).

Where did you obtain your information? All the above is information easily available from FAO as well in a number of other written sources.
Arne Eide - 10 Feb 2012
"The per capita consumption of fish has increased from 10 to about 17 kg in 2005" (above) should be "The annual per capita consumption of fish has increased from 10 in 1960 to about 17 kg in 2005." I'm sorry for the not providing sufficient information in the first place.

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