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article imageLooking ahead at food security for 2016

By Tim Sandle     Jan 24, 2016 in Environment
London - 2015 was a perilous year for food security. This period saw droughts, a rise in food prices, a migrant crisis and other issues that affected access to food. 2016 may not be any better, according to a leading expert.
Food security is an internationally recognized condition related to the supply of food, and individuals' access to it. In 1996, the World Health Organization convened its first summit on the subject. The subject matter addresses the complexities of food production and the global supply chain.
What happened in 2015 in relation to food security? According to Tim Benton, who is Professor of Population Ecology and the U.K.’s champion for Global Food Security (as appointed by the government), there were three main issues. These were:
In Europe, there is a refugee crisis, particularly in relation to Syria. In 2007-2010 there was a major drought in the country. This, followed by civil war, has seriously affected livelihoods and triggered mass migration.
The launch of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in September 2015 aimed to concentrate minds on some key global issues. These included seeking to protect the planet from degradation, and the need for the need for sustainability in both production and consumption. It can be debated how successful this has been, although some of these issues have made the main news broadcasts.
Climate change and its impact on the food system. This is leading to fluctuating production and triggering a continuing overall rise in food prices.
In a feature on the Global Food Security website, Professor Benton looks towards 2016. Here he sees a continuation of the 2015 issues. He believes that food security (together with security of natural resources) can only be tackled if the world governments work together to address “sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing (the world’s) natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change.”
In relation to these issues he notes in particularly that a “third of humanity’s greenhouse gases are associated with producing food.” Moreover, the production methods are energy intensive. According to Benton, secure global food, the bigger picture of the environment and resource management needs addressing.
More about Food security, Food, Environment, World hunger, Hunger
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