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FAO in the 21st century - Executive Summary

Ensuring food security in a changing world








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    Book (stand-alone)
    FAO in the 21st century
    Ensuring food security in a changing world
    2011
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    FAO's mandate is to assist its member countries and the international community in ensuring that all people have access to sufficient and safe and food. On a world scale, food production capacity is sufficient to satisfy this basic human right. Despite relentless efforts and comprehensive initiatives, the number of undernourished in the world has increased in the last half decade, peaking in 2009 to more than 1 billion - one in seven - people. A decade into the 21st century, the world is facing a number of complex challenges, with serious implications for the state of global food security. The world's population is projected to reach 9 billion by 2050 and rural-urban migration is increasing considerably, with growth concentrated in today's developing countries. Globalization is affecting the agriculture sector and, together with economic expansion and urbanization, this is contributing to changing patterns in food consumption. Natural resources are being subject to unprecedented pressure from human activities, and marked climate and environmental changes are occurring, resulting in more frequent disasters and emergencies. This book details current knowledge of these complex challenges and discusses likely implications for the food and agriculture sector and for hunger and poverty reduction efforts, including FAO's role in assisting its member countries in the coming years. Development practitioners, planners, decision-makers and all members of th e international community with a genuine interest in hunger and poverty reduction will appreciate the book's broad and up-to-date coverage of global food security issues.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Building a common vision for sustainable food and agriculture
    Principles and approaches
    2014
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    Over the coming 35 years, agriculture will face an unprecedented confluence of pressures, including a 30 percent increase in the global population, intensifying competition for increasingly scarce land, water and energy resources, and the existential threat of climate change. To provide for a population projected to reach 9.3 billion in 2050 and support changing dietary patterns, estimates are that food production will need to increase from the current 8.4 billion tonnes to almost 13.5 billion tonnes a year. Achieving that level of production from an already seriously depleted natural resource base will be impossible without profound changes in our food and agriculture systems. We need to expand and accelerate the transition to sustainable food and agriculture which ensures world food security, provides economic and social opportunities, and protects the ecosystem services on which agriculture depends. This report is aimed primarily at policy makers and others who make or influence national and institutional decisions and actions. It is the outcome of intensive consultations and discussions aimed at developing a common approach to FAO’s work on sustainability. That process was conducted in a climate of cross-sectoral collaboration that drew on the contributions of leading specialists in crops, livestock, forestry, fisheries, aquaculture, and natural resources. It builds on the Organization’s long experience in developing sustainability concepts, approaches and tools, and offers a common vision of the agriculture sector and of the inter-sectoral synergies aiming at making agriculture more productive and sustainable.
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    Document
    Food, Agriculture and Cities. Challenges of Food and Nutrition Security, Agriculture and Ecosystem Management in an Urbanizing World 2011
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    Urbanization is one of the key drivers of change in the world today. The world‟s urban population currently stands at around 3.5 billion. It will almost double to more than 6 billion by 2050. This is a challenge not only for urban areas but also for rural areas, because many people, especially the young, will migrate from rural areas to urban areas over this period. When addressing urbanization challenges, we are also addressing, directly or indirectly, rural and territorial development. What do we have to do to ensure people‟s access to good nutrition in cities? What do we have to do to produce enough food for urban dwellers? What infrastructures are needed and what kind of food production is possible in cities? How can cities preserve the services of the surrounding ecosystems? A very wide range of important issues links urbanization and food security. The “Food for the Cities” multidisciplinary initiative started in FAO in the year 2000. It has covered a great variety of areas such as food supply, nutrition education, school gardens, urban and peri-urban agriculture and forestry; how to support small producers in urban and peri-urban areas, waste management and re-use of wastewater. The experience shows conclusively that we all need to work in partnership when addressing issues of urbanization and food security, from the public sector, the private sector and civil society. Local authorities are key players in this context, however, urban actors have often not considered th e food system an important issue when designing, planning and managing cities. The perception has been because food is there and one can easily buy it in the supermarkets or along the streets, that food will always be there. This perception was altered for many in 2008, when the food prices peaked. More than 20 countries around the world experienced food riots in urban areas. Hunger, now in both rural and urban areas, has now become vocal, and this is changing the political scene. All stakeholde rs need to work together at global and local levels, for advocacy, for project implementation, but also for raising awareness on urbanization and food security as one of the key issues of our times. This position paper addresses a wide audience, from field workers to decision makers, to help understand the challenges that continuing urbanization brings to food, agriculture, and the management of natural resources. The approach proposed here is based on four dimensions that characterize, design a nd implement food systems for cities. The paper has been prepared as a support for all actors to help advocate for political support and to assist in developing operational strategies adapted to local realities. Food and nutrition security in cities can not be taken for granted. It is part of a complex system. Supporting the most vulnerable groups in an urbanizing world demands discussions on food, agriculture and cities in the context of rural-urban linkages.

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