Guide A Sustainability Challenge: Food Security for All: Report of Two Workshops

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Contents:
  1. A planetary health approach to secure, safe, sustainable food systems: workshop report
  2. Malnutrition | HarvestChoice
  3. Looking for other ways to read this?
  4. Key findings

We believe that the provision of food for humanity, while ensuring there is sufficient food to maintain biological diversity and support ecosystems, is among the most important and complex of human responsibilities. Our current food systems have met many of the challenges of previous centuries, but have done so with increasing negative consequences. A disconnect between food systems and human needs has both failed to eliminate undernutrition and resulted in epidemics of overnutrition and related non-communicable diseases.

Locally and globally, food systems lack resilience in the face of environmental change and market fluctuations. They have become vulnerable to the effects of disease and climatic events. Corporate food systems reduce food to a commodity, eroding our social and cultural relationships to the food we eat.

Inappropriate production impacts ecosystems including soil, water, animals and plants and generates excessive waste. Our contemporary food systems have created staggering human, financial and environmental costs, while support for the kind of research and development essential to overcoming the inadequacies of the current systems has declined markedly. This necessitates a realignment of food systems, in order to provide sufficient, safe and sovereign food within planetary boundaries.

A food system that ensures optimal health and wellbeing for our planet is possible. An integrated approach—one that involves the whole of society—can provide effective and equitable solutions to our contemporary challenges.

A planetary health approach to secure, safe, sustainable food systems: workshop report

The dual burden of under- and over-nutrition can be addressed by context-specific nutrition and gender-sensitive approaches to sustainable food systems. Holistic approaches are key to addressing human and environmental risks associated with food supply. Practical interventions must be underpinned by interdisciplinary research and planning around all aspects of food and nutrition security, from soil health, water availability, food production and processing and their externalities, e. That access to diverse nutritious food and potable water is a right for all life;. That agricultural, health, environmental and socioeconomic policies need to be integrated, recognizing that balanced food is essential to good physical, mental and cultural health;.

That food production policies need to account for both quality and quantity - society needs to recognize and value the true cost and benefit of quality food;. That agricultural frameworks, including subsidies and trade agreements, must support the production, distribution and marketing of food that promotes good health, and account for the external costs to communities, public health, the global economy and the planetary ecosystem;. That transparency, accountability, traceability and proportionality are essential to make decisions that support sustainability;.

That recompense for inputs at all stages of the value chain must be adequate;. That regulatory frameworks need to align equity, safety, nutrition and ecology;. That agriculture-related pests, diseases, invasive species and anti-microbial resistance represent key threats to human and animal health that must be urgently addressed;. That financial and social support structures should be reoriented to recognize and support the role of women in ensuring nutritional wellbeing in their communities;.

That people across the life cycle, including pregnant and lactating women, children, adolescents and the elderly, in particular, have specific nutritional needs that must be met;. That all jurisdictions must understand the key importance of water in sustaining life and negotiate fair use for all stakeholders across the full breadth of the waterscape;.

Malnutrition | HarvestChoice

That the specific food systems and dietary preferences of local communities should be protected, while supporting the reality and potential benefit of globalization and global trade; and. That policies recognize and extend the appropriate allocation of land and its tenure to enable sustainable and diverse agricultural production.


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Access to diverse nutritious food and potable water is a right for all life. Our current food systems supporting humans, domestic animals and plants are neither sustainable nor ecologically sound. An integrated and holistic approach involving the whole of society is needed to reverse unsustainable trends within current food systems.

Through linkages established and strengthened during this workshop, we seek to contribute to global discussions, research and outcomes in this area. The Planetary Health community, bringing with it an interdisciplinary and multi-sectoral approach, provides an essential foundation on which strategic pro-nutrition and pro-environmental food systems can be anchored.

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Financial support from the Australia Awards Fellowship Scheme Grant Agreement R to support the participation of 15 of the workshop participants from Africa and Asia is gratefully acknowledged. Logistical and administrative support provided by the Charles Perkins Centre and the Marie Bashir Institute of the University of Sydney was vital to the success of the workshop. Skip to main content Skip to sections. Advertisement Hide. Download PDF. A planetary health approach to secure, safe, sustainable food systems: workshop report. Open Access.

Key findings

First Online: 27 March Table 1 Participants in the secure, safe, sustainable food systems workshop held at the University of Sydney in December On the first day, participants shared their backgrounds and related research activities that spanned much of the globe. We conducted an engaging visioning exercise in groups, sketching food systems in specific locations in low-, middle- and high-income countries in , and that demonstrated how quickly our food systems have changed over time and the potential for significant positive change in the near future.

Current food systems are not sustainable, and fail to provide nutritious and safe food as well as water to support good health for all. We seek consensus on the transformation of food systems to address current challenges, to ensure good health for our planet, animals and humanity. We must work together as a global society to change our food systems to produce ethical, accessible, safe and nutritious food for all.

The responsibility of achieving balanced food systems lies with individuals and representative bodies of our societies. Acknowledgements Financial support from the Australia Awards Fellowship Scheme Grant Agreement R to support the participation of 15 of the workshop participants from Africa and Asia is gratefully acknowledged. Compliance with ethical standards Conflict of interest The authors declared that they have no conflict of interest. Alders, R. Chapter 3. Eggersdorfer, K.

Kraemer, J. Cordaro, J. Fanzo, M. Gibney, E. Kennedy, A. Steffen Eds. Basel: Karger. Google Scholar. Bouis, H. CrossRef Google Scholar. Drewnowski, A. The economics of obesity: dietary energy and energy cost. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 82 Supplement , — Food and agricultural Orginization of the United Nations.

If aggressive investments in ARK are combined with advances in other, complementary sectors, such as access to water and secondary education, then positive impacts could be further strengthened. Current and future crop improvement efforts will focus more on marginal environments, especially those prone to drought.


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The objective of this research is to guide crop improvement efforts by prioritizing areas of high poverty, the key problem of high drought risk and the crops grown and consumed in these areas. This Food Policy Report presents research results that quantify climate-change impacts assess the consequences for food security, and estimate the investments that would offset the negative consequences for human well-being. Nelson, Gerald C. One of the key sets of indicators from nationally representative household surveys is that related to per capita consumption of a wide range of food products.

HarvestChoice generates knowledge products to help guide strategic investments to improve the well-being of poor people in sub-Saharan Africa through more productive and profitable farming. Skip to Main Content Area. About Blog. Publication Type:. Edited by:.

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Sustainable Solutions for Food Security

Page Range:. Publication Place:. Apr 1, Read more Comments. Early Childhood Nutrition and Health. Authored by:. Publication Date:. Abstract High levels of stunting, or lower than average height in children younger than five, are more widespread in Africa south of the Sahara SSA than high levels of wasting lower-than-average weight for. Read more.