Consumption

Ban Ki-moon: World on course to run out of water

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John Parnell
UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon said business as usual will mean demand for freshwater outstripping supply (Source: UN/Mark Garten)
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Speaking on the UN’s International Day of Biological Diversity, Ban said there was a “mutually reinforcing” relationship between biodiversity and water that should be harnessed.

“We live in an increasingly water insecure world where demand often outstrips supply and where water quality often fails to meet minimum standards. Under current trends, future demands for water will not be met,” Ban said. ... Read more about Ban Ki-moon: World on course to run out of water

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We can end poverty, but the methods might surprise you

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John Podesta, Casey Dunning
South Africa has written food, water and health care protections into its constitution. Photograph: Clive Mason/Getty Images
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"Ending extreme poverty in all its forms" is no longer a platitude or a dream for development experts – it's the guiding vision of the United Nations High Level Panel, as well as an achievement that's closer to being realized than ever before, thanks to the millennium development goals. ... Read more about We can end poverty, but the methods might surprise you

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Chinese fishing fleet in African waters reports 9% of catch to UN

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John Vidal
The alleged gross misrepresentation of the official Chinese catch suggests that many countries are being systematically cheated, leaving them unable to devise effective management plans to conserve stocks. Photograph: Kim Ho-Cheon/AP
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Just 9% of the millions of tonnes of fish caught by China's giant fishing fleet in African and other international waters is officially reported to the UN, say researchers using a new way to estimate the size and value of catches.

Fisheries experts have long considered that the catches reported by China to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (UNFAO) are low but the scale of the possible deception shocked the authors. ... Read more about Chinese fishing fleet in African waters reports 9% of catch to UN

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World seed banks get funds to tackle climate, other threats

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Alister Doyle
Reuters
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OSLO, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Scientists have agreed on a $109 million plan to strengthen the world's biggest seed banks of crops such as rice and wheat to help protect and develop new varieties resistant to climate change and other threats.

The Global Crop Diversity Trust and the CGIAR Consortium of agricultural researchers said on Thursday that a five-year plan would help secure storage of more than 700,000 samples of crops at 11 existing gene banks from the Philippines to Belgium. ... Read more about World seed banks get funds to tackle climate, other threats

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Reduce food waste dramatically with simple acts, says UN

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Requesting smaller portions at restaurants, freezing leftovers and donating to food banks can help make a difference, says the UN-led Think, Eat, Save: Reduce Your Foodprint campaign. Photograph: Nick Ansell/PA
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Small but simple actions by consumers and food retailers could dramatically cut the 1.3bn tonnes of food lost or wasted across the world each year, according to an unprecedented global campaign launched on Tuesday. ... Read more about Reduce food waste dramatically with simple acts, says UN

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Global Food - Waste Not, Want Not

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George Aggidis, Ian Arbon, Colin Brown, Charles Clarke, John Earp, Tim Fox, David Greenway, Alistair Smith, Bob Stannard, David Warriner, Simon Whatley, David Williams
Farmer tending rice paddy.
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Feeding the 9 Billion: The tragedy of waste

By 2075, the United Nations’ mid-range projection for global population growth predicts that human numbers will peak at about 9.5 billion people. This means that there could be an extra three billion mouths to feed by the end of the century, a period in which substantial changes are anticipated in the wealth, calorific intake and dietary preferences of people in developing countries across the world. ... Read more about Global Food - Waste Not, Want Not

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Michael Russell

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Michael Russell

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Karen Melvin

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Karen Melvin

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Expert

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Deputy Agriculture Commissioner/Sealer - County of San Diego - Agriculture, Weights and Measures

Karen Melvin is a Deputy Agricultural Commission/Sealer with the San Diego County Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures.  She has a Bachelor of Science in Plant Science from the University of California, Riverside.  Karen manages the Plant Health and Pest Prevention division which is tasked with protecting and promoting our natural and agricultural resources while bolstering economic growth. ... Read more about Karen Melvin

Food system that fails poor countries needs urgent reform, says UN expert

Author: 

Mark Tran, The Guardian
A soybean farmer in Mato Grosso, Brazil. The country's 'family farmers' are encouraged to feed urban populations. Photograph: Paulo Whitaker/Reuters
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UN special rapporteur on the right to food champions agroecology as sustainable alternative to existing framework

The existing food system has failed and needs urgent reform, according to a UN expert who argues there should be a greater emphasis on local food production and an overhaul of trade policies that have led to overproduction in rich countries while obliging poor countries – which are often dependent on agriculture – to import food. ... Read more about Food system that fails poor countries needs urgent reform, says UN expert

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