GLOBAL - Investing in and achieving sustainable agriculture, alongside food security and nutrition, will be key to accomplishing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
The SDGs were adopted by the UN last week (25 September) as part of the Transforming our World: 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development when world leaders met at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit. The Agenda is the first ever global agreement setting a universal, comprehensive agenda for action.
The 17 SDGs expand on the 2001 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which come to an end this year. Although huge progress was made on the MDGs, the SDGs will continue their work whilst also addressing the root causes of poverty.
Of the 17 SDGs, the second goal which is to 'end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture' is of the greatest importance as the progress of this goal is crucial to the progress of the other goals.
Nearly 800 million people around the world still suffer from chronic undernourishment. "We can only rest when we achieve zero hunger," said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit.
With the majority of the world's poor and hungry living in rural areas, improving their livelihoods will require the promotion of inclusive growth and making responsible investments that address their needs.
"We need to build more sustainable agriculture and food systems, that are resilient to stresses and better able to cope with - and respond to - climate change impact," Mr Graziano da Silva explained.
Mr Graziano da Silva also reminded world leaders that in the next 15 years an additional investment of $160 per year per person living in extreme poverty is needed to end hunger.
"This represents less than half percent of global income in 2014. And it is only a small fraction of the cost that hunger and malnutrition impose on economies, societies and people," he concluded.
Commenting on the adoption of the 2030 Adgenda, Yolanda Kakabadse, President, WWF International, said: “Game-changing government decisions that benefit both people and the environment come along very rarely and never before at this scale and level of ambition. Today’s decision is about survival. It’s a history-making moment that could fundamentally change how we treat our planet and all of its people."
“Now world leaders must sustain this political courage at home and make the right choices, committing to a total economic, social and environmental overhaul. Today’s celebration must translate into delivery and quickly. For these goals to become a reality, decision-makers must demonstrate their intention to implement the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals is real and make their efforts transparent through careful follow-up and review,” he said.