Several trade-offs impede Zero Hunger goal. A UN report explains why, and how

SourceThe Hindu

Relevance: This article explains the recent report of the United Nations on achieving Zero Hunger

Synopsis

According to UN,  Achieving SDG2 of achieving ‘Zero Hunger’ will require new investments, smoothly functioning trade, and changes in consumption patterns.

Introduction:

The United Nations recently released a report ahead of the Food Systems Summit in September 2021.

In this, it mentioned that Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2 of achieving ‘Zero Hunger’ has been negatively affected, in the wake of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Read more: UN warns hunger is expected to rise in 23 global hotspots
Relation of SDG 2 (Zero-Hunger) with other SDGs:

The report mentions that zero hunger goal works in tandem with many others: Poverty elimination (SDG1); good health and well-being (SDG3); and the need for clean drinking water (SDG6).

  • The relation between SDG 2 and SDG 1 (poverty elimination) is highly synergetic. Food security does not only rely on food availability, but also on food access, the report said.
  • Nutrition is key to good health, so the relation between SDG 2 and SDG 3 (good health and well-being) is also synergetic.

Similarly, education (SDG4), gender equality (SDG5), decent work and economic growth (SDG8), reduction of inequality (SDG10), sustainable cities and communities (SDG11), peace, justice, and strong institutions (SDG16), and partnership for the goals (SDG17) also influence consumption patterns and healthy diet choice.

Challenges in achieving zero hunger
  • The UN report said that one of the most widely studied adverse environmental impacts of the food system is, its contribution to climate change. The food system contributes 34 percent of the anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Overconsumption of water resources is another critical challenge faced by agriculture. Irrigation represents about 70 percent of global water withdrawals, and this demand is expected to continue to increase in the coming decades. This also impacts the global food system and access to water.
Read more: Oxfam: 11 people die of hunger each minute around the globe

Suggestions:

The report mentions that the success of achieving SDG2 will require new investments, smoothly functioning trade, and effective markets.

  • Investment, research, and innovation for sustainable agriculture
  • Reducing food waste and losses
  • Changing our consumption patterns to leverage considerable benefits on SDG outcomes by relieving pressure on natural resources and fostering the health benefits
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