WFP-FAO co-led Post 2015 Global Thematic Consultation on Hunger, Food Security and Nutrition

19-11-2012 - 10-01-2013

The discussion is now closed.

See below the contributions received or download the proceedings.
Summary of key themes emerged from the discussion is available here

This is YOUR OPPORTUNITY to contribute to this global debate.

As the target date for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approaches, a number of processes have been put in place to seek inputs from country, regional and global levels, into the “Post-2015 Development Agenda and Framework”.  For more background information click here.

This is your opportunity to help identify the actions, goals, targets and indicators needed to achieve food and nutrition security, and the eradication of hunger, in a post-2015 world.  Many food security and nutrition policies, strategies and action plans have been written over the past number of  years.  Challenges and opportunities towards achieving food and nutrition security in a sustainable way have been identified, and many countries are making good progress.  Nevertheless, close to 870 million people around the world remain undernourished and do not have access to a healthy diet.  It is time for everyone to take urgent action – in a concerted manner – and to elaborate a new development agenda around lasting concerns of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.

The outcome of this e-consultation, together with the proposed CFS consultation, will feed into the high level experts consultation to be hosted by the Government of Spain in March 2013.

Ultimately, your contributions will feed into the UN General Assembly discussions beginning September 2013 for the elaboration of an agreed post 2015 global development agenda.

E-Consultation: next four weeks

Over the next four weeks, FAO and WFP will facilitate this e-consultation in drawing on the widest possible group of stakeholders and interested parties on how best to address hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition at all levels, and to seek your inputs on the elaboration of a new agenda for action beyond the current MDG framework.

We also invite you to submit papers, findings, or on-going work on the topic of hunger, food and nutrition security.

We seek your inputs on the following three themes:

Theme 1

(i) What do you see as the key lessons learned during the current Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Framework (1990-2015), in particular in relation to the MDGs of relevance to hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition? 

(ii) What do you consider the main challenges and opportunities towards achieving food and nutrition security in the coming years?

Theme 2

What works best?  Drawing on existing knowledge, please tell us how we should go about addressing the hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition challenges head on.  Provide us with your own experiences and insights.  For example, how important are questions of improved governance, rights-based approaches, accountability and political commitment in achieving food and nutrition security? 

Furthermore, how could we best draw upon current initiatives, including the Zero Hunger Challenge, launched by the UN Secretary General at the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (www.zerohungerchallenge.org), and the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition elaborated by the CFS?

Theme 3

For the Post-2015 Global Development Framework to be complete, global (and regional or national) objectives, targets and indicators will be identified towards tackling hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.  A set of objectives has been put forward by the UN Secretary-General under Zero Hunger Challenge (ZHC):

  1. 100% access to adequate food all year round
  2. Zero stunted children less than 2 years old
  3. All food systems are sustainable
  4. 100% increase in smallholder productivity and income
  5. Zero loss or waste of food.

Please provide us with your feedback on the above list of objectives – or provide your own proposals.  Should some objectives be country-specific, or regional, rather than global? Should the objectives be time-bound?

 

Contribution received:

Sahib Haq WFP, Pakistan
6-12-2012

The respective governments have no commitment to meet the MDG targets. This led to the current situation instead of improvment, going to more worst condition in terms of poverty, hunger, food insecurity and over all vulnerability to shocks. 

Nothing went well in the past decade because of low  priority, despite struggle and support by donors and UN agencies. The low level of commitment spoiled the initiatives. In many countries including Pakistan, there is no policy to take care of the population but even did not try to balance the terms of trade between various livelihoods, geo-locations and types of population groups. 

The best strategy could be to put more pressure on the government and even make a condition for donation/aid/loan to adop/implement certain  measures leading to improve food security.

The goals for 2015 are very optimistic and they don't seem to be met in many developing countries.

We should go step wise, otherwise, the whole concept of MDG, especially of food security will lose its importance.

Johanne Lewis Bexbase Media Technology, United Kingdom
6-12-2012

Research shows there exists rural communities with a surplus of agricultural produce which goes to waste.  It would be great if some of these agricultural produce could be relocated to areas where there is less food. 

The Agricultural Network Project (http://agnetpro.wordpress.com) is a working prototype of how this could be achieved technologically.

 

Emily Levitt Ruppert FAO/WFP Facilitation Team, United States of America
6-12-2012

Dear all,

My name is Emily Levitt Ruppert and I am contributing to the discussion as a member of the FAO/WFP Facilitation Team with a specific interest in nutrition. In reviewing the submissions so far, and with specific reference to Theme 1 (Opportunities and Challenges) and Theme 2 (“How” should malnutrition challenges be addressed?), I've picked out a few lines I think deserve further discussion.  One quote I find particularly thought provoking is:

"...there has been knowledge that the war against malnutrition can only be fought at the community level, but the community-based and decentralization approaches are  seriously missing in all actions."

How might we as a development community with 'high level' goals such as the MDGs/SPGs address this global call for greater local-level planning (e.g. decentralized approach) to improve hunger, food and nutrition security? 
 
Are there country models that any one of you could highlight as good practice?

Looking forward to your feedback on the above.

Emily Levitt Ruppert, M.S., Ph.D.

Coordinator, Agriculture-Nutrition Community of Practice

FAO/WFP Facilitation Team

Post 2015 FSN Forum discussion

6-12-2012

Greetings from Guyana!

 

On Theme 3

 

Most countries have varying economic, social and political climate which pose severe challenges towards achieving  the MDG’s within the bounded time frame.In addition, one of the main problems with the initiative was that it failed to address the unique individuality of each country as such, while some countries were on the fast track of achieving the goals, others were stagnated.

 

Given this problem, it would be essential that policies be designed in a specific framework taking into account each country’s economic, social and political climate. In addition, time-bounds should be greater for developing countries who lack sufficient capital needed to undertake investment in the necessary areas so as to achieve the goals.

Juan Pablo Ojeda Argentina
5-12-2012

Hola queria compartirles una experiencia que vivi en Misiones en la Localidad del Dorado. Alli vivian campesinos que eran asalaridos de la empresa forestal Arauco ( o Alto Parana) en donde trabajaban muchos y cobraban bajos sueldos. Ellos solo utilisaban su terreno para plantar una que otra verdura ( lo hacian la mujeres y los chicos). Fue a partir de que se genero un grupo de prohuerta del INTA en donde de empesaron a generar proyectos comunitarios con relacion a la agricultura en pequeña escala y produccion de dulces. A partir de ese pequeño inicio se termina generando una cooperativa de productores que se asocian para tener mas representatividad frente al gobierno. Los avances son muchos, cada uno de los productores vive de su trabajo de forma autonoma e independiente, tienen muchos agua corriente, electricidad y mandan a sus hijos a la escuela. Un joven de ahi me decia que antes no habia futuro ahi mientras que ahora se puede pensar en ir para adelante y quedarse en campo en vez de ir  a buscar una mejor vida en la cuidad. Muchos proyectos son financiados por la Subsecretaria de Agricultura Familiar. Me parece que el cooperativismo y el Estado dando el apoyo necesario para despegar son fundamentales. Un Abrazo

Simon Ross Population Matters, United Kingdom
5-12-2012

Please find attached to the three themes, which is also set out below.

Food and Nutrition Security in the Post-2015 Development Agenda - Submission by Population Matters

This submission is in response to the call for papers

 

Theme 1:

What do you see as the key lessons learned during the current Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Framework (1990-2015), in particular in relation to the MDGs of relevance to hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition?

The world population increased during that period by over one third i.e. two billion people.  Until we stabilize population numbers, we are always trying to hit a moving target which is moving away from us.  We are also putting ever more pressure on limited resources, particularly land, water, energy and fisheries.  The key lesson is that we should seek to limit demand for food as well as increase supply of it.

 

What do you consider the main challenges and opportunities towards achieving food and nutrition security in the coming years?

One of the main demand side challenges continues to be population growth. During the period 2015-2030, the UNDESA Population Division medium projection is that the population will grow by 14% or over one billion people.  This assumes a continued reduction in the global birth rate; the actual growth in population could well be more than that. 

Another demand side challenge is dietary change with a move in some strata of developing countries to a more meat based, input intensive diet.

On the supply side, one of the principal groups of challenges is to key agricultural inputs.  These include:

  • Loss of productive land through urban development, desertification and overuse.
  • Loss of productive land to biomass production
  • Loss of aquifers and river water through overuse due to increased demand, pollution and saltwater infiltration
  • Increased energy costs, particularly of fuel oil, whose portable nature makes it particularly suitable for agricultural machinery and distribution, due to increased demand and limited supply
  • Increased fertilizer costs due to higher energy and mineral costs.

Depletion of marine and freshwater fish stocks by pollution and modern fishing methods is a challenge which should be considered and addressed.

Increased impact of plant pests and disease due to monocultural farming practices and growing resistance to pesticides.

Climate change has the potential to affect food productivity in major, though uncertain, ways:

  • Sea warming, leading to reduction or migration of edible species
  • Increased scale and quantity of natural disasters
  • Increased severity and quantity of extreme weather events
  • Greater uncertainty of rainfall and other weather patterns
  • Reduction in glacial supplies of water for irrigation.

 

These are opportunities in the greater use of appropriate technologies.  Another opportunity is to accelerate the declining birth rate by promoting rights based family planning, women’s empowerment and the benefits of smaller families.

 

Theme 2: 

What works best? Drawing on existing knowledge, please tell us how we should go about addressing the hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition challenges head on. 
Provide us with your own experiences and insights.  For example, how important are questions of improved governance, rights-based approaches, accountability and political commitment in achieving food and nutrition security? 

Furthermore, how could we best draw upon current initiatives, including the Zero Hunger Challenge, launched by the UN Secretary General at the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (www.zerohungerchallenge.org), and the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition elaborated by the CFS?

One important strategy to addressing these challenges should be to reduce and ultimately halt the growth in demand for food.

This should be done in two ways:

  • Encourage the adoption of healthy diets which have limited calorie intake and are balanced between different food groups
  • Seek to limit and then stabilize human population growth.

The latter can be achieved through rights based family planning, women’s empowerment and through promoting the personal and social benefits of smaller families.

 

Theme 3:

For the Post-2015 Global Development Framework to be complete, global (and regional or national) objectives, targets and indicators will be identified towards tackling hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.  A set of objectives has been put forward by the UN Secretary-General under Zero Hunger Challenge (ZHC):

a.    100% access to adequate food all year round
b.    Zero stunted children less than 2 years old
c.    All food systems are sustainable
d.    100% increase in smallholder productivity and income
e.    Zero loss or waste of food.

Please provide us with your feedback on the above list of objectives – or provide your own proposals.  Should some objectives be country-specific, or regional, rather than global? Should the objectives be time-bound?

These seem to be valid objectives and all of them would be easier to achieve with slower or no population growth.  The following additional objectives address this point:

  1. It seems important to have maximum population size as a goal.

The UN DESA Population Division medium (most likely variant) projection for 2030 is 8.3 billion.  Limiting numbers to 8 billion is a modest difference, but would establish the principle of the world population limitation goal.  Moreover, it will still require a marked fall in the birth rate (see below).

SDG: Limit the world population to 8 billion by 2030.

  1. The birth rate.  The UN DESA Population Division projects (medium projection) the Net Reproduction Rate (daughters per women) to fall from 1.08 in 2005-10 to 1.02 in 2025-30. 

SDG: Limit average total fertility rate to 2 children per woman.

  1. Access to family planning is critical in empowering people to manage their fertility.

SDG: Universal access to a full range of affordable family planning commodities and services.

  1. Employment of women motivates couples to limit their family size.

SDG: Ensure gender parity in employment rates.

  1. We support contraction and convergence between the rich and poor, as this would tend to reduce the birth rate.  Under the MDGs, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty i.e. under $1.25 per day fell by half from 1990 to 2010.  However, a smaller proportion of a larger number can still be a larger number, as has happened in Africa; and it is numbers of people, not rates or proportions, that need ever-increasing food, water, soil, energy etc.

SDG: Reduce the number of people in extreme poverty by half.

  1. Increasing workforce participation would serve to reduce the demand for additional births and is inherently more sustainable.  Currently, 200 million people are unemployed (ITUC). 

SDG: Reduce the number of unemployed and under-employed by half.

  1. Secondary education for women increases female workforce participation.  Gender parity of participation in primary education was achieved by the MDGs. 

SDG: Achieve gender parity in secondary education.

  1. Child marriage undermines women’s employment options, and increases birth rates.

SDG: End marriage under the age of eighteen.

  1. We should not subsidize larger families in general in order to lower the birth rate.

SDG: End payments or other benefits related to the number of children except for reasons of health, education and targeted poverty alleviation.

  1. A reduction in the desired family size is essential to reduce the birth rate.  Social marketing should be used to encourage smaller families.

SDG: Achieve a majority preference for a family size of two or fewer.

  1. Sex education is important in birth rate reduction, though hard to measure.

SDG: Provide universal sex and relationships education, including family planning.

  1. Safe abortion is an essential contingency preventing unwanted pregnancy where contraception fails. With good family planning services and education, abortion should be legal, safe, and increasingly rare.

SDG: Provide access to legal and safe abortion on demand.

 

 

 

Simon Ross

Population Matters

135-137 Station Road

London E4 6AG

United Kingdom

www.populationmatters.org

Scott Bleggi Bread for the World, United States of America
5-12-2012

The Lancet series on Maternal and Child Nutrition laid out and defined "nutrition-specific" interventions, and got the whole world to start thinking about nutrition.  You could say that everything else in development assistance that affects nutrition is "nutrition-sensitive".

 

But there is no general agreement on how to define nutrition-sensitive actions.  What are they in agriculture?  What are they in food security? 

 

Clearly defined nutrition-sensitive programs are critical to aligning and coordinating efforts to scale up nutrition, building the evidence base, and maintaining momentum that has been reached. Especially in the context of the development of the post2015 agenda on hunger food security and nutrition it is vital that we keep pushing for the inclusion of this aspect.

 

Key policy decisions on how much, when, where, and how to invest in nutrition-sensitive development will be facilitated by reaching a consensus on definitions.

 

As food for thought I would like to share with you Bread for the World Institute's effort to build some consensus and get policy makers and program implementers "on the same page", Implementing Nutrition-Sensitive Development: Reaching Consensus

Summary of the second week

 

Key lessons learned during the current MDGs

 

Participants shared several lessons on the current MDG agenda, which both enrich and also echo those already included in the Report to the Secretary General entitled: Realizing the Future We Want for All. These include:

  • MDGs are flawed by their top-down nature; there is need for a much more participatory approach for targets to be successful – and this is precisely what this e-consultation is for;
  • The “one size fits all” approach that, while good for advocacy, does not consider the diversity of countries and regions;
  • Focus of the MDGs is limited to the ends with no mention of the means;
  • Over-reliance on objectives that require extensive quantitative information has proven to be very difficult, with data lacking altogether in some countries;
  • The segmented nature of the MDGs risks perpetuating the tendency of ministries and development organizations to handle some underlying issues separately from others, while in practice, there are strong linkages (such as between, food security, health and nutrition).
  • Complexity of the fight against hunger requires a concerted effort by all actors and stakeholders.

Challenges and opportunities for achieving food and nutrition security in the coming years

 

Participants shared a wide array of challenges that future development objectives need to take into consideration in order to be successful.

The demographics of the world population are a big challenge, as a growing (and less poor) global population will increasingly put stress on the current food systems.

Furthermore, changes in demand and in food consumption habits, often in already food secure populations, overconsumption might lead to a double burden of both over- and under-nutrition.

Food losses put further strain on food availability. To counter this trend, safe storage and further study of the impact of micro-organisms on the food chain need to be part of future development agendas.

Participants also mentioned that the pressure on resources such as water and land will be increasing, and their protection and availability needs to feature prominently and across sectors in a future development agenda. Building on outcomes of the RIO+20 conference, the statement: "We recognize the key role that ecosystems play in maintaining water quantity and quality and support actions within the respective national boundaries to protect and sustainably manage these ecosystems." (UNCSD Rio+20 2012 ‘The Future We Want’ Paragraph 122) was mentioned as a way forward.

Degradation of land, due to soil erosion, the growing of inappropriate crops and climate change was also identified as a major challenge that needs to be faced head-on.

Rights-based aspects such as landlessness, gender inequality and unequal access to education were also identified as future challenges; participants argued that is not possible to tackle food and nutrition insecurity without also tackling poverty. Policies and good governance are key for making progress in these fields and this aspect needs to be explicitly included in the development agenda.

Participants also argued that the integrated and global nature of the food systems means that food security in both developed and developing countries is interdependent. Risk management mechanisms are needed everywhere as some important challenges, such as climate change, are not yet fully understood.

What works best and how to go about addressing the hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition challenges head on?

 

For the post-2015 Development agenda, to make progress, participants suggested that eliminating hunger involves investments in agriculture, rural development, decent work, social protection and equality of opportunities. Current public expenditure should be revised and governments should increase the portion of their budgets devoted to agriculture to over 10%, as agreed upon in the Maputo Declaration of 2003. In particular, it was suggested to increase support for small-scale farmers through education and extension programmes.

Emphasis on people

Local culture, customs, production techniques and eating habits need to be considered in future development activities. Awareness raising should take place at all levels but well-functioning local systems should be maintained and strengthened, as they are mostly highly specialized and widely accepted by the population.

Realizing gender equality and protecting the farmers through granting land rights is also felt as being of paramount importance.

The Post 2015 Development agenda should support participatory and planning-by-people processes to ensure participation of those living in poverty in decisions that affect their lives.

Livestock and fisheries sectors need to be better recognized in achieving food and nutrition security

Livestock needs to be protected as the livelihoods of many poor people depend on them. Intervention to secure “fodder security” of the animals might in some cases be more sensible and less disruptive then focussing only on the food security of their owners.

Fisheries. The pivotal role which fish can play in direct and indirect food security is not adequately recognised. Little is said about fish, even in countries where fish is central to people’s diets, irrespective of their income levels and social status and where the potential for increasing fishery related activities is still high.

Jan Willem Eggink Agri-ProFocus, Netherlands
5-12-2012

Our network organisation focuses on promoting farmer entrepreneurship in developing countries, but the point I want to make here is that for a worldwide sustainable food system and to prevent food prices to skyrocket in the coming decades, a massive longlasting campaign to change feeding habits in the richer parts of the world towards less meat and more vegetables is vital. Make it sexy to eat (almost as a) vegetarian.  Create a global coalition of chefs for a sustainable food system, invest in a global campaign with all kind of national/regional sub-campaigns and events adapted to the situation and food-culture.  Low costs, high impact if taken as a well directed campaign on a global scale.

John Teton Int'l Food Security Treaty Association, United States of America
3-12-2012

International Food Security Treaty Gaining Traction

The International Food Security Treaty (IFST) initative continues to gain traction in the global communities of experts in international law, human rights, the United Nations, and religious and political leaders. The IFST aims to place the human right of freedom from hunger under the protection of enforceable international law.

The draft treaty and endorsements of the IFST from Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, former UN Under-Secretary General Maurice Strong, former US Asst. Secretary of State for Human Rights John Shattuck, Physicians for Human Rights Executive Director Leonard Rubenstein, US Senator Dianne Feinstein, and many others may be found at www.treaty.org.

The capacity of a fully adopted and implmented IFST to aid the work of existing anti-hunger organizations has been sharply underappreciated, in part because too few of those active in the food security arena are aware of the proposal. The case for the IFST is spelled out in the current edition of the Yale Journal of International Affairs, which has published such experts as Tony Blair, Joseph Stiglitz, Samantha Power, David Brooks, Gen. Stanley McChrystal and two US Secretaries of Homeland Security. All those interested in food security and hunger eradication in particular would be well advised to read the article titled The Armless Hand: The Call for Anti-Hunger Law and the International Food Security Treaty at  http://yalejournal.org/category/journal/articles/.