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State of the World: Ten reports you need in your library

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01 Feb 2017

Every year, FAO publishes a number of major ‘State of the World’ reports containing balanced, science-based reviews of issues related to food, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and natural resources. The reports also cover vital areas such as food production and hunger alleviation, which are at the heart of FAO’s work.

With close to 800 million people currently chronically undernourished and an extra two billion mouths to feed by 2050, food production will have to increase by 60 percent globally in the coming decades. The ‘State of the World’ publications provide a vital overview of the situation and offer potential solutions going forward.

With that in mind, here are ten of the most important reports from recent years:

1. State of Agricultural Commodity Markets (SOCO 2015 - 2016)
This SOCO edition aims to contribute to a more informed debate on the impacts of agricultural trade on food security, hunger, and malnutrition. In particular, the report focuses on the policy choices available and on improvements to the processes within which choices are made.

2. State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA 2016)
The SOFA 2016 report presents evidence of the impact of climate change on agriculture and food systems. Focusing on both the present and future, the report assesses the options for increasing resilience, minimizing environmental impacts, and overcoming the main barriers to the adoption of appropriate technologies and management practices.

3. State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI 2015)
The latest SOFI report analyses progress made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals and World Food Summit hunger targets, as well as reflecting on what needs to be done as we transition into the new post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda. The report identifies key factors that have so far proved successful in moving us towards food security and nutrition goals, including economic and agricultural productivity growth.

4. State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (SoW-AnGR 2015)
This report analyses the state of livestock diversity, the influence of livestock-sector trends on the management of animal genetic resources, and the state of capacity to manage animal genetic resources.

5. State of the World’s Forest Genetic Resources (SOW-FGR 2014)
The SOW-FGR 2014 report constitutes a major step in the direction of building the information and knowledge base required for action towards better conservation and sustainable management of forest genetic resources at national, regional and international levels.

6. State of the World’s Forests
The SOFO 2016 report focuses on the land-use challenges and opportunities arising from by the often competing needs of agriculture and forestry. The report shows that while agriculture remains the major driver of deforestation globally, it is also possible to increase agricultural productivity and food security while halting or even reversing deforestation.

7. State of the World’s Land and Water Resources for Food and Agriculture (SOLAW 2011)
The latest edition of the SOLAW report presents objective and comprehensive information and analysis on the current state of land and water resources and the trends and challenges facing them. An increase in productivity and sustainable practices will be essential to ensure that there is enough land and water to provide for a rising global population and meet surging demand for food and diversified diets.

8. State of the World’s Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (SOW-PGRFA 2010)
This report provides a comprehensive picture of the global situation and trends relating to the conservation and use of plant genetic resources, which are playing an ever growing role in food security and economic development.

9. State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA 2016)
This latest issue of the SOFIA report provides a global analysis of trends in fish stocks, production, processing utilization, trade and consumption. The report also looks at the status of the world’s fishing fleets and it analyses human engagement in the sector, highlighting areas including nutrition, aquatic invasive alien species, resilience, and governance of tenure and user rights.

10. Status of the World’s Soil Resources (SWSR 2015)
This important reference document provides regional assessments of soil changes and describes ten major soil threats. Using peer-reviewed scientific literature, expert knowledge and project outputs, SWSR 2015 highlights direct and indirect pressure on soils and suggests ways and means to combat soil degradation.

In addition to the main reports, FAO produces in-brief versions, infographics and multi-media materials that summarize and support the reports. Some of our reports are also available as an eBook. Browse our publications’ catalogue to see which ones you can download on your iPad, Kindle or other devices.

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