7 actions to build a sustainable planet

What comes next? Post-2015 development agenda

01 Apr 2015

As the clock ticks on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the world community is deep in discussion over the successor global framework.

Many current practices are damaging the planet’s ecosystems and the biodiversity essential for healthy food production. By 2050 an estimated additional 2 billion people will be living on Earth.  This means food production must rise by 60%.

From 8 MDGs to 17 SDGs – Sustainable Development Goals - to a new framework, here are 7 of the 14 themes FAO focuses its post-2015 development agenda work on.

Sustainable agriculture

  • FACT: Currently, many agricultural practices are unsustainable. About 1/3 of food produced is lost or wasted. Natural resources are damaged and animal breeds are at risk.
  • ACTION: Sustainable agriculture requires a system of global governance that promotes food security concerns in trade regimes and trade policies, and revisits agricultural policies to promote local and regional agricultural markets.


  • FACT: As it stands, 2+ billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies and over half a billion are obese.
  • ACTION: The Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) from 19-21 November 2014 at FAO kept the spotlight on nutrition, adopting the Rome Declaration on Nutrition and identifying priorities for international cooperation in the coming years.


  • FACT: Modern food systems are heavily dependent on fossil fuels. Roughly 85% of total primary energy is fossil fuel based.
  • ACTION: Achieving the transformation to energy-smart food systems will require a systemic perspective, better policymaking coordination, appropriate legal frameworks and a comprehensive multi-stakeholder dialogue and global partnership to support action.

Forests and mountains

  • FACT: Do you know that forests contain over 80% of land biodiversity and that 70% of freshwater comes from mountains?
  • ACTION: The Sustainable Forest Management concept can be effective in protecting and promoting the value of forests, but requires inclusive governance approaches where all stakeholders participate in decision-making.

Fisheries, aquaculture, oceans and seas

  • FACT: 29% of assessed marine fish stocks are overfished.
  • ACTION: Investing in Blue Growth - the sustainable management and use of aquatic resources and adoption of ecosystem approaches - is one example of how to boost economic growth, increase food security, improve nutrition and reduce poverty.

Land and soils

  • FACT: 25% of the planet’s land is highly degraded.
  • ACTION: Increase the area under sustainable soil management practices, enhance the restoration of degraded soils, and promote sustainable crop production intensification.

Tenure rights

  • FACT: Inadequate and insecure tenure rights to natural resources often result in extreme poverty and hunger.
  • ACTION: Responsible governance of tenure is a fundamental factor in improving tenure conditions. The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security is one of the essential mechanisms in the fight against hunger and malnutrition.

To find out what the other 7 themes are, check out the full infographic and visit our website

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