LAC achieved the goal of the Millennium Development Goals and the World Food Summit

Photo credit: FAO

Political commitment, economic growth and social safety nets and programs have been key to the region’s success.

Latin America and the Caribbean: World’s first region to reach both international hunger goals

Latin America and the Caribbean has taken a huge step towards the total eradication of hunger by reducing both the percentage and total number of undernourished people to less than half, says FAO’s latest report, the Panorama of Food Insecurity in Latin America and the Caribbean 2015, released today.

According to the report, in 1990-92, Latin America and the Caribbean began the challenge of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with 14.7% of its population affected by hunger: in 2014-16 this prevalence has fallen to 5.5%, so that the region achieved the hunger goal of the MDGs.

The region also met the goal of the World Food Summit (WFS), having reduced the total number of undernourished people to 34.3 million.

“The region’s success story is based on the positive macroeconomic situation during the past two decades and the solid and continued political commitment of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean with the eradication of hunger,” said Raul Benitez, FAO’s Regional Representative.

The FAO report notes that regional progress is mainly due to the success of the Southern Cone countries, but the commitment to hunger can be seen throughout the region: seventeen countries achieved the hunger goal of the MDGs (more than in any other region of the planet) and eleven reached the WFS target.

Benitez said that thanks to economic growth, increased public spending on social matters and public policies focused on the most vulnerable, Latin America and the Caribbean today represents a smaller share of global hunger.

Latin America and the Caribbean ups the ante: not to diminish but fully eradicate hunger

Read the full article: FAO

Hunger should definitely end

Photo credit: FAO

“Hunger’s root cause is not the scarcity of food but poverty, itself linked to a spectrum of inequalities and revolving around questions of access – access to water, land and other productive resources”.

Ending hunger once and for all should become a global movement

Citizens, producers and the private sector all have a role, FAO’s chief tells agriculture ministers meeting in Milan

“The entire world is called to join in a global movement to end hunger and malnutrition once and for all,” FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva said during his opening address today at the International Agricultural Forum at EXPO Milan, attended by more than 50 agriculture ministers and delegates from more than 100 countries and international organizations.

He said the Expo 2015 Universal Exhibition – which is hosting the forum – comes at a crucial moment in history as it coincides with the end of a 15-year global effort to reduce hunger as well as a new one that will promise to eradicate it altogether.

A priority of the Sustainable Development Goals currently being negotiated by the international community is a time-bound framework to “end hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture,” Graziano da Silva said.

Progress achieved through the previous Millennium Development Goals, which targeted the halving of the share of populations suffering hunger, demonstrates that the next and bolder goal is possible.

“I want to renew this pledge to all of you, as representatives of your countries, to embark on this journey,” he added, noting that the United Nations system is offering full support to more than 100 countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia that have already committed to end hunger.

Hunger’s root cause is not the scarcity of food but poverty, itself linked to a spectrum of inequalities and revolving around questions of access – access to water, land and other productive resources, access to resources, income and markets as well as access to adequate social protection, Graziano da Silva said.

Read the full article: FAO

MDG 1 “Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger” and its 3 targets


MDG 1: Uneven progress in reducing extreme poverty, hunger and malnutrition


This is the first in a series of posts on data related the Millennium Development Goals based on the 2015 Edition of World Development Indicators.

Millennium Development Goal 1 is to “Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger” and is assosciated with three targets to: a) Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than one dollar a day; b) Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all; and to c) Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.

The latest estimates show that the proportion of people living on less than $1.25 a day fell from 43.6 percent in 1990 to 17.0 percent in 2011. Forecasts based on country-specific growth rates in the past 10 years indicate that the extreme poverty rate will fall to 13.4 percent by 2015, a drop of more than two-thirds from the 1990 baseline.

The number of people worldwide living on less than $1.25 a day is also forecast to be halved by 2015 from its 1990 level. Between 1990 and 2011 the number of extremely poor people fell from 1.9 billion to 1 billion, and according to forecasts, another 175 million people will be lifted out of extreme poverty by 2015.

This means that based on current trends, nearly half of developing countries have already achieved the Millennium Development Goal 1 (MDG1) target of halving the proportion of the population in extreme poverty five years ahead of the 2015 deadline.

Read the full article: World Bank

Small-scale and family farming are critical drivers

Photo credit: Google

2014 – International Year of Family Farming –

Agriculture, Family Farming Key for Sustainable Development, FAO Director-General Tells CARICOM

Agriculture and small-scale and family farming are critical drivers of inclusive economic growth and sustainable development, and key to addressing food security and coping with climate change, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) Director-General José Graziano da Silva told Heads of Government at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Summit. Da Silva also highlighted progress by CARICOM members in achieving the Millennium Development Goals’ (MDG) hunger target.

Family farmers' role in world hunger -
Family farmers’ role in world hunger –

The 26th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean convened from 26-27 February 2015, in Nassau, the Bahamas. The meeting focused on the topic ‘Leveraging CARICOM’s Human, Cultural and Natural Resources for the Economic Development of the Community,’ and included discussions on youth development and poverty eradication.

Family farming -
Family farming –

The Summit resulted in a Communiqué, which acknowledges the role of the cultural and creative industries in contributing to the region’s development and the pursuit of inclusive, equitable and sustainable growth. The Communiqué also recognizes the central role of youth as “the backbone of the creative industries.”

Read the full article: IISD


It’s all about drinking water

Photo credit: Pixabay

Opinion: Water and the World We Want

By Corinne Schuster-Wallace and Robert Sandford

We have entered a watershed year, a moment critical for humanity.

As we reflect on the successes and failures of the Millennium Development Goals, we look toward the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals to redress imbalances perpetuated through unsustainable economic growth and to help achieve key universally-shared ambitions, including stable political systems, greater wealth and better health for all.

Photo credit: Hélène CLYBOUW - Kid carrying drinbking water in Sambel Kunda (The Gambia 2011-12)
Photo credit: Hélène CLYBOUW – Girl carrying drinking water in Sambel Kunda (The Gambia 2011-12)

More than any other resource, freshwater underpins sustainable development. Not only is it necessary for life and human well-being, it’s a key element of all human industry.

And a U.N. report launched Feb. 24, “Water in the World We Want,” outlines what must be done within the world’s water system.

Effective management and universal provisioning of drinking water and sanitation coupled with good hygiene are the most critical elements of sustainability and development, preventing disease and death and facilitating education and economic productivity.

While 2 billion people have gained access to improved drinking water since 2000, it is estimated that just as many do not have access to potable quality water, let alone 24-7 service in their homes, schools and health facilities. Furthermore, 2.5 billion people without adequate access and 1 billion with no toilet at all.

If we don’t regain momentum in water sector improvements, population growth, economic instability, Earth system impacts and climate disruption may make it impossible to ever achieve a meaningful level of sustainability.

If this occurs we could face stalling or even reversal of development, meaning more people, not fewer, in poverty, and greater sub-national insecurity over water issues with the potential to create tension and conflict and destabilize countries.

Threat of a global water crisis is often mischaracterised as a lack of water to meet humanity’s diverse needs. It is actually a crisis of not enough water where we want it, when we want it, of sufficient quality to meet needs.

Read the full article: IPS News

African Union and the MDGs





• African countries are engaged at the United Nations (UN) to determine the post-2015 framework to succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

• This brief examines suggestions in the Common African Position (CAP) on the post- 2015 development agenda, published by the African Union. It compares them to goals developed by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) with the Korean Development Institute (KDI), and to goals in other UN reports.

• The CAP advocates 29 goals—too many. Some are either already being championed by other organizations, others are not measurable or not universally supported across Africa. Others will never receive global consensus. Using these four criteria, the CAP goals can be streamlined to produce 5 unique and measurable goals that the African Union can effectively champion.

Read the full article: CIGI Online

The post-2015 development agenda and desertification

Photo credit: Huffington Post

Combating Desertification in the Post-2015 Agenda

by Mahmoud Mohieldin


Desertification is one of the concerns in the post-2015 development agenda. The recently released Zero Draft of the UN Open Working Group — proposing goals and targets for the post-2015 development agenda — includes a goal to “Protect and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, halt desertification, land degradation and biodiversity loss.” The goal is accompanied by specific targets which cover issues ranging from desertification and drought to biodiversity and natural resource management.

To address the unique issues faced by the most vulnerable, we must invest in applicable solutions that are transformative, and can be scaled up. For example, as part of the TerrAfrica partnership, we are working in 12 countries to support the Great Green Wall Initiative of African countries to boost resilience. Together with a large number of partners, we are also working on a major study on The Economics of Resilience in the Drylands of Sub-Saharan Africa to determine the interventions needed to reduce the vulnerability and enhance the resilience of people living in drylands.

We must, however, be more ambitious and scale up efforts to support appropriate solutions for better management of land and other natural resources at the farm, community, landscape and national levels. The following are some of the priority areas for action by governments and the international development community, in partnership with the private sector and civil society.

Read the full article: Huffington Post

Sustainable Land Practices, Environmental Sustainability and the Post 2015 Agenda (Land Degradation Announcement List)

With less than 1,000 days left to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets, the process to establish new development goals beyond 2015 is well underway and the United Nations system invites you to be part of this historical process but only a few days remain before the Post 2015 consultation on Environmental Sustainability close on Sunday, May 26 so join now!

Here is an example of what has been said so far on sustainable land practices:
“People have gradually lost access to their lands, cultures and resources, all of those have been degraded and distorted in such speed that older ways of living no longer work. Means of twisting of conditions and resources needed for societies allows for their subjugation, control and exploration, leading directly to inequality.”  – Cristiano Yuji Sasada Sato, Brazil

What are your thoughts on this topic? What does equality have to do with environmental sustainability and sustainable land practices? Will ensuring environmental sustainability ensure human rights, peace and security? Is it a human right to live in a safe, clean, healthy, sustainable environment. Come join ongoing discussions to make your ideas heard while engaging with peers and fellow concerned citizens.

Click here to join:

Add your voice to the following topics:

  • Local Action, Innovation and Empowerment (NEW)
  • Common or Differentiated Responsibilities?  (NEW)
  • Role of Private Sector/ Markets
  • Environmental Sustainability and Equality
  • Environmental Sustainability, Human Rights, Peace and Security

All discussion threads will end on 26 May 2013 and this will be your last opportunity to provide direct input that can shape the Post 2015 Agenda. Seize this opportunity and use this forum to vocalize your ideas and thoughts.  We look forward to hearing from you in the e-discussions.
The Environmental Sustainability Post 2015 team

New Plans Past the MDGs (IPS)

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EU Calls for New Plans Past the MDGs

by Pavol Stracansky

The European Commission has unveiled a blueprint for global development aid and called on world leaders to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with an international aid framework based on sustainable and inclusive development tackling poverty at its roots.

While praising how the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) had “inspired an unprecedented global movement for development,” the European Report on Development 2013 – an independent report commissioned by European states and setting out recommendations for the post-MDG aid agenda – said its replacement would need to go much further to provide help for poor nations.

Speaking at a conference in Brussels as the report was released Tuesday, European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs said: “Efforts to end poverty in the post-2015 world must go hand in hand with sustainable development. It is vital that aid is used in the best way to make effective change.

“Aid alone is not sufficient. We need to look beyond just financing.”

The independent report was prepared by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), German Development Institute/Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) and the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM). The European Commission (EC) stresses that it is not a reflection of any policy it may have on post-2015 aid and is designed to add to current debate on global development aid.

Pedro Martins of ODI told IPS: “What the report is trying to do is to look at some of the things that are not being so widely talked about – sustainability, social inclusion, inequality – in the global development debate and give a voice on those issues. We don’t think it is the final answer, just a contribution to thinking.”

Piebalgs said though that the report “complemented and supported” the EC’s aid work.

The report identified a number of key failings with the MDGs which its authors say must be fixed in any future global aid programme.


Combatting desertification together (China Daily)

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Let’s combat desertification together

Desertification is not only one of the world’s greatest environmental challenges; it is also a major impediment to meeting basic human needs in dryland regions. It puts at risk the health and well-being of 1.2 billion people in more than 100 countries.

Many of the world’s poorest people are also those most directly affected by desertification. Two-thirds of the poor live in drylands, about half in farm households where environmental degradation threatens the agricultural production on which their livelihoods depend.

The causes of desertification are varied and complex. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, adopted 13 years ago today, aims to promote concrete action through innovative local, national, sub-regional and regional programs and supportive international partnerships.

However, degradation of the global environment continues at an alarming pace, with serious social and economic implications. Effective implementation of the Convention, which integrates environmental and developmental concerns, is becoming ever more urgent.

The theme of this year’s World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, “Desertification and Climate Change – One Global Challenge”, reminds us that climate change and desertification interact with each other at a variety of levels. They are two major manifestations of the same problem. And together they seriously threaten our ability to reach the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.


Food Security and Nutrition Cornerstones of Post-2015 Millennium Development (Food tank)

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CFS Recommends That Food Security and Nutrition Form Cornerstone of Post-2015 Millennium Development

As 2015 approaches, the United Nations is formulating its next set of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) hosted a consultation, Hunger, Food Security, and Nutrition in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, with theCommittee on World Food Security (CFS) in Rome this February. The committee is comprised of 180 stakeholders from international organizations, governments, the private sector, and non-government organizations.


Food security and nutrition (UN NEWS CENTRE)

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Food security and nutrition should top development agenda after 2015 – UN officials

Nutrition and food security should be the top development goal as the international community sets its priorities beyond 2015, the target date for a achieving the globally agreed anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), senior United Nations officials have stressed.

“In line with the UN Secretary-General’s Zero Hunger Challenge, and in close collaboration with our development partners, we agree that nothing less than the eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition is what we should be striving for,” said José Graziano da Silva, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Opening the global consultation on hunger, food security and nutrition in the post-2015 development agenda, held in Rome on Monday, Mr. Graziano da Silva urged the international community to commit to the complete eradication of hunger in setting its development priorities beyond 2015.

Halving the proportion of hungry people in the world by 2015 was among the targets within the eight MDGs. Some 50 countries are on track to achieve this target, the Director-General noted.


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