UNEA Meeting Advocates for Sustainable Agriculture
The inaugural United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) got underway in Nairobi, Kenya, with delegates calling for sustainable consumption and production as the best way to achieve food security.
Stakeholders called for increased agricultural productivity, close yield gaps, achievement of maximum sustainable yield in farms and fisheries, and improved resource efficiency. Agricultural households need decent rural employment opportunities.
The event also called for increased supply, nutritional value and safety, availability and distribution of food through support to diversified, gender and nutrition‐sensitive sustainable food systems. Meeting attendees heard that agricultural sustainability is intimately linked to water and energy security and an integrated approach to these issues is essential. UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner says that while significant progress has been made toward achieving the MDGs, critical environmental, social, economic, and institutional challenges are still to be overcome. According to Mr. Steiner, many people still face persistently high levels of hunger and malnutrition, more so in rural areas of many developing countries.
These challenges are worsened by decreasing availability of fresh water and increased land degradation and deforestation. Inadequate policies to respond to these issues are also undermining livelihoods of ever growing numbers of people, especially those in extreme poverty.