Goal 12: Sustainable consumption and production – UN calling and our answer

Goal-12By Rima-Maria Rahal

Statements which describe the importance of achieving sustainable consumption and production begin by highlighting that there is a necessity backed by hard facts to embrace this goal: the human population is growing rapidly, being projected to reach 9.5 billion by 2050 – and it needs to be fed. This goal of eradicating hunger has not been achieved even with the comparatively few 7 billion heads we number currently. At the same time we are overexploiting and destroying the majority of ecosystems that we rely today already, painting an even dimmer picture of our prospects of feeding the planet’s growing number of inhabitants. Usually, this is where the executive summaries, issues briefs and extended abstracts stop illuminating the relevance of coming up with sustainable consumption and production patterns. Continue reading

#2 How are we going to feed the future?


Today, 805 million (1 in every 9) people today are undernourished, and approximately 2 billion suffer from micronutrient de

ficiencies (vitamin and mineral deficiencies). By 2050, the world population is expected to reach 9.6 billion, and food being a vital resource, will have to be provided safely, sufficiently, with adequate nutritional value. How do we plan on feeding the future?

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The Eradication of Extreme Poverty and Hunger

Source: UN.org

Source: UN.org

Extreme poverty was originally defined by the United Nations in 1995 as “a condition characterized by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation, health, shelter, education and information. It depends not only on income but also on access to services.” Currently, extreme poverty widely refers to earning below the international poverty line of a $ 1.25/day in 2005 prices), set by the World Bank. This measure is the equivalent of earning a $1.00 a day in 1996 US prices, hence the widely used expression, living on “less than a dollar a day”. The vast majority of these in extreme poverty-96%- reside in South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and the Pacific; nearly half live in India and China alone.

The reduction of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger was the first Millennium Development Goals (MDGs 1), as set by 189 United Nations member state in 2000. Specifically, MDG1 set a target of reducing the extreme poverty rate in half by 2015, a goal that was met 5 years ahead of schedule with the expiration of the MDGs fast approaching, the international community, including the UN, the World Bank and the US, has set a target of ending extreme poverty by 2030.

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The Role of Renewable Energies in Achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Ghana. (Solar Energy)

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight goals with measurable targets and clear deadlines for improving the lives of the world’s deprived people. To meet these goals and eradicate poverty, leaders of 189 countries signed the historic millennium declaration at the United Nations Millennium Summit in the year 2000. However, renewable energy is reliable, abundant and will potentially be very cheap once technology and infrastructure are improved. It includes solar, wind, geothermal, hydropower and tidal energy, plus biofuels that are grown and harvested without fossil fuels. Non-renewable energy, such as coal and petroleum, require costly explorations and potentially dangerous mining and drilling, and they will become more expensive as supplies decrease and demand increases.

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