14 July, 2023 - The United Nations (UN) released their annual State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report (SOFI) report which showed that climate change is pushing more and more people into hunger, with the numbers showing people globally going hungry has risen by 122 million since 2019. This means the UN is not on track to meet its Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2030 of ending hunger.
Staggeringly, more than 9% of the global population (735m) faced chronic undernourishment with close to 3 in every 10 people worldwide facing moderate or severe food insecurity. Those who are smallholders, livestock keepers, fisherfolk and pastoralists are among the most vulnerable to climate change, especially those in the Global South.
Csaba Kőrösi, President of the 78th United Nations General Assembly, said of the report that "We are coming close to sink-or-swim time”.
FOUR PAWS, the global animal welfare organisation, said the report is a “wake-up call” for governments, calling for closer global cooperation that adopts truly sustainable food systems and moves significantly away from factory farming to begin to reverse this deeply concerning trend and move towards meeting the 2030 UN SDG.
Sophie Aylmer, Head of Farm Animals and Nutrition Policy, said, “The SOFI report is a clear warning sign that cannot be ignored. Globally we are facing food shortages due to the climate emergency and geopolitical ramifications across Europe, and the only way to address this is a fundamental system change in our food production cycles and stop our overreliance on animal proteins.
“Industrial agriculture threatens food security and sovereignty, taking away the sustainable livelihoods of communities who depend on nature and are often smallholder subsistence farmers. We must see an application of a joined-up food systems approach to the policy and practical changes needed to address how we farm and what we eat. The Global North is responsible for 92% of global emissions and bears the most responsibility when it comes to tackling the exploitation of resources.
It is crucial to prevent further unsustainable animal agriculture intensification and expansion in the Global South where meat consumption is on the rise. If not addressed, it could increasingly threaten the livelihoods of millions of small-scale farmers who would be outcompeted by large-scale producers."
Sophie Aylmer, FOUR PAWS Head of Farm Animals and Nutrition Policy
Aylmer concluded, “Better farming practices can play a role in adapting to the climate emergency, governments can no longer deny the need for the livestock sector to drastically mitigate its emissions. Factory farming is amongst the key drivers of these problems and needs to be at the heart of the climate action plan. We can no longer tolerate 80bn land animals slaughtered annually in factory farms, which contributes to 14.5% of our total global greenhouse gases emissions. The SOFI report should be a wake-up call for all governments.”
At last year's 2022 United Nations (UN) climate change conference in Egypt, FOUR PAWS hosted the first ever pavilion dedicated to food system change in the conference's history.
The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2023: Urbanization, agrifood systems transformation and healthy diets across the rural–urban continuum: https://www.fao.org/documents/card/en/c/cc3017en
The report was undertaken by five UN agencies: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Food Programme (WFP).
FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them.
Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler and friends, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. The sustainable campaigns and projects of FOUR PAWS focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, animals in fashion, farm animals, and wild animals – such as bears, big cats, and orangutans – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones.
With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA, and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in eleven countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. www.four-paws.org.au