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State of the World 2011: Innovations That Nourish the Planet

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2011

    Local Farming Initiatives Seen As Key in Fight Against Global Hunger

    The path toward alleviating worldwide hunger and poverty will more likely be found by focusing on small-scale local initiatives than simply producing more food, a new study says. In its annual State of the World report, the Worldwatch Institute describes successful programs to combat hunger, poverty, and the effects of climate change in sub-Saharan Africa. In Gambia, the government is working with a newly formed women's organization that monitors the local oyster fishery to prevent overharvesting; in Kenya, women cultivate "vertical" gardens in sacks that provide a source of revenue as well as food security for their families; and in Uganda, school children are taught about nutrition, food preparation, and how to grow local crops. Brian Halweil, co-director of the project, said shifting global attention from production to meeting the needs of local populations and cutting waste will provide a greater return on international investment. "Roughly 40 percent of the food currently produced worldwide is wasted before it is consumed, creating large opportunities for farmers and households to save both money and resources by reducing this waste," he said. -Originally published in Yale Environment 360

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2011

    Great Innovations to Nourish the Planet!

    The international community needs to change the way it views reducing hunger and poverty, says a new report by the Worldwatch Institute. In mid-January, Worldwatch released its report State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet, which spotlights successful agricultural innovations and unearths major successes in preventing food waste, building resilience to climate change, and strengthening farming in cities. The report provides a roadmap for increased agricultural investment and more-efficient ways to alleviate global hunger and poverty. Drawing from the world's leading agricultural experts and from hundreds of innovations that are already working on the ground, the report outlines 15 proven, environmentally sustainable prescriptions. State of the World 2011 comes at a time when many global hunger and food security initiatives-such as the Obama administration's Feed the Future program, the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), and the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)-can benefit from new insight into environmentally sustainable projects that are already working to alleviate hunger and poverty. "The international community has been neglecting entire segments of the food system in its efforts to reduce hunger and poverty," said Danielle Nierenberg, co-director of Worldwatch's Nourishing the Planet project. "The solutions won't necessarily come from producing more food, but from changing what children eat in schools, how foods are processed and marketed, and what sorts of food businesses we are investing in." Roughly 40 percent of the food currently produced worldwide is wasted before it is consumed, according to Brian Halweil, Nourishing the Planet co-director. Approximately 925 million people are undernourished. -posted by Mindful

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  • Posted March 11, 2011

    15 Innovations in Sustainable Food

    The Worldwatch Institute, a group that conducts research on climate, energy, food, agriculture, and the green economy, has just released its 2011 State of the World Report, subtitled "Innovations that Nourish the Planet." By "innovations," Worldwatch means agriculture-based methods that have been shown to prevent food waste, help resist climate change, and promote urban farming. The report describes 15 such innovations, all of them environmentally sustainable. As Olivier De Schutter, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, write in the introduction, Increasing the production of food and eradicating hunger and malnutrition are two very different objectives - complementary perhaps, but not necessarily linked...Some clear conclusions are emerging from all this evidence. We need to improve the resilience of countries - particularly poor, net food-importing countries - vis-a-vis increasingly high and volatile prices on the international markets. We need to encourage modes of agricultural production that will be more resistant to climate change, which means that they will have to be more diversified and use more trees...And we need to develop agriculture in ways that contribute to rural development by creating jobs both on farms and off them in the rural areas and by supporting decent revenues for farmers. The report describes programs that do just those things. Examples: breeding rice in Madagascar, trading grain in Zanzibar, using solar cookers in Senegal, and promoting safer wastewater irrigation in West Africa. It's always useful to have Worldwatch reports and this one is especially relevant to food, agriculture, and international development. -by Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, and the author of Food Politics, Safe Food, What to Eat, and Pet Food Politics.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 11, 2011

    Insightful Roadmap for Agricultural Sustainability

    The Worldwatch Institute"s newly published State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet, suggests that low-tech agricultural innovation has a key role to play in reducing poverty and stabilising the world?s climate.

    The report provides a roadmap for increased agricultural investment and more-efficient ways to alleviate global hunger and poverty, identifying successes in preventing food waste, building resilience to climate change, and strengthening farming in cities.

    Worldwatch?s Nourishing the Planet team travelled to 25 sub-Saharan African nations to research the report, interacting with farmers and farmers? unions as well as with the banking and investment communities. The team also benefited from access to the world?s leading agricultural experts, including the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

    Identifying hundreds of innovations that are already working on the ground, the report outlines 15 proven, environmentally sustainable prescriptions.

    Worldwatch Institute President Christopher Flavin described the report?s significance and influence:

    "The progress showcased through this report will inform governments, policymakers, NGOs, and donors that seek to curb hunger and poverty, providing a clear roadmap for expanding or replicating these successes elsewhere. We need the world?s influencers of agricultural development to commit to longstanding support for farmers, who make up 80 percent of the population in Africa."

    The Worldwatch Institute hopes that global hunger and food security initiatives - such as the Obama administration?s Feed the Future program, the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), and the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) - will benefit from new insight into environmentally sustainable projects that are already working to alleviate hunger and poverty.

    The report describes the continuing challenge of global hunger, nearly a half-century after the Green Revolution.

    A large share of the human family is still chronically hungry. While investment in agricultural development by governments, international lenders and foundations has escalated in recent years, it is still nowhere near what?s needed to help the 925 million people who are undernourished. Since the mid 1980s when agricultural funding was at its height, the share of global development aid has fallen from over 16 percent to just 4 percent today.

    In 2008, $1.7 billion dollars in official development assistance was provided to support agricultural projects in Africa, based on statistics from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a miniscule amount given the vital return on investment. Given the current global economic conditions, investments are not likely to increase in the coming year. Much of the more recently pledged funding has yet to be raised, and existing funding is not being targeted efficiently to reach the poor farmers of Africa.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2011

    State of the World 2011 Review in ChinaDialogue

    Twenty-seven years on from its first State of the World report, the Worldwatch Institute is still measuring global progress toward a sustainable society in an annual volume of policy-oriented interdisciplinary research. Appropriately, the 2011 edition focuses on sub-Saharan Africa, where small farmers are drawing on ancient cultural wisdom and new technologies to produce abundant food without devastating local soils or the global ecosystem. Worldwatch's "Nourishing the Planet" team studied - and have spread the word about -- African farmers' successes in areas such as drip irrigation, rooftop gardening, agroforestry and soil protection. Innovation, writes Worldwatch president Christopher Flavin, is taking place in some of the world's poorest communities - and "may have a greater impact on people and the planet than most high-tech innovation does". Rapid and productive change is possible, Flavin argues, by empowering small farmers - particularly women - with simple but transformative innovations. The progress they make can bring the world nearer to the UN millennium development goal of halving world hunger by 2015. Hunger is not the only problem, of course. In many areas, the earth is approaching the limits of arable land and water, so rising agricultural productivity - "more crop per drop" -- is increasingly important. Agriculture today, being heavily dependent on fossil fuels, both contributes to global warming and also is at severe risk from it. Without cheap oil to replace degraded renewable resources, Flavin notes, "innovations such as using green cover crops as natural fertiliser or locally produced biofuels as a substitute for diesel fuel are so exciting". Many of the agricultural innovations explored in State of the World 2011, says Worldwatch, can help reverse damage done to water and soils through food production, as well as to the ecosystem services that everyone depends on. Amid the challenges that lie ahead, wise implementation of appropriate technology, knowledge and skills can produce myriad benefits for Africa. These include protecting freshwater supplies, safeguarding local food biodiversity, restoring fisheries, adapting to climate change and improving human health. "Nourishing people and nourishing the planet are now as inextricably linked as they are essential to our future," Flavin writes. With more systematic and radical thinking about the future of the world's food network, "agriculture may once again become the centre of human innovation - and the goals of ending hunger and creating a sustainable world will be a little closer than they are today." And certainly closer than they were when that first State of the World report was published in 1984. -- By Maryann Bird, associate editor of chinadialogue.

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  • Posted April 15, 2011

    A Positive and Inspiring Revelation from State of the World 2011

    The Worldwatch Institute has taken as its theme for this year's volume the topic of worldwide hunger, with a host of contributors offering simple solutions to the problems of delivery, production, and waste of food. The issue, as is made clear in the foreword by Olivier De Schutter, is not a lack of food, as most of us would have assumed. This opening statement from State of the World 2011 defines the focus of the Worldwatch Institute's latest report. "We live in a world in which we produce more food than ever before and in which the hungry have never been as many." Food is plentiful, yet a child dies of malnutrition every six seconds. It seems that, in our single-minded efforts to increase yield, we've overlooked the more important work of making food accessible. Contributors emphasize the importance of sustainable agriculture and an efficient cooperation from governments and suppliers, as well as encouraging implementation of promising innovations (or retro-vations) in farming. It is their contention that everyone on this planet could eat and eat well with only a few changes to our food distribution system. It isn't large sums of money or improvements in technology that are needed; sustainable, local, place-appropriate agricultural methods could make a forceful and positive change immediately, with greater yields in each successive year. "By empowering small farmers -particularly women. with simple but transformative innovations," writes Worldwatch Institute President Christopher Flavin, "rapid and productive change is possible. Communities invested and involved in the process of food production are the key to a successful transition. "Farmers need to be in the forefront in development identifying their needs, assets . solutions." This sounds so simple, so starry-eyed idealistic, but the authors are not pulling ideas from the clouds. State of the World 2011 provides numerous case studies in which a locally-driven, sustainable approach to food production has been successful.They are hopeful and inspiring stories that highlight the sensible and effective approach advocated by the Worldwatch Institute. Contributors Brian Halweil and Danielle Nierenberg suggest a new way to measure success in the fight against hunger; Serena Milano addresses the need for local biodiversity; and Dianne Forte, Royce Gloria Androa, and Marie-Ange Binagwaho collaborate on a chapter that discusses the importance of drawing on the agricultural wisdom and experience of women. What we need now is a cohesive movement to tackle food production and delivery in a workable manner, rather than operating in a business-as-usual mode that never has and never will address the needs of vast portions of the world's population. State of the World 2011 is a positive and inspiring revelation that gives us a new strategy for strengthening what is arguably the foundation of most of the world's biggest problems. - Originally posted on Curled Up With A Good Book

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  • Posted December 19, 2010

    Highly Recommended - a must read!

    This book is a must read for anyone passionate about sustainable agriculture and the best State of the World yet! You might also want to check out their blog, Nourishing the Planet.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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