While the world’s attention is focused on controlling COVID-19, evidence points at the biodiversity crisis as a leading factor in its emergence. At first glance, the two issues might seem unrelated, but disease outbreaks and degraded ecosystems are deeply connected.
On a recent World Bank ‘Voices’ blog, German agricultural economist Juergen Voegele, World Bank vice president for sustainable development, said that with the emptying of supermarket shelves and the sweeping travel bans being put in place to try to stem the spread of COVID-19, one might deduce that global food supplies were low. That’s not the case, he says.
World Bank/Brookings report: ‘A key priority for Africa over the next decade should be to address a deteriorating food security situation that is compounded by the effects of climate change, declining agricultural productivity, and rapid population and urbanization growth.’
A new scientific article from the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems has four big messages: (1) Meat, offal, milk, eggs and fish are vital to—and missing from—the diets of nearly 800 million people. (2) ‘Animal-sourced foods’ are the best sources of high-quality nutrient-rich food for toddlers 6–23-months old. (3) The harms caused by livestock and animal-sourced foods to human and planetary health are overstated. (4) Sustainable development must address the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world.
Andrew Bisson, livestock specialist for the Bureau for Food Security at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), introduces ‘Livestock Month’ by Agrilinks, USAID’s knowledge platform.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, ILRI, and the Ministry of Agriculture celebrated the World Food Day on 16 October 2019 at the ILRI campus in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Mario Herrero, a scientist formerly with ILRI and now serving as chief research scientist of agriculture and food at Australia’s CSIRO, recently gave a seminar at the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. The title of Herrero’s 19 Sep 2019 seminar was ‘Can we feed the planet and stay within planetary boundaries’. He focused on the EAT-Lancet Report on healthy diets (Commission Food in The Anthropocene: The EAT-Lancet Commission on Healthy Diets From Sustainable Food Systems, 16 Jan 2019), to which he contributed, along with 36 other experts.