An unsettling new report from the Foresight project and Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir John Beddington, grapples with how we feed the world as the climate changes, resources dry up yet the number of mouths to feed increase. The report, also supported by DFID and Defra, points to education and awareness of citizens in prosperous countries being a critical feature of achieving sustainability and supporting the world’s poorest through their daily decisions.
In both its high level conclusions and key challenges, the report repeats the need for an educated and engaged public through work in schools, workplaces and media. A few small sections of the 211-page report are below.
“Unless the footprint of the food system on the environment is reduced, the capacity of the earth to produce food for humankind will be compromised with grave implications for future food security. Consideration of sustainability must be introduced to all sectors of the food system, from production to consumption, and in education, governance and research.”
“Governments are likely to need to consider the full range of options to change consumptions patterns including raising citizen awareness, approaches based on behavioural psychology, voluntary agreements with the private sector, and regulatory and fiscal measures. Building a societal consensus for action will be key to modifying demand.”
The Foresight report is available on the BIS website: Global Food and Farming Futures:
Or for those in a hurry an executive summary is here: http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/bispartners/foresight/docs/food-and-farming/11-547-future-of-food-and-farming-summary.pdf