COP21: A coming of age for the climate-smart agriculture for enhanced nutrition agenda?
Blog originally published on the website of Innovative Methods and Metrics for Agriculture and Nutrition Actions (IMMANA), a new research initiative funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and coordinated by the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health.
If you are hungry and malnourished, it is difficult to be a productive member of society. It is impossible to meet the ambitious targets set out by the Sustainable Development Goals, if we don’t address nutrition, according to Martin Frick, Director of Climate, Energy and Tenure at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), speaking at a side event in Paris at the United Nations Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP21). To emphasize his point, Frick referred to estimates by the FAO that malnutrition may cost as much as 5% of global Gross Domestic Product, or USD 1.4 to 2.1 trillion per year. So, enhancing nutrition is fundamentally about fueling growth and the development of individuals and society.
Improving the nutrition of rural populations will not be simple, however. For years, the development communities have used every tool at their disposal to fight malnutrition, including technology, training, and communications to increase food availability and change consumption patterns. Despite laudable progress, there is still a long way to go. About 159 million children around the world suffer from stunting, or low height for their age caused by malnutrition, and another 50 million from wasting, low weight for height caused by a recent period of starvation or disease.
Read the full blog here.
Dr. Todd S. Rosenstock is an environmental scientist at the World Agroforestry Centre based in Nairobi, Kenya. Todd is the Principal Investigator on an IMMANA-funded project ‘Surveillance of Climate‐Smart Agriculture for Nutrition (SCAN)’.