A healthy and diverse diet is fundamental to achieving healthy and healthy people as possible. If we ever had to do something right, it would surely be providing such regimes. Well, we're not doing it right. More and more unhealthy processed foods are being eaten and their diets are getting poorer. Meanwhile, the way we produce and consume food is at the root of the triple planetary crisis: climate change, loss of nature and biodiversity, pollution and waste.
Humanity has modified 75% of the world's terrestrial habitats and two-thirds of its oceans to provide food, feed and fiber. These changes in the environment are already posing risks for food producers, within the EU and elsewhere. Only a complete transformation of food systems will allow us to provide food in an equitable way that does not compromise life on this planet.
Before we get to how to do it and how the EU's Common Agricultural Policy, or CAP, fits in, let's review some of the ways our food systems are leading to the triple crisis. planetary.
At a time w here we are working to develop a new global framework for biodiversity, agriculture is one of the main drivers of the loss of nature.
Agricultural expansion represents 70% of the expected loss of terrestrial biodiversity. This loss of nature increases the risk of the emergence of zoonotic diseases, such as COVID-19. The loss of biodiversity applies in agriculture. As for fishing, it is also a major problem. Many domesticated plant and animal species are consumed less and less. This loss of biodiversity makes food systems less resistant to threats, such as pests, pathogens and climate change. Which, at the same time, threatens global food security.
In an era ed w here we must redouble our efforts to keep the increase in global temp e rature to 1.5 ° C this century if è, it is clear that our system è my eating are the origin of climate change.
Meat production has increased 260% over the past 50 years. Today, the vegetable stock contributes to 14.5% of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gas. Meanwhile, losses and food waste generates 8% of emissions.
In an era ed w here we try to ge rer sustainable chemicals and waste d e, pollution from fertilizers, chemicals and pesticides increases.
This pollution degrades soils, destroys ecosystems and creates dead zones in seas and oceans. At the same time, antimicrobials in the environment and food value chains are a growing cause of human and animal deaths.
Much work remains to be done. But a transformation of our food systems in accordance with the EU's green deal can tackle the planetary crisis and improve human and environmental health.
We need nature-positive food systems - before and after the farm. Fortunately, the new CAP recognizes this. The program emphasizes climate change, environmental protection and the preservation of landscapes and biodiversity. This, along with the need for fair incomes, vibrant rural areas and better quality food.
So what could be the three effective ways of doing this?
Premi è surely, we are taking steps for your In concrete è é r sustainable food diets and more diversified e d, as well as waste and food loss.
Such action is essential to break down the barriers in the system that lead to the intensification of agriculture and the conversion of natural ecosystems into agricultural production and pasture. Plant-based diets, in particular, improve human health and slow down climate change. National dialogues following the Food System Summit can help drive this process in an inclusive manner, and the United Nations hosted this summit last September to achieve a more sustainable and inclusive food system around the world. Governments, companies, NGOs, environmental organizations, human rights organizations: all unite to tackle the biggest problems of food processing and the impact on climate change. But they're also discussing how everyone could get access to healthy, nutritious food. This year, the summit focused on changing the food system, as it is clear that something needs to change on a large scale. "
Second, we are setting aside, protecting and restoring more land for nature.
The greatest gains for biodiversity will occur when we conserve or restore entire ecosystems. Restoring 15% of converted land in the right places could prevent 60% of predicted species extinctions. Such action is a major priority in the next global biodiversity framework, otherwise known as the United Nations Decade of ecosystem restoration (UN Decade we ecosystem restoration). the United Nations Decade for the restoration of ecosystems from 2021 to 2030 is an initiative of the Organization of the United Nations intended to drastically intensify global restoration of degraded ecosystems or destroyed , in order to fight against climate change, to strengthen biodiversity, food security and access to drinking water. The United Nations Decade for Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030 focuses on balancing ecological, social and development priorities in landscapes where different forms of land use interact, with the aim of fostering long-term resilience. term.
Troisi è ance, we cultivate the lands to respect nature and support biodiversity ed.
This means limiting the use of harmful and polluting inputs. Replace monoculture with polyculture agricultural practices. Support supply chains that are free from deforestation and that are positive for nature. Work together at the national level between ministries.
It is on the Member States to be bold ê to r e Aliser processing and end the triple map é silent crisis.
With CAP 23-27, the EU has the tools to achieve this.
Some 87% of support to agricultural producers, or about $ 540 billion per year, includes ineffective, unfair measures that distort food prices, harm people's health and degrade the environment.
It is possible to define the weight of how you allocate direct support to farmers. About 40% of the CAP budget is allocated to direct payments. A quarter of this share must go to eco-programs.
Subsidies can also be redirected and funding that degrades nature can be redirected to encourage farming practices that use a more nature-friendly approach. Such as no-till farming, more diverse crop rotation and more mixed farming systems.
Data from the Food and Land Use Coalition shows that such practices can deliver 15 times the ROI and unlock new business opportunities worth $ 4.5 trillion globally by 2030.
There are only eight harvests left until 2030. The clock is ticking. But EU member states can become world leaders in sustainable agriculture through their national strategies. They can become world leaders by integrating action on agriculture into every process, from the Paris Agreement to the global biodiversity framework to the United Nations Decade for Ecosystem Restoration.
The aim must be to use the CAP wisely to provide food at fair prices and which contributes to sustainable development. To provide food that is good for the planet, good for consumers and good for farmers. And support thriving rural economies, which are essential for social cohesion and sustainable urban life.
- Inger Andersen at EU Agricultural Outlook Conference