How can we strike a balance in achieving food security and nutrition for the poor (who are often rural farmers in developing countries), while supporting innovation for alternative fuels?
The world seems to have become a more fearsome place than ever. There's no escaping the haunting horrors from Syria and Iraq, the crushing poverty of many nations, and the desperate plight of refugees in many corner of the globe. How are the Sustainable Development Goals relevant to all that?
Guaranteeing access to food and water as a universal right means guaranteeing a balanced development of the land in which agricultural and environmental resources are developed, preventing them from being taken away from the population and, as a consequence, impoverishing local economies and/or irreversibly altering local ecosystems.
The economic value of ecosystem services -- specifically nitrogen mineralization and biological control of pests -- could exceed the input costs of pesticides and fertilizers on the global scale, even if adopted on only 10 percent of farmland worldwide.
Women comprise the majority of food producers, particularly in low-income countries where families rely on smallholder farms for food and income. The sheer amount of human labor involved in this kind of farming is daunting. And as women do much of this work, in addition to their household and care work, their workdays are typically up to 50 percent longer than men's. And yet women and girls tend to receive a smaller portion of the food produced.
The second Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) calls for ending hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture. This goal -- or rather, goals -- are lofty, especially when taken under the relatively short deadline of 2030. So what does it take to end hunger in 15 years and, can we do it?
Particularly crucial to meeting the goals or SDG 2 is the involvement of civil society in policy processes. Indigenous civil society groups are in-tune to needs of the most vulnerable. Women specifically need more seats at the development table, as they prove to be more disadvantaged than men, but also provide a tremendous opportunity to reach a marginalized population and improve nations' food security situations.
Energy sources must be closely examined and their impacts on both the environment and communities accurately assessed. The world, and its most vulnerable people, cannot afford anything less.
The children of the South Bronx today are likely the unhealthy and vulnerable adults of tomorrow -- unless our leaders actively intervene to create enhanced health opportunities for Bronxites.
Dirty Heads and Slighty Stoopid might be touring together for the first time this summer, but they have more than music on their minds during the Everything is Awesome Tour
Where are the neighbors? Where are the schools and community organizations? Who reaches out to see what the problem is? Does anyone see this child/youth desperately in need of help and hope? Who listens or offers a helping hand amidst the violence and despair they face daily?
While fertilizers are a vitally important way to maintain healthy soils, the topic has remained a polemical issue. Are mineral or organic fertilizers better for the environment? What is even the difference between the two?
What if your favorite fruit and nut bar was not just a midday snack, but was also a meal for a hungry child across the globe?
Most importantly, let's remember that someone, somewhere, is praying to live the miserable and stressful lives we think we are leading.
On July 8th I had the unique opportunity and pleasure to speak with Ms. Mohammed about the post-2015 development process and agenda.
Part 2 of 2: A Conversation with Ms. Amina Mohammed, UN Special Advisor of the Secretary-General on Post-2015 Development Planning The fate of humani...