WWF shines a spotlight on the link between nature and food production on International Day for Biological Diversity

Posted on May, 22 2019

Our food system is the single biggest threat to nature today, leading to 70% of biodiversity loss and 93% of all our fish stocks being fished to their limits or beyond. As per the landmark Global Assessment Report on the state of nature by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), growing and producing food to respond to the expanding global demand has made agriculture and food consumption one of the key drivers of environmental degradation. And yet, we don't even eat all the food we produce - around one-third of it is lost in the supply chain or thrown away. The problems are clear. We all need to eat, but the way we produce and consume food is putting an impossible strain on the planet.


Today, 22 May, is the International Day for Biological Diversity. This year’s theme ‘Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health’ shines a spotlight on the interconnectedness of nature and its ecosystems, and our food production. Take a look at initiatives from around the world highlighting the threats to food systems while emphasising on the urgent need for transforming the way we produce and consume.


Indonesia- Wise Foodways for Nature and People

Maintaining and strengthening the conservation practices of traditional food systems could be the key to reduce the pressures of food production and consumption on the environment, and mitigate water, soil and air pollution.


To promote local food systems and educate consumers of the impact of food production on nature, WWF Indonesia launched “Pangan Bijak Nusantara (or Wise Foodways) on International Day of Biological Diversity. This is part of the Switch Asia EU supported project, "Local Harvest: Promoting sustainable and equitable consumption and local food systems in Indonesia" and implemented by Hivos, WWF-Indonesia, NTFP-EP, ASPPUK and AMAN. The consortium aims to encourage a significant shift in food consumption and production towards more ethical, healthy and sustainable food through increasing consumers’ and producers’ knowledge and awareness about the environmental and social impact of their practices and food choices. To read more about traditional sustainable agricultural methods practiced by Indonesian farmers, click here.


South Africa- Our food system requires a radical overhaul, Says WWF South Africa report


We need a fundamental overhaul of our food system which, in its current form, is a threat to the environment and human health.  This is the key message of a recent WWF South Africa report titled “Agri-Food Systems: Facts and Futures”. The visible manifestations of the current system failure are food poverty, hunger and malnutrition, a lack of dietary diversity and, increased vulnerability to disease and obesity. The report notes that the way in which we put food on our tables has done more damage to our natural environment than any other human enterprise. Yet, to meet the growing demand, we will need to double food production by 2050. How will we meet this? We need to transform our food systems so that it nurtures human health and the environment focussing on those most affected by the nutritional deficit, namely women and children in low-income communities. You can read the complete report here.


International Biodiversity Day  ‘Design to win’ Contest


This #BiodiversityDay WWF is asking people to draw or illustrate how you #Connect2Earth. Show us how diverse the natural world around you is what you love about nature or your favourite species and habitats To participate in the contest please visit https://www.bankofcreativity.co.uk/blog/wwf-omb


For further information, please contact:

Kanika Kohli | WWF International I kkohli@wwfint.org


Harvest season in the Krayan highlands
© Copyright by Edwin Meru