The global food system is responsible for up to one-third of all human-related greenhouse-gas emissions, nearly 90% of which is due to agricultural production. Food waste alone generates 3.3 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions each year. If food waste were a nation, it would be the world’s largest single emitter after the US and China.
At the same time, while increases in agriculture productivity can be achieved through intensification, the sustainability of agriculture must also be insured for the long term. Intensification can only be sustainable if appropriate actions are taken to preserve water resources and soil health, and to maintain the rich diversity of adaptive crop varieties and stock breeds on which millions of smallholder farmers depend for their survival in a changing climate.
Food security = environmental resilience. Sustainable forms of agricultural intensification and food waste reduction are are essential strategies for controlling and adapting to climate change, safeguarding water, and establishing lasting food security.