The ‘nexus’ between food, energy and water security

  • Date Added: August 2014

Dr Shenggen Fan gave this public lecture on food, energy and water security at Crawford School of Public Policy.

Global hunger and malnutrition remain persistent with nearly 870 million people on the planet hungry and more than two billion suffering from micronutrient deficiencies. Moreover, over two billion adults are overweight and close to 700 million are obese. Sixty-two per cent of obese people live in developing countries and Asia is home to 40 per cent of the world’s overweight and obese children.

At the same time, water and energy scarcity due to rising demand for food, feed, fiber, and fuel increasingly threaten current and future global food security.

This presentation gives an overview of the increasing challenges related to water and energy use and the implications for food security. Sustainable intensification implemented under a ‘nexus approach’—which helps to minimise the trade-offs between water, energy, and food while promoting synergies—will be discussed. In addition, this presentation highlights specific actions needed to leverage the ‘nexus approach’ for achieving multiple post-2015 sustainable development goals, particularly food security and nutrition and environmental sustainability.

Dr Shenggen Fan has been Director General of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) since 2009. Dr Fan joined IFPRI in 1995 as a research fellow, conducting extensive research on pro-poor development strategies in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. He led IFPRI’s program on public investment before becoming the director of the Institute’s Development Strategy and Governance Division in 2005. He has served as the Chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Food and Nutrition Security since 2012. In 2014, Dr Fan received the Hunger Hero Award from the World Food Programme in recognition of his commitment to and leadership in fighting hunger worldwide.

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