Knowledge for better food systems

UN Right to Food Rapporteur Outlines Priorities on Climate Change, Food Waste and SDGs

In her first report to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) the new UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Hilal Elver, said that a human-rights based approach to food security is necessary to provide access to affordable, nutritious food for all and to eliminate hunger.  The report describes renewed political commitment as essential to advance the right to adequate food.

The aim of the report is to identify good practices; address gender gaps on equal assets and productive resources and mainstreaming gender in legislative frameworks and policies related to food security and nutrition; tackle the effects of under-nutrition on the most vulnerable; prioritize the relationship between climate change, the right to food and the post-2015 development agenda; reduce food waste; and consider the impact of conflicts and emergency situations on the right to food. The Special Rapporteur concludes by stating her intent to focus on “the adverse effects of climate change on the effective enjoyment of human rights (and particularly the right to food).”

The Special Rapporteur also supports the development of global protocols to measure food loss and waste to improve data reliability and comparability and calls for innovative ideas for tackling food waste.

The Human Rights Council (HRC) appointed Elver as the Special Rapporteur on the right to food on 8 May 2014. She is expected to present a comprehensive report to the HRC in March 2015.  Find the full report here. Read more commentary on the IISD International Institute for Sustainable Development here. You can find other resources related to the right to food here and food security here.

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While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.

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