/SDG 2: Zero Hunger

End hunger, achieve food security and better nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

Icon SDG2

Lead:

Andreas Melcher
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
Tel: +43 1 47654 16901
andreas.melcher@boku.ac.at

Contact:

Laura Hundscheid
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
Tel: +43 1 47654 93413
laura.hundscheid@boku.ac.at

The Agenda 2030

SDG 2 – No Hunger – includes the fight against hunger and malnutrition in all its forms (including Hidden Hunger, under- and overnutrition). Worldwide around 800 Million people still suffer from hunger. Many people (also in the lower-income countries) are reliant on foods of poor quality or consume too much unhealthy food. An adequate and sustainable diet for all people is one of the greatest challenges of our time as our diet not only influences our individual wellbeing and health; our current food system (production, processing, transport, and consumption) is exceeding the planetary boundaries.

Along with the fight against hunger, SDG 2 includes the realization of sustainable and resilient food production. Furthermore, following the guiding principle to leave no one behind, the advancement of compatible agricultural production in lower-income countries and their equal opportunities on the global markets are emphasized. SDG 2 combines social, economic and ecological aspects of responsible consumption with resilient production on a national and global level. Without a Great Food Transformation, we will not achieve SDG 2 along with a series of other SDGs.

Within the UniNetz SDG 2 Team, options for such a transformation of our food system are developed from the Austrian perspective.

SDG 2 Targets:*

2.1 By 2030, end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round.

2.2 By 2030, end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving, by 2025, the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons.

2.3 By 2030, double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers, including through secure and equal access to land, other productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets and opportunities for value addition and non-farm employment.

2.4 By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality.

2.5 By 2020, maintain the genetic diversity of seeds, cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and their related wild species, including through soundly managed and diversified seed and plant banks at the national, regional and international levels, and promote access to and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, as internationally agreed.

2.a Increase investment, including through enhanced international cooperation, in rural infrastructure, agricultural research and extension services, technology development and plant and livestock gene banks in order to enhance agricultural productive capacity in developing countries, in particular least developed countries.

2.b Correct and prevent trade restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets, including through the parallel elimination of all forms of agricultural export subsidies and all export measures with equivalent effect, in accordance with the mandate of the Doha Development Round.

2.c Adopt measures to ensure the proper functioning of food commodity markets and their derivatives and facilitate timely access to market information, including on food reserves, in order to help limit extreme food price volatility.

*These targets are processed by the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna.

Situation in Austria

In the year 2050, we will need to feed 10 billion people with sustainable agriculture. Although food security in many countries has improved in the last decade and production has managed to keep pace with the growing population, the number of people going hungry has increased again within the past 3 years. While in Austria and other European countries only a small proportion of the population is affected by hunger and undernutrition, the western diet, prevalent in industrialized countries, must be seen as problematic and not sustainable. Malnutrition – excessive fat consumption and resulting cardiovascular diseases and overweight due to high meat consumption are just some causes. Officially, there is no hunger in Austria, yet the consequences of poor and malnutrition, often disease- or age-related, in poverty prone social classes need to be observed more closely as poor and malnutrition often correlated with lower income.

While agricultural production in Austria is consistently portrayed in a positive image, there are a few vulnerabilities in the face of global challenges. These include the reduction of soil fertility, ground sealing, the loss of biodiversity, the dependence on fossil energy, high greenhouse gas emissions from production as well as the impacts through a changing climate.

The human diet, human health and ecological sustainability are inseparably linked. Therefore, without a Great Food Transformation, the world risks a failure to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement.

Option list

(based on the options report to be published)

The options elaborated by the SDG groups are to serve as a means of communicating to the federal government which concrete options can be set by Austria in order to implement the 2030 Agenda with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The options report will be published on 02.12.2021.

  • Option 2.1: "Protein Transition": Significant reduction of meat consumption, simultaneous increased consumption of plant proteins
  • Option 2.2: Reduction of malnutrition (undernourishment, overnourishment) and undernourishment, also in a global context.
  • Option 2.3: Significant reduction of avoidable food waste
  • Option 2.4: Increased promotion of organic farming (according to EU Regulation 834/2007 and 889/2008)
  • Option 2.6: Greening of grassland
  • Option 2.7: Sustainable regional development – sustainability perspectives for rural areas
  • Option 2.8: Crisis-proofing food and agriculture – securing a balanced, long-term self-sufficiency in food through a sustainable food value chain
  • Option 2.9: Austria's contribution to global food security and resilient agriculture
  • Option 2.10: Maintain, exchange and further develop local knowledge in the field of regional/site-adapted agriculture

UniNEtZ Network

Lead

  • University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Institute for Development Research (BOKU): Andreas Melcher

Associates

  • University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Institute for Development Research (BOKU): Laura Hundscheid, Margit Schnerb, Charlotte Voigt (student)
  • University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Institute for Development Research (BOKU), and University of Vienna: Daniela Bergthaler (student)
  • University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Centre for Global Change and Sustainability (BOKU): Thomas Lindenthal

Participants

  • University of Salzburg, Research Group Social Geography (PLUS): Andreas Koch, Meike Bukowski
  • University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Institute of Food Safety, Food Technology and Veterinary Public Health: Hermann Schobesberger

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