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Feeding a changing world with less

Feeding a changing world with less

Cairns conference to discuss sustainable markets

A global sustainable markets conference in Cairns this week will highlight many of the issues raised in the latest IPCC report, including food security and the need to produce more food, fibre and fuel with less resources.

The conference will be hosted by WWF-Australia and will bring together industry leaders and conservation experts from around the world to discuss the sustainable production of major commodities such as sugar, beef, seafood, paper and timber, and palm oil.

It comes as the latest draft IPCC report warns of increasing threats to food security resulting from climate change, with crop yields already being negatively impacted and projected to drop further in many areas.

The IPCC report also says demand for major food commodities is rising which, combined with rising global temperatures, presents the challenge of how to feed, clothe and house an increasing global population with less.

“WWF is partnering with businesses and producers all over the world on strategies that address some of the issues raised in the most recent IPCC report, such as how to produce more with less in a way that doesn’t further degrade critical ecosystems,” said head of WWF-Australia’s Market Transformations Initiative Dr Joshua Bishop.

“While these strategies by themselves are not a solution to the problems presented by climate change, they will help us adapt to a changing world and to meet the rising demand for basic commodities.”

The conference is taking place between April 7 and 11 and will bring together WWF conservation experts from all over the world, including the US, China, Europe and the Asia Pacific, as well as senior executives from leading corporations.

Discussions will focus on how we can produce key commodities more efficiently in ways that reduce the impacts of what we buy and consume each day. The problem of illegal logging and fishing will be explored, as well as the role of credible certification schemes - such as Forest Stewardship Council, Marine Stewardship Council and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil - in creating more sustainable supply chains.

“The global population is growing and we are using the earth’s living resources faster than they can be replenished,” said Dr Joshua Bishop.

“We need to meet growing demand while also preserving the planet. In short, we need to do more with less in a world that is increasingly stressed by climate change.”


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