Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Globally, one in nine people in the world today (815 million people) are undernourished. And poor nutrition causes 3.1 million deaths of children under five years old each year.
Experts estimate that by 2050, the world’s population will increase by 2 billion people. We need to make a profound change in the global food and agriculture system in order to feed everyone adequately. Ending hunger through sustainable agriculture will improve the lives of many individuals and communities throughout the world.
But today’s agricultural system is putting severe pressure on the resources we depend on for food and nutrition. Along with increased disasters such as droughts and floods, agriculture is degrading our soils, oceans, and forests. Furthermore, millions of men and women who depend on agriculture to make a living are migrating to cities in search of more advantageous economic opportunities.
Agriculture, forestry and fisheries have the potential to provide nutritious food for all, generate decent incomes, and protect the environment. Planting trees offers key solutions for development, and is valuable for hunger and poverty eradication.
How Trees Can Help
So much of our daily food intake comes from trees. Trees provide healthy, nutrient-dense foods such as fruits and nuts. People can eat these products fresh, or preserve them by drying. Thus, planting trees can offer communities a steady supply of nutrition throughout the year.
Researchers have found that certain fruits, such as breadfruit, could play an important role in eradicating world hunger. This prickly football-shaped fruit grows in hot, humid climates. And since 80% of the world’s hungry live in tropical or subtropical regions, breadfruit could pose a promising solution. They’re rich in carbohydrates for energy, low in fats, and each fruit has about 10 bananas’ worth of potassium. Plus, these nutritious fruits can be cooked virtually any way and are incredibly easy to grow.
Trees play an important role not only in rural communities, but also in urban areas. As the world’s population continues to urbanize, more and more people have access to processed foods. And city-dwellers become more and more disconnected from fresh foods, like fruits and vegetables. Organizations like Green Urban Lunch Box are addressing this issue with creative solutions. They partner with fruit tree owners and community volunteers to harvest and distribute fruit that would otherwise go to waste. Planting more trees in urban agriculture systems can help provide fresh, nutritious foods to communities around the world.
To read more about the Sustainable Development Goals, visit the United Nations website.