CPS: World Food Day to be observed on October 16

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GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – World Food Day is a day of action against hunger.  On October 16, people around the world came together to declare their commitment to eradicate hunger in our lifetime.  Because when it comes to hunger, the only acceptable number in the world is zero.

The theme for World Food Day is “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too.”

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department from the Sint Maarten Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, says that everyone has a role to play in mitigating the effects of climate change.

Countries need to invest in smallholder farmers and sustainably increase food production, but there are also a number of actions that you can take to help.

By being conscientious or ethical consumers and changing simple day-to-day decisions, for example, by wasting less food, or eating less meat and more nutritious pulses, we can reduce our environmental footprint and make a difference.

The observations and creating awareness of the annual theme is part of CPSs annual calendar of health observances.

One of the biggest issues related to climate change is food security. The world’s poorest – many of whom are farmers, fishers and pastoralists – are being hit hardest by higher temperatures and an increasing frequency in weather-related disasters.

At the same time, the global population is growing steadily and is expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050. To meet such a heavy demand, agriculture and food systems will need to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change and become more resilient, productive and sustainable. This is the only way that we can ensure the wellbeing of ecosystems and rural populations and reduce emissions, according to the Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Growing food in a sustainable way means adopting practices that produce more with less in the same area of land and use natural resources wisely. It also means reducing food losses before the final product or retail stage through a number of initiatives including better harvesting, storage, packing, transport, infrastructure, market mechanisms, as well as institutional and legal frameworks.

FAO is calling on countries to address food and agriculture in their climate action plans and invest more in rural development.

By strengthening the resilience of smallholder farmers, we can guarantee food security for the planet’s increasingly hungry global population and also reduce emissions.

At the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015, 193 countries pledged to end hunger in the next 15 years. With unprecedented speed, the historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change is set to enter into force, just in time for the next climate change conference, COP22, from 7-18 November 2016 in Marrakech, Morocco.

The global goal for achieving Zero Hunger is 2030 – an ambitious goal and one that cannot be reached without addressing climate change.

Our collective task is now to turn commitments into action on the ground.

For more information, you can call CPS 542-2078 or 542-3003.