UN supports China on Food Waste Reduction for Achieving SDGs
With the rapid economic development in Asian countries, it is predicted that the largest increase of Food Waste caused in Asia will be from 278 million to 416 million ton/year, contributing to global greenhouse emissions ranging from 8-10%. Food lost throughout the food supply and consumption chain is not only food, but also including water, energy and land resources. This becomes a serious environmental issue, and also aggravated the food/nutrition security problems, especially for those poor and vulnerable communities.
As a part of actions for achieving 2030 Sustainable Development Goal 12 of 鈥�Ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns鈥�, specifically on food waste, which 鈥�by 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses鈥�, as well as 鈥�by 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse, 鈥�Food Waste Forum: Multi-stakeholder Platform on Sustainable Food Supply and Consumption for Food Waste Reduction"was held on 26 November 2016 in Beijing to 聽strengthen the networking in Asia among different stakeholders.
This Forum is organized under EU Programme Horizon 2020 of the project-titled 鈥�Resource Efficient Food and Drink for the Entire Supply Chain鈥� (REFRESH) which converged international and national agencies and experts in this area. The organizers, including United Nations Environment (UNEP), IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL), Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and All-China Environment Federation (ACEF) with the support of the United Nations Theme Group on Climate Change and Environment (UNTGCCE), launched the Initiative to reduce food waste.
James Lomax, Head of UN Environment's Food and Agriculture program, said that "Reducing food waste is just the beginning. Our target is on the agriculture and the food industry. 800 million people in the world are hungry every night, so we have to reduce food waste, and losses. "
Prof. Cheng Shengkui, the leading scientist of the study group in the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Resources of Chinese Academy of Sciences, introduced that China鈥�s food and beverage waste is about 17-18 million tons / year, equivalent to 30-50 million people annual food consumption. Now their research has got the supports from 聽the Swedish government, Stockholm Environment Institute, National Natural Science Foundation of China, EU programme and Ministry of Sciences and Technology.
Xie Yuhong, Deputy Secretary-General of All China Environment Federation, believed that reducing food waste also needed the supports from government policy, and the joint efforts of all sectors of society. At present, All China Environment Federation is exploring the driving forces of family waste to setup a food waste reduction indicator system and pilot project at community-based level.
脜sa Stenmarck, head of the Waste Group at IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, stressed the importance of data analysis in dealing with food waste in Swedish supply chains, which could be helpful for having targeted response measures.
UN is committed to building a multi-stakeholder international platform to promote the international community to conserve food while cooperating with government agencies, domestic and foreign research institutes, affecting food cultivation, food processing and other aspects of the entire supply chain. UN Environment advocates the reduction of food waste and improvement of resource utilization. In 2013, UN Environment and FAO launched a campaign called "Think Eat Save", which has stimulated great reactions and attention in China. With the promotion of Sustainable Consumption and Production Week and Platform in China supported by UN, it is expected that there will be increasing engagement of private sectors in this work and public awareness rising and knowledge sharing.