Achieving economic growth and sustainable development requires that we urgently reduce our ecological footprint by changing the way we produce and consume goods and resources. Agriculture is the biggest user of water worldwide, and irrigation now claims close to 70 percent of all freshwater for human use.

The efficient management of our shared natural resources, and the way we dispose of waste and pollutants, are important targets to achieve this goal. Encouraging industries, businesses and consumers to recycle and reduce waste is equally important.

A large share of the world population is still consuming far too little to meet even their basic needs. We have the dual task of supporting developing and encouraging developed countries to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption by 2030.

Halving the per capita of global food waste at the retailer and consumer levels is equally important for creating more efficient production and supply chains. This can help with food security, and shift us towards a more resource efficient economy. Source


The issue globally

The world’s population is predicted to increase from an estimated 6.1 billion in 2000 to 9.3 billion by 2050 (mid scenario) (United Nations, 2004; U.S. Census Bureau, 2010).

In order to feed this additional 3 billion people, global food production will need to increase by 70% by 2050 (Food and Agriculture Organization, 2006). This continuing population and consumption growth will mean that the global demand for food will increase for at least another 40 years. Growing competition for land, water, nutrients (especially nitrogen) and energy, in addition to the overexploitation of fisheries and land degradation, will affect our ability to produce food, as will the urgent requirement to reduce the impact of the food system on the environment. The effects of climate change are a further threat. But the world can produce more food and can ensure that it is used more efficiently and equitably. A multifaceted and linked global strategy is needed to ensure sustainable and equitable food security.

More people travelling

Speaking on behalf of GTAC, Taleb Rifai, Secretary General, UNWTO, said: “Every year, 1.2 billion people travel abroad. These, and the billions more who travel domestically, create a sector which contributes 10% of global GDP to the world’s economies and 1 in 11 jobs. Tourism has become a passport to prosperity, a driver of peace, and a transformative force for improving millions of lives. United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, said in his message on the occasion of the launch of the International Year held in Madrid, Spain, 18 January: “The world can and must harness the power of tourism as we strive to carry out the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Three of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include targets that relate to tourism: Goal 8 on promoting growth and decent work, Goal 12 on ensuring sustainable consumption and production, and Goal 14 on conserving marine resources. But tourism also cuts across so many different areas of life, and involves so many different economic sectors and socio-cultural currents, that it is connected to the entire Agenda. Beyond the measurable advances that tourism can make possible, it is also a bridge to better mutual understanding among people from all walks of life. “Proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development (2017) is a crucial moment to make this important sector a force for good. Through 12 months of global actions, it will provide the opportunity for us all to promote our role as an engine of economic development, as a vehicle for sharing cultures, building mutual understanding and driving a more peaceful world.”

Read more HERE. Copyright @ WTTC 2017

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Research has shown an average Australian family of two adults and two children spend about 18% more on current diets than would be required to purchase healthy (recommended) diets.

About 58% of the food budget for the current diet is spent on “junk”, including take-away foods (14%), alcohol (12%) and sugary drinks (4%).

Regular physical activity is an important contributor to good overall health, including promoting healthy weight and reducing chronic disease risk. However, the physical activity levels of many people, both in Australia and around the world, are less than the optimal level recommended to gain a health benefit. The World Health Organization attributes the trend toward physical inactivity to be due in part to insufficient participation in physical activity during leisure time, (recognised globally as participating in less than 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days of the week), and to an increase in sedentary behaviour as part of the activities undertaken at work and at home.

In 2003, physical inactivity accounted for approximately 6.6% of the disease burden in the Australian population. Source: Begg S, Vos T, Barker B, Stevenson C, Stanley L, Lopez AD, 2007. The burden of disease and injury in Australia 2003. PHE 82. Canberra: AIHW.

The way we currently produce food around the world contributes up to 20-30% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and accounts for 70% of all human water use.

But is it possible to eat well and take better care of the Earth at the same time?