Posts Tagged ‘study’


Researchers Detail Humanity’s Water Footprint

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Researchers from the University of Twente in the Netherlands have published a study estimating the scale and patterns of humanity’s water consumption, or its water footprint. The study is the most detailed estimate to date.

Large-scale livestock production is a large consumer of our water resources. (Photo credit: Bernard Pollack)

Many everyday items contain surprisingly high water footprints—it takes 2,700 liters (713 gallons) to make a cotton t-shirt and 2,400 liters (634 gallons) to make a hamburger—so it is useful to understand issues like water use and scarcity when making consumer decisions.

Check out this National Geographic article, written by Worldwatch senior fellow and  Freshwater Fellow of the National Geographic Society, Sandra Postel, that discusses the study’s results.

To purchase State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet please click HERE. And to watch the one minute book trailer, click HERE.


Global Governance for Food Security: new report shows optimism for progress

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Nora McKeon, an expert on food systems, recently wrote a report on the current state of global food governance. The report, “Global Governance for World Food Security: A Scorecard Four Years After the Eruption of the ‘Food Crisis,’” was released by the political non-profit organization Heinrich Böll Stiftung and highlights some of the global problems and potential in the aftermath of recent food price volatility.

A new report highlights how we can shape our global food system governance. (Photo credit: Bernard Pollack)

According to the report, “the eruption of the food crisis in late 2007-2008 unveiled a vacuum in global governance,” which has been dominated by international corporations and free-trade focused countries. One response to the crisis was a restructuring of the FAO Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in an attempt to shape it into a potent international forum for food security. In October, 2010, the CFS sided with civil society organizations and governments of developing countries, agreeing to investigate food price volatility, financial speculation, and “land grabbing” by foreign corporations. The CFS seems to have loosened the control that free-trade advocates, the World Bank, and multinational corporations have long enjoyed over these issues.

The CFS may be “at the centre of a better global governance system,” says the report, based on the principles surrounding food sovereignty and the right to food. The task of overcoming the immense power of agri-business and developed nations is a daunting one, and in order to shift the focus of food issues from trade to human rights, the report calls for “civil society participation [to] be sustained and strengthened.”

The issue of global food system governance is incredibly complicated. What are some ways that you see everyday people in “civil society” getting involved? Let us know in the comments!

To purchase State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet please click HERE. And to watch the one minute book trailer, click HERE.