Today, nearly one in eight people in the world do not have enough food to eat.
And studies predict that as diets change and the world's population grows to 9 billion people by 2050, we will need to increase food production by at least 60 percent to meet the global demand for food, all in the face of increasing pressures on natural resources.
Forty-three years ago, the first Earth Day celebration began a movement to create awareness about the need to protect the world's natural resources so they can be enjoyed by generations to come. Since then, governments and civil society have worked together to address environmental challenges and improve our understanding of how we can help protect the world's natural resources.
Today's celebration of Earth Day is an opportunity to remind ourselves and our partners of the connection between our environment, agriculture, and food and nutrition security and how we can work together to end world hunger and undernutrition. Although we still face environmental challenges, our ability to apply scientific innovation and technology in agriculture and work in partnership across different sectors can help us protect our planet and end hunger and undernutrition at the same time.
Feed the Future, the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative, is working with a variety of partners to meet the dual challenges of growing more while conserving natural resources.
Through our collaboration with Feed the Future strategic partners, like Brazil, India, and South Africa, we leverage the expertise of emerging economic leaders and scale up joint efforts to achieve food and nutrition security goals. Our partnership with Brazil is helping increase the income of small holder farmers in rural areas of Honduras and providing renewable energy to 10,000 families in remote areas of the country.
Feed the Future is also part of the U.S. contribution to the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, an effort by the G-8, partner governments, and the private sector to reduce poverty and undernutrition in sub-Saharan Africa by expanding agricultural production and incomes to help lift 50 million people out of poverty by 2022.
Together, these investments contribute to improved health, food security and nutrition and increase the stability of developing countries, while simultaneously supporting responsible management of natural resources.
At a conference in Dublin, Ireland, last week on the intersection of food and nutrition security and climate change, I highlighted that we are already seeing encouraging results and are committed to continuing to work with our partners to end hunger and undernutrition.
Together, we can help take care of our planet and make our generation's legacy one of shared progress and prosperity.
Editor's Note: An expanded version of this entry appears on the Feed the Future Blog.Related Content: Statement by Secretary of State John Kerry on Earth Day