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Achieving Zero Hunger by 2030 A Review of Quantitative Assessments of Synergies and Tradeoffs amongst the UN Sustainable Development Goals
A paper from the Scientific Group of the UN Food Systems Summit 26 May 2021

dc.contributor.authorValin, Hugo
dc.contributor.authorHertel, Thomas
dc.contributor.authorBodirsky, Benjamin Leon
dc.contributor.authorHasegawa, Tomoko
dc.contributor.authorStehfest, Elke
dc.description.abstractThe Sustainable Development Goal 2 “Zero hunger” (SDG2) sets clear global targets for ensuring access to sufficient food and healthy nutrition for all by 2030, while keeping food systems within sustainable boundaries and protecting livelihoods. Yet, the current trends show the level of challenge ahead, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic worsens the global development prospects. Intrinsically, SDG2 presents some points of tension between its internal targets and brings some synergies but also strong trade-offs with other sustainable development goals.
We summarize in this paper the main relations between SDG2 targets and the other development goals and explain how the modelling literature has analyzed the SDG interactions around “Zero hunger”. SDG2 integrates four ambitious objectives – adequate food, no malnutrition, in increased incomes for smallholders, greater sustainability – that will require careful implementation to be conducted in synergy. We show that the compatibility of these objectives will depend on the interplay of future food demand drivers and the contribution of productivity gains across the food system.
Analyzing the SDGs’ interrelations reveals the strong synergies between SDG2 and some other basic subsistence goals, in particular, Goal 1 “No poverty” and Goal 3 “Good health and well- being”. These goals need to be jointly addressed in order to succeed in “Zero hunger”. Several other SDGs have been shown to be key enablers for SDG2, in particular on the socio-economic side. On the other hand, agricultural production substantially contributes to the risks of exceeding critical global sustainability thresholds. We illustrate how recent modelling work has shed light on the interface between future food and nutrition needs, and the various environmental dimensions. Specifically, several important SDGs have been shown to compete directly with SDG2 through their common demands for scarce natural resources – including land for climate (SDG13), for biodiversity (SDG15) and for cities (SDG11), as well as the provision of water, both for the environment and for human needs (SDG6). Quantitative assessments show that more efficient production systems and technologies, pricing of externalities, and integrated resource management can mitigate some of these tradeoffs, but are unlikely to succeed in resolving these altogether.
The success of achieving SDG2 in the face of these challenges will require new investments, smoothly functioning trade and effective markets, as well as changes in consumption patterns. Forward-looking analyses of global food systems indicate that deep transformations combining various measures will be needed to simultaneously achieve SDG2 targets while remaining within the planetary boundaries. These require fundamental changes, both on the supply side and on the demand side, and highlight the importance of SDG12 on “responsible production and consumption”.
dc.rightsIn Copyright
dc.subjectFood systems
dc.subjectHealthy nutrition
dc.subjectSufficient food
dc.subject.ddc360 Soziale Probleme, Sozialdienste, Versicherungen
dc.titleAchieving Zero Hunger by 2030 A Review of Quantitative Assessments of Synergies and Tradeoffs amongst the UN Sustainable Development Goals
dc.title.alternativeA paper from the Scientific Group of the UN Food Systems Summit 26 May 2021
dc.publisher.nameCenter for Development Research (ZEF) in cooperation with the Scientific Group for the UN Food System Summit 2021

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