A ameaça alimentar à civilização humana

PALO ALTO – A humanidade enfrenta um complexo cada vez mais arraigado de problemas ambientais graves e altamente interligados, incluindo desafios muito debatidos como as alterações climáticas, bem como a ameaça, tão ou mais grave, à sobrevivência dos organismos que sustentam as nossas vidas ao fornecerem serviços ecossistémicos vitais, tais como a polinização das colheitas e o controlo de pragas agrícolas. Também enfrentamos muitas outras ameaças: a propagação de químicos tóxicos de origem sintética no mundo inteiro, imensas epidemias e um declínio dramático na qualidade e na acessibilidade de recursos minerais, água e solos.

As guerras pelos recursos já estão presentes nas nossas vidas; se rebentasse uma “pequena” guerra pelos recursos entre, por exemplo, a Índia e o Paquistão, nós hoje sabemos que a guerra só por si acabaria provavelmente com a civilização.

Mas o nosso palpite é de que a ameaça mais grave à sustentabilidade global nas próximas décadas será aquela sobre a qual existe um consenso generalizado: a crescente dificuldade em se evitar a fome em grande escala. Tal como o relatório de 2013 do Fórum Económico Mundial referiu: “A segurança alimentar e nutricional mundial é uma preocupação global de extrema importância à medida que o mundo se prepara para dar de comer a uma população em crescimento, com base em recursos cada vez mais limitados, numa era de volatilidade e de incerteza aumentadas”. Na verdade, o relatório menciona que actualmente “870 milhões de pessoas passam fome e que mais estão em risco devido a acontecimentos climáticos e à subida de preços”. Deste modo, as medidas para “melhorar a segurança alimentar nunca foram tão urgentemente necessárias”.

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