UN Convention on food and farming needed to 'save the planet', CIWF warns

CIWF chief executive Philip Lymbery standing in front of pollution at a pig farm in China
CIWF chief executive Philip Lymbery standing in front of pollution at a pig farm in China

Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) has called for a new UN Convention on food and farming in order to "save the planet".

The call comes as CIWF launches a new report – called 'Towards a flourishing food system' – which details how global food systems could be reformed in order to "secure food for future generations".

Chief executive Philip Lymbery said: “We need a total rethink of our food and farming systems, before it’s too late. Intensive livestock systems are at the heart of so many problems affecting health, food security, biodiversity, the environment and animal welfare.

“Unless we have a UN Convention to specifically tackle the wide-ranging impacts of food and farming, the targets on climate change won’t be achieved and our world will continue to be ravaged by our broken food systems.”

CIWF believes that a UN Convention on food and farming is needed with objectives relating to factors such as livelihood and food security. The organisation believes these can be "properly integrated" so that one objective is not achieved at the expense of another.

“Without global agreements that have an holistic approach, our wildlife will be pushed to extinction, our landscapes will be bulldozed, our precious natural resources will be used up and our health will suffer,” said Mr Lymbery.

“There’s already enough food for our growing population, the trouble is that we feed much of it in the form of cereals to factory farmed animals to produce meat, which makes no sense.”

Delegates attended the Extinction and Wildlife Conference in London last week. It was billed as "the first ever to examine how current livestock production is driving two-thirds of wildlife loss worldwide, using up the world’s precious natural resources, polluting our waterways, creating ocean ‘dead zones’ where nothing can live, creating the perfect breeding ground for superbugs and contributing to antibiotic resistance in humans."