Current and Future Challenges
for Sustainable Food Security
On October 27th and 28th, 2015, the McGill Institute for Global Food Security will host its 8th McGill Conference on global food insecurity and hunger. The Conference will open on the evening of Tuesday October 27th with a Public Lecture by a leading international dignitary, followed by a day of conference sessions, a poster competition, and a networking cocktail in the evening.
Since its inception in 2008, the annual McGill Conference on Global Food Security has uncovered critical issues affecting the world’s poorest and undernourished populations. The themes from the previous six Conferences: The World Food Crisis: Framing a McGill Response (2008); Impacts of Global Financial Turmoil on Food Security (2009); Food Security, Water Scarcity, and Nutrition (2010); Risk and Threats to Food Security (2011); Food Prices and Political Instability (2012); and Strategies against Food Insecurity and Hunger (2013) served as the cornerstones for last year’s theme: Food Security Beyond 2015.
Propelled by McGill’s longstanding dedication and expertise in food security, the conference provides a unique forum to foster a global shift towards a convergence of understanding and commitment to reduce hunger. Recent or ongoing food security projects carried out by McGill researchers around the world greatly represent the collaborations fostered with researchers in Canada, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Although average gaps between actual and possible crop yields are still large in many parts of the world, there is cause for optimism. Since 1990-92 the percentage of the population in the developing world 2006, yields in South Africa, Ethiopia and Uganda have showed impressive gains. In spite of such progress achieved, FAO’s most recent estimates indicate that 795 million people (10.9%) worldwide face hunger. Furthermore, food insecurity is not just about developing countries; it can occur in Canada or in any developed country. In non-agricultural societies such as Canada’s aboriginal communities, security of traditional foods is related to access to land, conservation of biodiversity and local knowledge and is an intrinsic part of community identity. In an effort to better assess food insecurity around the world anew tool called the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES) is being applied by FAO’s ‘Voices of the Hungry’ (VoH) project, with which McGill researchers are already collaborating with.
McGill annual Conferences on Global Food Security produce critical pathways for exploring global strategies and local solutions. Participants attending the conference, which include representatives from government, students, academics, the private sector, non-governmental agencies, and civil society, have the opportunity to be part of dynamic and nourishing discussions around the central goal of our efforts: to contribute to a world free from hunger.
With great pleasure we invite you to join us at the 8th McGill Conference on Global Food Security on October 27th and 28th, 2015 and to be an active voice in the discussions regarding one of the world’s most pressing humanitarian and environmental challenges: improving access to nutritious food for a growing global population.