The environmental food crisis: the environment's role in averting future food crises cover image

Resource information

Date of publication: 
September 2010
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
978-82-7701-054-0
Pages: 
104
License of the resource: 

The surge in food prices in the last years, following a century of decline, has been the most marked of the past century in its magnitude, duration and the number of commodity groups whose prices have increased. The ensuing crisis has resulted in a 50–200% increase in selected commodity prices, driven 110 million people into poverty and added 44 million more to the undernourished. Elevated food prices have had dramatic impacts on the lives and livelihoods, including increased infant and child mortality, of those already undernourished or living in poverty and spending 70–80% of their daily income on food. Key causes of the current food crisis are the combined effects of speculation in food stocks, extreme weather events, low cereal stocks, growth in biofuels competing for cropland and high oil prices. Although prices have fallen sharply since the peak in July 2008, they are still high above those in 2004 for many key commodities. The underlying supply and demand tensions are little changed from those that existed just a few months ago when these prices were close to all-time highs.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 
Christian Nellemann Monika MacDevette Ton Manders Bas Eickhout Birger Svihus Anne Gerdien Prins Bjørn P. Kaltenborn
Publisher(s): 
United Nations Agency

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.

UNEP work encompasses:

Share this page