Pelajarwajo.com – World Food Day. Water is life, water is food. This is the theme of World Food Day 2023, which will be celebrated on Monday, October 16 with many organizations concerned with hunger and food security, organizing and participating in the events.
World Food Day is a global initiative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) that aims to raise awareness and mobilize action to end hunger and malnutrition, and ensure food security and healthy diets for all. This year, World Food Day focuses on the vital role of water in producing food and sustaining life, and calls for collective action to safeguard water resources and ensure no one is left behind.
Why Water Matters for Food and Life
Water is essential for life on Earth. It covers the majority of the Earth’s surface, makes up over 50% of our bodies, produces our food, and supports livelihoods. Without water, there would be no life. Water is also essential for food production.
Agriculture accounts for 72% of global freshwater withdrawals, while 16% is used by industries, and 12% by municipalities for households and services1. Water is needed to irrigate crops, raise livestock, process food, and transport food from farms to markets. Water also supports aquatic food systems, such as fisheries and aquaculture, which provide food and income for millions of people.
However, water is not infinite and we need to stop taking it for granted. The world is facing a water crisis, as demand for water exceeds supply, and water quality deteriorates due to pollution and climate change. Currently 2.4 billion people live in water-stressed countries, and approximately 10% of the global population live in countries with high and critical water stress.
Global water demand for agriculture is expected to increase by 35% by 2050. Over 80% of the world’s wastewater is released to the environment without being treated. These challenges pose serious threats to food security, human health, biodiversity, and peace.
How to Take Water Action for Food
To address the water crisis and ensure food security for all, we need to take action at all levels: from governments to private sector, from farmers to consumers, from academia to civil society. We need to produce more food with less water, while ensuring water is distributed equitably, our aquatic food systems are safeguarded, and nobody is left behind. Here are some examples of how we can take water action for food:
- Adopting sustainable agricultural practices that use water more efficiently, such as drip irrigation, rainwater harvesting, mulching, crop rotation, and agroforestry.
- Promoting integrated water resources management that balances the needs of different sectors and users, such as agriculture, industry, energy, environment, and households.
- Investing in water infrastructure and technologies that improve water access, storage, treatment, and reuse.
- Protecting and restoring natural ecosystems that provide water-related services, such as wetlands, forests, rivers, lakes, and oceans.
- Reducing food loss and waste that also waste water along the food supply chain.
- Eating a healthy and balanced diet that reduces the water footprint of our food consumption.
- Raising awareness and education on the importance of water for food and life.
- Supporting policies and initiatives that enhance water governance and cooperation at local, national, regional, and global levels.
What World Food Day 2023 Offers
World Food Day 2023 offers a platform for advocating actions to combat worldwide hunger, and enhance accessibility to nourishing food. It also provides an opportunity to celebrate the achievements and innovations in water management for food production. World Food Day 2023 will feature various events and activities around the world that showcase how water is essential for food security and life. Some of these events include:
- The Global World Food Day Ceremony that will take place on Monday, October 16 at the FAO headquarters in Rome. The ceremony will bring together high-level representatives from governments, UN agencies, civil society organizations, private sector entities, academia, and media to discuss the challenges and solutions related to water and food security.
- The third edition of Junior World Food Day that will take place on October 19. This fun-filled event will feature stories, music, art, and dance by youth from different countries and cultures who will call for water action for food through song and dance in the multilingual music video “Water is Food, Water is Life”. The event will also include a conversation with special guests who will inspire young people to become change-makers and advocates for a more water-secure world.
- The World Food Day Poster Contest that invites children and teens aged 5 to 19 to design a poster showing their water action for food. The submission deadline is November 3, 2023.
- The World Food Day social media campaign that encourages everyone to share their water actions for food using the hashtags #WorldFoodDay and #FoodHeroes. The campaign also features stories of water heroes who are making a difference in their communities by using water wisely for food production.
How to Join World Food Day 2023
World Food Day 2023 is open to everyone who wants to join the global movement to end hunger and ensure food security for all. There are many ways to participate in World Food Day 2023, such as:
- Organizing or attending a World Food Day event in your area, such as a seminar, workshop, exhibition, fair, festival, or concert.
- Joining the online conversation on social media using the hashtags #WorldFoodDay and #FoodHeroes, and following the official accounts of FAO and World Food Day.
- Learning more about the theme of World Food Day 2023 and the issues related to water and food security by visiting the official website of World Food Day and FAO, and accessing the resources and materials available.
- Taking action in your daily life to use water more efficiently and responsibly for food production and consumption, and encouraging others to do the same.
Water is life, water is food. This is the message of World Food Day 2023, which reminds us of the vital role of water in producing food and sustaining life. By taking water action for food, we can contribute to ending hunger and malnutrition, ensuring food security and healthy diets for all, and protecting the environment and biodiversity. Together, we can take water action for food, and be the change.