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New Report Highlights Critical Links Among Food Security, Climate Change, Human Rights, and the Economy Print


Washington, D.C.—A new report, The Wheel of Life:  Food, Climate, Human Rights and the Economy, examines how major crises of our day—hunger, climate change, and more—are deeply interlinked.  Yet too often government and international institutions address these issues as if they are disconnected from one another.  Consequently, many policies do not fully tackle root causes and, as a result, global calamities can intensify.

Confronting global hunger serves as one example.  World leaders on all sides of the political spectrum uniformly repeat that economic growth is needed to address hunger and poverty.  Yet economic growth is often related to intensive industrial activities that contribute to global warming, which in turn, negatively impacts the ability to grow food.

To illustrate another link between economic growth and food insecurity—even though economic growth indicators have risen in many countries over the last decade, hunger rates have increased alarmingly within the last several years.   The report highlights how economic and trade policies may spur growth for a limited number of financial actors and institutions, but undermine the ability of small-scale farmers and rural communities to be self-sufficient in providing food for local populations.

Three central themes in the report help to unravel interrelated causes of and effects on some of today’s foremost issues:

  • What are the critical links between climate change and food security?
  • How is the nexus of agriculture and climate change affecting food and water availability, livelihoods and jobs, migration, gender equality, and other basic survival and human rights?
  • What is the interplay between economic and finance systems, on the one hand, and food security, climate change, and fundamental human rights, on the other?


The Wheel, released by the Center for Food Safety (CFS) and the Heinrich Böll Stiftung Foundation, proposes that lasting solutions to hunger and other major crises of our day must be guided by fundamentals of ecology.

“Policies and practices must begin with the ecological imperative in order to ensure authentic security and stability on all fronts—food, water, livelihoods and jobs, climate, energy, and economic,” writes report author Debbie Barker, international director at the Center for Food Safety.  “In turn this engenders equity, social justice, and diverse cultures.”

To view the full report, please see: