4 May 2018

#SDGsinAcademia: Goal 2

As part of the ongoing campaign on the Sustainable Development Goals carried out by the United Nations, United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) is presenting a weekly series of articles on #SDGSinAcademia that highlights the importance of higher education in achieving the Goals. Featuring additional sources for use by faculty and students alike, this series is intended to inspire action on the SDGs and showcase activities and initiatives of UNAI member institutions.

07 May 2018 - This week we are featuring in our #SDGsinAcademia series Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture


  • 2.1 By 2030, end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round
  • 2.2 By 2030, end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving, by 2025, the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons 
  • 2.3 By 2030, double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers, including through secure and equal access to land, other productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets and opportunities for value addition and non-farm employment 
  • 2.4 By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality
  • 2.5 By 2020, maintain the genetic diversity of seeds, cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and their related wild species, including through soundly managed and diversified seed and plant banks at the national, regional and international levels, and promote access to and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, as internationally agreed 
  • 2.A Increase investment, including through enhanced international cooperation, in rural infrastructure, agricultural research and extension services, technology development and plant and livestock gene banks in order to enhance agricultural productive capacity in developing countries, in particular least developed countries 
  • 2.B Correct and prevent trade restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets, including through the parallel elimination of all forms of agricultural export subsidies and all export measures with equivalent effect, in accordance with the mandate of the Doha Development Round 
  • 2.C Adopt measures to ensure the proper functioning of food commodity markets and their derivatives and facilitate timely access to market information, including on food reserves, in order to help limit extreme food price volatility

What are UNAI member institutions doing about Goal 2? Here are some examples:

  • The University of Pretoria (South Africa) hosts the Centre of Excellence in Food Security, a virtual organization that brings together the expertise of numerous South African and international institutions. It also hosts the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Wellbeing (IFNuW), which is focused on applying science to solving issues related to sustainable food production, food safety, exploiting the health-promoting properties of foods to improve nutrition, influencing what people eat and investigating the impact of policies on food security. In December 2017, the University co-hosted the 3rd International Conference on Global Food Security
  • In Western Sydney University (Australia) the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics has been leading a research team comprising members from a network of institutions of higher education in the United States, Italy and Sri Lanka with the aim of transforming agriculture via a Digital Knowledge Ecosystem for Agribusiness (smart farming). The problem identified is that uncoordinated production of crops leads to large waste, un-met demand and farmers getting trapped in a poverty cycle. This project is conducted with farmers in Sri Lanka and India. The abstract of a related research paper presented in an international academic conference can be seen here.
  • The University of Manitoba (Canada) has developed a research center of its own related to this issue, the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals (RCFFN). The Centre's goal is to lead functional food and nutraceutical research for the improvement of health and nutrition, to support the development of an economically viable functional food industry in the Canadian province of Manitoba and in the region of Western Canada. It facilitates the discussion and development of products, analytical techniques and technology. The University also participates in a project to address food insecurity in Northern Manitoba, using innovative greenhouses to provide a sustainable solution for food production.
  • In Miami Dade College (USA) the mission of the Earth Ethics Institute is to foster an awareness of global interdependence, ecological integrity and the natural processes that sustain life. The institute provides resources, workshops and programs to encourage the integration of the knowledge, values and skills needed for a sustainable way of life into all disciplines. This year the workshop “Food, Ethics and Sustainability” has been taking place on campus. It covers industrialized agribusiness, impacts of our eating choices on farm animals, how climate change affects food supply and the interconnections between food, politics, human and community health, environment, ethics and justice, as well as fair trade and factory farming.

Here you can take a look to a selection of the Activity Reports submitted by UNAI member institutions.


The following resources can help improving your knowledge and understanding about Goal 2 in particular and the SDGs in general:

  • This is a comprehensive research guide made by the United Nations Library in Geneva listing resources about the SDGs in general and about each one of the Goals, including books and articles (some of which are fully available on line free of charge), UN documents such as resolutions and reports and additional resources.
  • The SDG Fund has created this online library featuring over 1,000 online publications. The publications are categorized by the Goals they represent, by geographical regions they relate to and by authors, to facilitate easy searchability. Each publication also has a short summary attached to it which helps with keyword searches.
  • This is an initiative supported by UNDP, UN-HABITAT and the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments, which offers a selection of tools such as concept notes, papers, case studies, compilation of best practices and guides providing contextual and practical information about the SDGs.
  • This is a guide entitled Getting Started with the Sustainable Development Goals intended for stakeholders and designed by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) to serve as an initial basis for implementing the SDGs.
  • This guide entitled Getting Started with the SDGs in Universities also developed by the SDSN intends to help higher education institutions to accelerate their contributions to the SDGs highlighting the important role they have in implementing the SDGs through their teaching, research, operations and leadership, and providing practical guidance and examples.
  • This guide entitled Sustainable Development Goals - Human Response Alignments features the human element of change and the human response corresponding to each of the SDGs in order to quicken the global conversation about vital issues and to encourage the movement that supports the vision of the SDGs.


Zero Hunger Film

Zero Hunger Film