World Environment Day (June 5, 2013)

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World Environment Day is an annual event that is aimed at being the biggest and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action. World Environment Day activities take place all year round and climax on 5 June every year, involving everyone from everywhere.
The World Environment Day celebration began in 1972 and has grown to become one of the main vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and encourages political attention and action.
Through World Environment Day, the United Nations Environment Programme is able to personalize environmental issues and enable everyone to realize not only their responsibility, but also their power to become agents for change in support of sustainable and equitable development.
World Environment Day is also a day for people from all walks of life to come together to ensure a cleaner, greener and brighter outlook for themselves and future generations.
Everyone counts in this initiative and World Environment Day relies on you to make it happen! We call for action — organize a neighborhood clean-up, stop using plastic bags and get your community to do the same, stop food waste, walk to work, start a recycling drive . . . the possibilities are endless.

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World Environment Day (June 5, 2013)

  1. 1. © United Nations Environment Programme, 2013
  2. 2. www.unep.org/wed
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  4. 4. 5World Environment DayWorld Environment Day was established by the UNGeneral Assembly in 1972 to mark the opening of theStockholm Conference on the Human Environment.©SHUTTERSTOCK
  5. 5. 6Every year, every where, everyone!The World Environment Day celebration began in 1972 and has grownto become one of the main vehicles through which the United Nationsstimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and encouragespolitical attention and action. It is also a day for people from all walksof life to come together to ensure a cleaner, greener and brighteroutlook for themselves and future generations.The theme for this year’s World Environment Day celebrationis Think.Eat.Save. Reduce Your Foodprint. The Think.Eat.Savecampaign of the Save Food Initiative is a partnership betweenUNEP, FAO and Messe Düsseldorf, and supports the UN Secretary-General’s Zero Hunger Challenge.It seeks to add its authority and voice to these efforts in order togalvanize widespread global, regional and national actions andcatalyze more sectors of society to be aware of and to act on thegrowing scandal of food waste.©SHUTTERSTOCK
  6. 6. 7While the planet is struggling to provide enough resourcesto sustain its 7 billion people (growing to 9 billion by 2050),FAO estimates that a third of global food production is eitherwasted or lost, and this is occurring as one in seven people inthe world go to bed hungry and more than 20,000 childrenunder the age of five die daily from hunger.Given this enormous imbalance in lifestyles and the devastatingeffects on the environment, this year’s theme encourages eachof us to become more aware of the environmental impactof the food choices we make and empowers us to makeinformed decisions. Food waste is an enormous drain onnatural resources and a contributor to negative environmental,economic and humanitarian impacts.This year’s campaign rallies each of us to take action in ourhomes and businesses and to then witness the power ofcollective decisions to reduce food waste, save money,minimize the environmental impact of food production andconsumption, and encourage food production processes tobecome more efficient. Where food is wasted, so too are thevaluable resources used for its production.WED 2013 is being hosted by Mongolia, a country that has beenprioritizing a Green Economy shift across its big economicsectors such as mining and promoting environmentalawareness among youth. Its government is determined tomeet these challenges and seize the opportunities of a less-polluting and more-sustainable future.WED 2013 is aimed to be the biggest and most widelycelebrated global day for positive environmental action.Through WED, the UN enables people not only to realizetheir individual responsibility, but also their power to becomeagents for change in support of sustainable and equitabledevelopment. Every action counts, and when multiplied by aglobal chorus, becomes exponential in its impact.World Environment Day is an annual event that is aimed atbeing the biggest and most widely celebrated global day forpositive environmental action. World Environment Day activitiestake place all year round and culminate on 5 June annually.
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  8. 8. 9Message of the United NationsSecretary-General Ban Ki-moonWe live in a world of plenty, where foodproduction outstrips demand, yet 870million people are undernourished andchildhood stunting is a silent pandemic.To create the future we want, we mustcorrect this inequity.We must ensure access to adequatenutrition for all, double the productivity ofsmallholder farmers who grow the bulk offood in the developing world, and makefood systems sustainable in the face ofenvironmental and economic shocks. Thisis the vision of my Zero Hunger Challenge,launched last year at the Rio+20 UNConference on Sustainable Development.©SHUTTERSTOCK
  9. 9. 10©SHUTTERSTOCKOne way to narrow the hunger gap and improvethe well-being of the most vulnerable is to addressthe massive loss and waste inherent in today’s foodsystems. Currently at least one third of all foodproduced fails to make it from farm to table. Thisis foremost an affront to the hungry, but it alsorepresents a massive environmental cost in terms ofenergy, land and water.In developing countries, pests, inadequate storagefacilities and inefficient supply chains are majorcontributors to food loss.Those who grow for export are also often at themercy of over-stringent expectations of buyerswho place a premium on cosmetic perfection. Indeveloped nations, food thrown away by households10
  10. 10. 11We must ensure access to adequate nutrition forall, double the productivity of smallholder farmerswho grow the bulk of food in the developing world,and make food systems sustainable in the face ofenvironmental and economic shocks.and the retail and catering industries rots in landfills, releasingsignificant quantities of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.Food loss and waste is something we can all address. Thatis why the United Nations Environment Programme, the UNFood and Agricultural Organization and public and privatesector partners have launched the Think.Eat.Save. ReduceYour Foodprint campaign to raise global awareness andshowcase solutions relevant to developed and developingcountries alike.Infrastructure and technology can reduce the amount of foodthat perishes after it is harvested and before it reaches themarket.Developingcountrygovernmentscanworktoimproveessential infrastructure and maximize trade opportunities withneighbours; developed nations can support fair trade andrationalizesell-bydatesand otherlabelling systems; businessescan revise their criteria for rejecting produce; and consumerscan minimize waste by buying only what they need and re-using left-over food.On this World Environment Day, I urge all actors in theglobal food chain to take responsibility for environmentallysustainable and socially equitable food systems. The currentglobal population of 7 billion is expected to grow to 9 billionby 2050. But the number of hungry people need not increase.By reducing food waste, we can save money and resources,minimize environmental impacts and, most importantly, movetowards a world where everyone has enough to eat.
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  12. 12. 13Message of the UN Under-SecretaryGeneral and UNEP Executive Director,Achim SteinerEvery year on June 5th, people acrossthe planet celebrate the United NationsWorld Environment Day. It is a day foraction where hundreds of thousands ofactivities take place in virtually everycountry in the world to improve theenvironment now and for the future.©SHUTTERSTOCK
  13. 13. 14This year’s theme focuses on food waste and food loss. Think.Eat.Save. Reduce Your Foodprint is the new campaign that UNEP andthe Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN, in conjunction witha rapidly growing list of partners from the public and private sector,launched earlier this year. It draws attention both to the issue and theabsurdity that high volumes of perfectly edible produce are nevermaking it from the farm to the fork.Indeed, at least a third of everything we grow on this planet is lostbetween the field and the consumer. It is an ethical, economic andenvironmental issue given the enormous waste of energy, water,fertilizers and other inputs as a result of food that is produced butnever eaten. Each one of us can do something about this and that’swhy, through the Think.Eat.Save. Reduce Your Foodprint campaign,we invite people across the world to join us in an effort to both raiseawareness and to take practical actions whether in your home, onyour farm, in the supermarket, in a canteen, in a hotel or anywhere elsewhere food is prepared and consumed.This year’s global host for WED 2013 is Mongolia, one of the fastestgrowing economies in the world and one that is aiming for atransition to a green economy and a green civilization. It is not a bigwaster or loser of food, but the traditional and nomadic life of manyof its people does have some ancient answers to the modern-daychallenge of food waste.©SHUTTERSTOCK14
  14. 14. 15The Mongol General Chinggis Khan and his troops utilizeda traditional food called borts to gallop across Asia withoutdepending on elaborate supply chains. Borts is basicallyconcentrated beef equal to the protein of an entire cow butcondensed and ground down to the size of a human fist. Thisremarkable method of food preservation, without refrigeration,meant a meal equivalent to several steaks when the proteinwas shaved into hot water to make soup.And the Mongolians have other secrets to share that maycontribute to preserving and thus not wasting food — theaaruul, for instance, is a form of dried curds that can last asa perfectly healthy dish or snack for years, again withoutrefrigeration.UNEP has, in advance of WED 2013, been compiling similarexamplesoftraditionalandindigenousknowledgefromfamiliartechniques such as pickling or salting fish to the smoking ofmeat, the drying of fruit and other techniques employed bythe Inuits to preserve seabirds which are served later at feastsand weddings.Mongolia is also aiming to green not only its mining sectorbut its energy and agricultural systems while developing itslandscapes and national parks — home to such rare and iconicspecies as the przewalskii horse — for eco-tourism.Join us on June 5th in Mongolia or wherever you are in theworld and organize an event. It can be in your home, yourschool, your company and your community. Share what youare up to including photographs via the dedicated website —www.unep.org/wed And above all, Think.Eat.Save. ReduceYour Foodprint.Indeed, at least a third of everything we grow on this planetis lost between the field and the consumer. It is an ethical,economic and environmental issue given the enormouswaste of energy, water, fertilizers and other inputs as a resultof food that is produced but never eaten.
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  16. 16. 17©SHUTTERSTOCKMessage by H.E. Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj,President of MongoliaOur blue planet is only one for all ofus. Yet, our home Earth is visibly losingits vitality and pristineness due to thereckless policies and ruinous acts of itschildren, the human beings. Its resourcesare being exhausted and the safelivelihood of the humankind is gravelyendangered.
  17. 17. 18Alarming environmental changes and disasters, unprecedentedand unheard of before, occur at a greater rate. Climatechange with ensuing water shortage, desertification, soiland vegetation degradation lead not only to depletion ofnatural resources, but also threaten the social and economicdevelopment of the entire world.Environmental protection is not a single-day campaign. This isa life-long cause of day-to-day efforts of every citizen of theworld. It is indeed timely sobering to draw the global publicattention to food security, supply and conservation under atheme “Think-Eat-Save: Reduce Your Foodprint” for WED2013.I was honored to have been awarded the 2012 Champion of theEarth Award by the United Nations. At the Award Ceremonythe United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, proposedMongolia to host the WED 2013 in Mongolia. Mongolia is proudto be at the center of the international transition to a GreenEconomy by hosting the United Nations World EnvironmentDay (WED) celebrations on and around 5 June 2013. This is agreat honor for us, as well as a responsibility.Mongolia keenly cares for the environment. As a testament toour resolute commitment, the Cabinet formed last summerafter the Parliamentary election, re-organized a formerly lineMinistry of Environment and Tourism into a core-line Ministryof Environment and Green Development.©SHUTTERSTOCK18
  18. 18. 19Environmental protection is not a single-day campaign. This is a life-long cause of day-to-day efforts of every citizen of the world. It isindeed timely sobering to draw the global public attention to foodsecurity, supply and conservation under a theme “Think-Eat-Save:Reduce Your Foodprint” for WED 2013.As one of the most-threatened by climate change countries,Mongolia has already suspended new mining concessionspending environmental safeguards and is working withpartners in the UN and beyond to bring Green Developmentacross the economy.We have also established Natural Resources National Parks tocurb desertification. Our national parks and specially protectedareas can be the backbone of ecotourism that would generateconservation income and green jobs.Our vision includes targets for the uptake of solar and windpower that can fuel our economic growth, while exportingsurpluses via an Asian super-grid.Since millennia ago, Mongolians have lived in a genuineharmony with nature, just like a mother and child. Especially,our culture of treating water, the source of life on earth, is trulyunique. The simplest but a very telling example is that theherders never use the same ladle for water and milk.Climate change has led to drying up of many rivers and lakesin Mongolia, thus necessitating us to draw concerted attentionon water resources. This is a common problem for manycountries, and especially for the low-income nations. At manyinternational and global fora I have repeatedly proposed toestablish a special UN body on water. I do believe that thisinitiative will be supported by the global community.The reasons cannot be more compelling for us to startimmediate and concrete actions to save our planet and ourfuture. And we must succeed on this sacred responsibility.I welcome you to Mongolia to join us for WED 2013 to see howMongolia is planning the transition to a low-carbon, resource-efficient economy. I am sure, Mongolia will serve as a source ofinspiration for the global act for Nature.May all good deeds prosper.
  19. 19. 20Mongolia, which is prioritizing a Green Economy shift across its bigeconomic sectors such as mining and promoting environmental awarenessamong youth, is to host this year’s World Environment Day (WED) globalcelebrations on June 5.Mongolia’s President Tsakhia Elbegdorj was named as one of six recipientsof UNEP’s Champions of the Earth 2012 award for leadership that had apositive impact on the environment.Mongolia is facing challenges including growing pressure on food security,traditional nomadic herding and water supplies as a result of the impacts ofclimate change. It is estimated that annual mean temperature has increasedby over 2°C during the last 70 years.Precipitation has decreased in most regions, except the western part of thecountry, indicating that Mongolia is among the most vulnerable nations in theworld to global warming.Mongolia is the globalhost-country of WorldEnvironment Day 2013©UNEP20
  20. 20. 21Yet its government is also determined to meet thesechallenges and seize the opportunities of a less-polluting andmore-sustainable future – from a moratorium on new miningpending improved environmental regulations to plans tobecome a renewable energy power-house and exporter ofclean energy regionally.Mongolia’s transition is already underway. It has passed alaw on decreasing the air pollution that was triggered by agrowing population and coal usage in the capital Ulaanbaatar.It is planning to establish a satellite-city near the capital for thepurposes of limiting coal-burning in the capital, transferringenergy-saving technology, and imposing air-pollution tax insome regions of Ulaanbaatar.Since 2010, Mongolia has suspended the issuance of all newmining licenses until fresh regulations are drawn up, citing theprotection of the mineral-rich Asian country’s environmentand herdsmen’s livelihoods as well as promotion of greendevelopment with consideration of water shortage and landdegradation.Projects that enhance youth understanding of environmentalprotection have been set up, and national tree planting daysto combat desertification and water scarcity have seen overtwo million trees planted across Mongolia’s vast desert regionssince 2011. Mongolia also has huge solar power potential,particularly in the sparsely populated Gobi region, and islooking for ways to exploit this.©SHUTTERSTOCK
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  22. 22. 232013 - Year ofProtecting MazaalaiThe Gobi BearThe Ministry of Environment and Green Developmentof Mongolia designated the year 2013 as the “Year ofProtecting Mazaalai – Gobi Bear.” The very rare Mazaalai,or Gobi Bear, is found in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. Thesmall population of Gobi Bears is estimated to be made upof only 22 individuals (8 female and 14 male), which putsthem at high risk of extinction.This endangered species lives among rocky mountains in themost remote parts of the Gobi Desert, wandering near oasesand mountain ranges with water sources where they cansurvive through harsh and extreme desert climate. TheMazaalai survives mostly by eating leaves, berries, grassroots and occasionally catching lizards or mice.The Ministry has unveiled a series of protective measures,which includes establishing a nature reserve to restorea safe habitat for these rare wild species, opening a zoo,setting up a working group to explore ways of increasingtheir population, involving foreign expertise on wild animalprotection and reproduction, and setting up a fund forprotecting the Mazaalai.©UNEP
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  24. 24. 25Think.Eat.SaveReduce Your FoodprintWhat’s it all about?THINKDo you consider yourself a conscious consumer? Do you tryto conserve water when possible, turn out the lights whennot in use, drive to maximize your fuel efficiency and avoidmaking choices that are wasteful? Do you take pride in havinga responsible organization or business, or fancy yourself aprogressive city planner or inhabitant of a progressive city? Ifso, you might be surprised to learn that you may inadvertentlybe contributing to a global waste epidemic in which nearly onethird of all the food you buy or serve is thrown out before beingused; food too good to waste. But don’t despair, you are notalone and small actions have a big impact. Just THINK about it!EATIt goes without saying that for each and every one of us, eatingis a crucial part of our daily lives. For some, the act of eatingrepresents pure sustenance; for others, the art of eating is aritual of culinary delights. But whatever your relationship tofood, we can all be smarter — about the way we eat it, serveit, shop for it and dispose of it. We hope you will find all ofthe necessary tools and resources you need to reduce yourfoodprint here. So EAT up… but do so mindfully.SAVEIn food-secure areas around the globe, the very act of foodshopping, cooking, eating and trashing can be a mindlessactivity. Little, if any, attention is paid to the way the foodarrives on our grocer’s shelves, let alone the acts of harvesting,manufacturing, packaging, shipping and merchandising thefood that sustains our daily lives.It is therefore not surprising that there is little awareness of theamount of food that is lost and wasted along the entire foodsupply chain during production, distribution, consumptionand disposal. Yet the economic, social and environmentalimplications of this enormous food loss and waste arestaggering, and are continuing to grow as a real threat. It’s timeto SAVE… for People, Personal Health, Planet & Pocket.©SHUTTERSTOCK
  25. 25. 26Globally, the agri-foodsystem accounts for nearly30%of end-user available energyAgriculture and land usechanges like deforestationcontribute to more than30%of total global greenhousegas emissionsOverfishing and poormanagement contribute todeclining numbers of fish, some30%of marine fish stocks are nowconsidered overexploitedGlobally, 9 per cent of thefreshwater resources arewithdrawn,70%of this by irrigated agricultureDIDYOUKNOW?The global food systemhas profound implications onthe environment, and producingmore food than is consumed onlyexacerbates the pressures, someof which follow:More than 20 per cent of allcultivated land,30%of forests and 10 per cent ofgrasslands are undergoingdegradation©SHUTTERSTOCK©UNEP26
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  27. 27. 28There’s plenty you can doand it starts at home!Buy locally! Flying food across continents increases global transportation emissions.Buy funny fruit—many fruits and vegetables are thrown out because their size, shape,or colour are not ‘right’. Buying these perfectly good funny fruit, at the farmer’s market orelsewhere, utilizes food that might otherwise go to waste.Bring a cloth bag to do all your grocery shopping. A reusable bag will last for years andonly needs to be used 5 times to have a lower environmental impact than a plastic bag.Choose naturally grown foods. They have less ofan environmental impact and are much healthier.Compost—composting food scraps can reducetheir climate impact while also recycling theirnutrients. Food makes up almost 13 percent of theU.S. waste stream, but a much higher percent oflandfill-caused methane. 
Encourage your city tostart curb side composting programs.Act now. Make the decisionto become more aware ofissues related to food waste.Adopt as many eco-friendlylifestyle choices as you canand make them habits forWED!Add it up. Our impact isexponential when the globalchorus sings together.
  28. 28. 29Don’t buy more food than youreally need.Donate—non-perishable andunspoiled perishable food can bedonated to local food banks, soupkitchens, pantries, and shelters. Localand national programs frequentlyoffer free pick-up and providereusable containers to donors. Thereis even a Good Samaritan Act thatprotects businesses that give foodfrom litigation.
Form a group of peersor colleagues to overseethe food waste at yourschool, neighborhood orworkplace.Freeze It!—frozen foodsremain safe indefinitely.Freeze fresh produce andleftovers if you won’t havethe chance to eat thembefore they go bad.Join a localenvironmental orconservation group.You can team up withthose around you andmake a real differencefor your community.Grow an organic garden and yourown delicious food.Get smart about less waste,great taste — plan meals, useshopping lists, buy from bulk bins,and avoid impulse buys. Don’tsuccumb to marketing tricks thatlead you to buy more food than youneed, particularly for perishableitems. Though 
these may be lessexpensive per ounce, they can bemore expensive overall if much ofthat food is discarded.Have a vegan (noanimal products)dinner party!Host a WorldEnvironment Daycelebration.Invent new recipesfor using left-overs.Go on the internet andlearn more about themany ways we can becreative with left-oversand also for storingto food that will keepthem fresh longer.Eat organic and locally grown foods and helpreduce the clearing of forests for agricultural land.Educate your friends on how individual actionscan have an exponential impact and motivateaction for WED.Eat down your fridge—Websites such aswww.lovefoodhatewaste.com can help you getcreative with recipes to use up anything that mightgo bad soon. Manage your fridge so that you havea no waste policy—nothing gets thrown out.
  29. 29. 30Learn more about theenvironment impact of foodproduction. Did you knowthat it takes 1,000 litres ofwater to produce 1 litre ofmilk?Love your Leftovers—ask your restaurant to packup your extras so you caneat them later. Freeze themif you don’t want to eatimmediately. Only about halfof Americans take leftovershome from restaurants.Learn the labels—“Sell-by” and “use-by”dates are not federallyregulated and do notindicate safety, except oncertain baby foods. Rather,they are 
manufacturersuggestions for peak quality.Most foods can be safelyconsumed well after theiruse-by dates.Order smallfood portions first.Better to add onthan waste.More food in yourpantry increases therisk of food going badbefore you consume.Mobilize yournetworks! Messageyour friends about WED— facebook, twitter,orkut, weibo, SMS,text, phone, email — itdoesn’t matter how, justget the word out!Kick the habit!Don’t buy justbecause it’s onsale – plan yourmeals.Quantifyhow muchmoney youcould saveif you don’twaste food.As much as 50per cent of thegroceries webuy could endup in the bin.Plan in advance. Know whatyou will need before you gogrocery shopping so not toend up buying more food thanwhat will be consumed in yourhousehold.Pile up! Lay the grounds for acompost pile and start sortingyour garbage.Pledge to a FoodWaste-FreeWednesday!Request smaller Portions.Restaurants will oftenprovide half-portions uponrequest at reduced prices.Register a WED activity atwww.unep.org/wed!Notify your friends on how theiraction against food waste couldhave a huge impact. Even if justone-fourth of the food currentlylost or wasted globally could besaved, it would be enough tofeed 870 million hungry people inthe world.
  30. 30. 31X-plore the WorldEnvironment Daywebsite. Find out moreabout food waste.Sacrifice something smalleach month – eat locally grownvegetables instead of importedvegetables; do without steak ascattle ranching is high impact!;carpool with co-workers; take yourbike to work etc.Save! Every year, consumers inrich countries waste almost as muchfood (222 million tonnes) as theentire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa (230 million tonnes).Visit the WEDwebsite regularlyand see how youcan get involved!Understand your options.Learn about the small waysyou, as an individual, canmake a positive impact onthe environment.Tell your friends about theenormous amounts of food waste weare creating. A third of global foodproduction is either wasted or lost.Think before you buy food. Whatis the environmental impact of yourchoice?Tweet about #WED and spreadfood waste tips to the world!Waste not, wantnot. 1 in every 7 peoplein the world go to bedhungry and more than20,000 children underthe age of 5 die dailyfrom hunger.You can makea difference– individualactions, whenmultiplied,can make anexponentialdifference tothe planet!Go for Zero Waste – supportthe UN Secretary General’s ZeroHunger Challenge where one of thegoals is zero food loss and waste.©SHUTTERSTOCK
  31. 31. 32Traditional andIndigenous Waysof Preserving FoodThe Incas historically introduced the production of chuñosto South America. It was a way to preserve potatoes byexposing a frost-resistant potato variety to the very low nighttemperatures of the Andean Altiplano, freezing them, andsubsequently exposing them to the intense sunlight of the day.Kiviak is a traditional wintertime Inuit food from Greenlandthat is made of auks (seabirds) preserved in the hollowed-outbody of a seal and which are served at feasts or weddings.North American tribes were the first ones to eat pemmican,a mixture of dried meat and tallow. It was widely adopted asa high-energy food by Arctic and Antarctic explorers as it is aconcentrated mixture of fat and protein.In Brazil, indigenous groups use the fermentation andmaturation of yuca (cassava) to develop their farinha, whichthen became a highly popular Brazilian staple food. Traditionalcommunitiesalsousedtocooktheirpreyandleaveitimmersedin fat for meat preservation.©SHUTTERSTOCK32
  32. 32. 33In Nigeria and several other western African countries, cassavatubers are peeled, washed and grated to produce a mash. Themash is placed in a porous bag and allowed to ferment for acouple of days while weights are placed on the bag to pressthe water out. It is then sieved and roasted, resulting in a drygranular foodstuff called garri, which can be stored for longperiods.Bedouins and other desert populations produce ghee, a typeof butter that has a long shelf-life and needs no refrigeration,prepared by boiling butter and removing the residue.Bakkwa, a Chinese salty-sweet dried meat, was traditionallymade with the leftover meats from festivals and banquets.The meat from these celebrations is trimmed of the fat, sliced,marinated and then smoked.The Turkish horsemen of Central Asia used to preserve meatby placing slabs of it in pockets on the sides of their saddleswhere it would be pressed by their legs as they rode. Thispressed meat was the forerunner of today’s pastirma, a termwhich literally means ‘being pressed’ in Turkish, and is theorigin of the Italian pastrami.Cheese is an ancient food whose origin, predating recordedhistory, is assumed to lie in the practice of transporting milkin bladders made of ruminants’ stomachs, with their inherentsupply of rennet.Mongol Empire troops used to condense or shrink the meatofawholecowdowntothesizeofahumanfist—thisexplainswhy their armies could travel huge distances seeminglywithout supplies. Tiny amounts of the concentrated beefprotein (known as “borts”) could be sliced off into hotwater to make a highly nutritious soup. This is just one of thetraditional ways in which nomads and herders in Mongoliahave preserved food without refrigeration for centuries.Mongolians also have the everlasting aaruuls, which iscurdled milk, dehydrated and thoroughly dried in the airand sun.The Kenyan Turkana people preserved milk by turning itinto milk powder which is done by sun drying the clottedfermented milk on flat rocks or hides.
  33. 33. 34The WorldEnvironment DayBig Blog Off!From February to April this year, UNEP and its partnerTreeHugger invited green bloggers across the world towrite articles for the 2013 World Environment Day BloggingCompetition. The prize: a fully paid round trip to Mongolia toblog live for World Environment Day on 5 June 2013!After a UNEP-TreeHugger jury selected 10 out of over 100blog entries, the top 10 bloggers battled in an exciting onlineshowdown in which WED participants got to vote for theirfavorite blogger! Now the votes are in and everyone can staytuned to this year’s global World Environment Day eventsby following the live coverage by their blog winner, CharlesImmanuel Akhimien.
  34. 34. 35Waste NotThink.Eat.SaveReduce your foodprint!By Charles Immanuel AkhimienFood is many things to different people - a necessity, evena religious experience. One thing is common to everyonethough, we cannot live without food. As B.W. Richardsonputs it: “Preserve and treat food as you would your body,remembering that in time food will be your body.”I consider myself a gourmet. I love food. Food to me is one oflife’s greatest pleasures.Living in Nigeria, poverty is apparent, which makes the levelof food wastage all the more paradoxical. According tothe Nigerian Ministry of Agriculture, the average Nigerianhousehold wastes 150 kilograms of food per week.
  35. 35. 36As poor as sub-Saharan Africa seems, it wastes an obsceneamount of food. More than a quarter of the food producedin Africa spoils before it is eaten. Farmers battle post-harvestlosses caused by severe weather, pests, poor harvesting andstorage. These losses amount to some 100 million tons or $48million worth of food. In sub-Saharan Africa, at least 265 millionpeople are hungry, thus making food wastage ridiculous.In a world of so much starvation, food wastage is a crime.Discarded food is usually deposited in landfills which generatemethane, a greenhouse gas 23 times more potent thancarbon dioxide. These landfills account for 34 percent of allmethane emissions; meaning that the sandwich you made andthen didn’t eat yesterday is increasing your personal and ourcollective carbon foodprint. Quite simply, your wasted food iskilling our planet!Various countries in Africa, most prominently Kenya, are takingsteps to reduce their food waste. By far the most daring stepI have heard till date is that being undertaken by a Nigerian©UNEP36
  36. 36. 37restaurant in East London, Obalende Suya Express, whichcharges a £2.50 fee if you don’t finish your meal. Most peopleare aware of food waste on some level. You may have heardthe phrase “clean your plate.” This awareness, though, doesn’tnecessarily translate into action. So how does one go aboutreducing one’s foodprint? Here are a few tips that I have put inpractice over the last year:Think and make a list. By using a list I only buy the food itemsI really need.Grow your own food. I have a vegetable garden and I hardlywaste my own produce, due to the thought of all that effort Iput in going to waste.Don’t shop on an empty stomach. From personal experience,you buy more food when you are hungry, and usually it is foodthat you don’t need.Plan each meal. This helps you to utilise the food you haveat hand.Prepare the appropriate quantity. Even if you’re a “foodie”like I am, you still have a limit to what your stomach canaccommodate.Eat food while it is still fresh.Consume leftovers first.Save your leftovers; don’t discard them. I put mine into thefreezer for snacks later or use them in other meals. As a lastresort, your pets can enjoy a good feed, or maybe even thechickens can have a nosh up if you keep them. Nothing goesto waste at my house. If the dog won’t eat it, the chickens will.The only food items I throw into the landfill bin are small bones!Using these methods will help you remarkably reduce yourfood waste. You would be ensuring that this year’s WorldEnvironment Day theme (http://www.unep.org/wed/) is areality by putting William Osler to shame who said “We are alldietetic sinners; only a small percent of what we eat nourishesus; the balance goes to waste and loss of energy”. Therefore,waste not!
  37. 37. Printing: UNON, Publishing Services Section, Nairobi, ISO 14001: 2004-certified.
  38. 38. ©SHUTTERSTOCK
  39. 39. 40www.unep.org/wed

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