G20 aims to improve water use

G20 agriculture ministers met on 22 January in Berlin to discuss their contributions to global food security and improved nutrition. They approved a 2017 action plan entitled, “Towards food and water security: Fostering sustainability, advancing innovation,” in which they pledged to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the COP21 Paris Agreement. The G20 places special emphasis on better integration of sustainable use and management of water in food and agricultural policies. Crop production, livestock and aquaculture account for 70% of global freshwater use. According to a recent OECD report, by 2050, worldwide water demand will increase by 55%. In their declaration, G20 ministers encourage investment in water management, irrigation systems, water storage, manure management, soil health, land-management practices and agricultural innovation. Other priority areas include actions to protect water and water-related ecosystems, measures to reduce food loss and waste, and improvement of data and information for sustainable water and soil management.