Shrimp farm, Phang Nga Bay, Thailand (8°23’N – 98°34’E) © Yann Arthus-Bertrand.
Shrimp is one of the world’s most sought-after foods. Many countries have invested in shrimp farms to meet heavy demand. They provide a local source of income in coastal areas with high levels of poverty and may ensure that there is enough food for everyone in the future. Often, however, they have also been detrimental to the environment, in particular where vital mangrove forests are cleared to make room for them. To be a viable solution, fish and seafood farms need to co-exist with natural habitats.
GOAL 12: RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION
GOAL BY 2030: IMPROVE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT SO THAT WE ONLY EXPLOIT RESOURCES THAT THE PLANET IS ABLE TO RENEW.
It is vital that we waste fewer resources. In Denmark, we recycle some of our waste, including by incineration to generate district heating, but we need to start living in ways that allow almost everything to be recycled.
According to Global Footprint Network, if everyone on Earth were to consume resources at the same rate as the Danes, we would need more than four Earth-sized planets. In other words, we live way beyond our means – a bit like earning DKK 25,000 a month but spending DKK 100,000. We can’t keep drawing on the planet’s overdraft facility like that. Nor can we move to another planet, so patterns of consumption and production will have to change.
Food waste is one of the world’s biggest problems. One third of the food we produce is wasted – destroyed in fields or during the production process, unsold in stores or thrown out by consumers. This is not just a waste of food, it’s a waste of the enormous resources that went into producing it – especially water, energy and land that could have been left to its own natural devices.
Companies need to work more sustainably. Many are well on their way – 93% of the top 250 companies in the world now have sustainability strategies. The other side of the coin is that some countries still subsidise fossil fuels. This must stop by 2030.