SDG 2 Zero Hunger – Embedding the Sustainable Development Goals in Learning

This blog post is part of a series around the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Each post will dive into one of the goals and how we as educators can strive to embed these into our own courses. It is in the author’s opinion that any course or class can connect with one of the 17 goals or 169 sub-targets. By providing this blog post series, we hope to elicit some ideas of how you might also integrate a global goal into your teaching. Please refer to the USask SDG Teaching & Learning Workbook, review the USask Sustainability in the Curricula website, or scroll down for more information about the SDGs.

SDG 2 is all about ending hunger. This goal isn’t just about making sure everyone has enough food to eat, it’s also about making sure that food is safe and nutritious. Because the food we eat has to come from somewhere, this goal also directs attention to sustainable food production, resilient agriculture and local and global cooperation when it comes to investing in agricultural productivity. Over the past 15 years, the fight to end hunger has come a long way. The prevalence of hunger word wide has declined from 15 per cent in 2002 to 11 per cent in 2016. But, more than 790 million people still don’t have regular access to nutritious food. This has far-reaching effects on people’s health and well-being, making it an important goal to achieve. In Saskatchewan, the weekly cost of a ‘nutritional food basket’ to feed a family of four varies between $200-$400 per week between urban and remote locations. Policy North – Kîwetinohk – Yathe at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy identifies three As of food insecurity: accessibility, availability, and affordability. Accessibility and availability in rural areas continues to affect affordability. Closing the loop between production, distribution, consumption, and waste, is critical in ending hunger.  Thus, the goal of ending world hunger and improving access to nutritious food will be measured by the prevalence of undernourishment, malnutrition and by child growth. As sustainable food production increases, this goal will look at the volume of food production by different kinds of agriculture and the average income of farmers based on their sex and Indigenous status.

You might be able to align to this SDG if you want your learners to be able to:

  • communicate the difference between hunger, food security and malnutrition, and their main physical and psychological effects on human life.
  • identify the drivers, causes and distribution of hunger and malnutrition locally, nationally and globally.
  • apply the principles of sustainable agriculture and why it is needed to combat hunger and malnutrition.
  • collaborate with, encourage and empower others to combat hunger and promote sustainable agriculture.
  • evaluate, participate and implement actions personally and locally to combat hunger and promote sustainable agriculture.

For example: Students in Environmental Sciences 401 Sustainability in Action, offered by the School of Environment and Sustainability, took on the challenge of addressing food insecurity at the University of Saskatchewan by providing information about campus resources and food sustainability tips. Their website is an example of an open resource developed by students for their own learning and for the community https://sustainability.usask.ca/programs/food-security.php#

Some curricular connections and questions for students might be:

Media

How does the media present hunger and food security? Locally? Nationally? Internationally?

Oppression and genocide

How is hunger a form of oppression?

Consumerism

Do our consumer habits impact other’s access to quality food?

Health and biotechnology

How is technology being used to improve food security?

Environment

How do environmental concerns like climate change impact food security?

Gender politics

How does gender impact a person’s experience with hunger and food security?

Poverty, wealth and power

How does access to power and wealth relate to food security?

Social justice and human rights

How can we enforce access to healthy food as a human right? Locally? Nationally? Internationally?

Indigenous Peoples

In what ways do Indigenous people experience food insecurity uniquely?

Peace and conflict

How does solving food security issues affect peace and conflict?

WHAT ARE THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS?

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals — also known as the SDGs or the Global Goals —came into effect on January 1, 2016 following an historic United Nations Summit in September 2015. 193 governments from around the world agreed to implement the Goals within their own countries in order to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Over the next fifteen years, with these new Goals that universally apply to all, countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.

These new, interconnected goals build on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs, while also identifying new priority areas such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice, among others.

Although each country faces specific challenges in pursuit of sustainable development, special attention is given to the most vulnerable countries, in particular, African countries, less developed countries, landlocked countries and small island developing states. There are also serious challenges within many middle-income countries.

For each of the 17 goals, there is a list of specific targets we aim to reach. The targets discussed in this guide have been summarized for ease of reading. For a more detailed list of all the 169 targets, visit GlobalGoals.org.

This content has been adapted by the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning and the University of Saskatchewan from the original by the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation. Users are free to download, copy, print and share this resource as needed, and adapt for their classroom or non-commercial use. If you adapt or build on this work, please let MCIC or USask know! gmctl@usask.ca Sustainable Foundations: A Guide for Teaching the Sustainable Development Goals by the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.  To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0   

Original document http://mcic.ca/uploads/public/files-sf/SF-Full-FINAL-WEB-ISBN-2021-EN.pdf