degradation, cropland losses, water scarcity and species infestations. Of these, water scarcity and land degradation are the most significant, strengthening further the importance of restoring ecosystems to become more resilient to change. Dependence on cropland expansion, intensified fisheries and aquaculture as the only solutions to increasing demands for food is likely to undermine the very environmental resources upon which food production is based. Restoring degraded lands through improvedwater conservation, tree planting and organic farming systems, along with reducing illegal fisheries and unsustainable harvest levels are key components to improving food security where it is needed most, while sustaining a green economy and local livelihoods and markets. In conclusion, with over 2 billion hectares of degraded land, food produced on 1.4 billion hectares being lost and wasted and an increasingly large share of food production going to animal feed, a new agricultural and food consumption paradigm is needed for sustainable food production. Such a paradigm shift towards sustainable production calls for investing in better management of food producing ecosystems.
fishing mainly by foreign vessels. Small-scale fishers are vulnerable as they have a lower fishing range, lower capacity in terms of harvest efficiency and a lower buffer or alternative operational range if local areas are overexploited by industrial- scale fishing. In fewer places is this more critical than in West Africa where foreign vessels are increasingly overexploiting local fish stocks, including illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Globally, illegal fisheries account for 14–33 per cent of the total landings, but in West Africa it is as high as 40 per cent. Similar problems also exist on the east coast of Africa. Both regions have high population growth rates and high incidents of food insecurity – and it is therefore highly problematic that foreign vessels cause overexploitation of their fish stocks. Estimates show that the recovery of depleted fish stocks has the potential of feeding an additional 90 million people, while the 40 million tonnes of fish and seafood that are discarded can satisfy the daily protein needs of a further 370 million people for a year. Preventing further food loss due to degradation of ecosystems is a challenge. An estimated 5–25 per cent of the world’s food production may be lost by 2050 due to climate change, land