The 'Right to Food' is a legal entitlement owed to all human beings established in international law more than half a century ago. Fulfilment of the right has been entrusted to states parties to the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). However,
in practice, the right is often breached because of hostility or indifference from individuals or institutions refusing access to provisions, or because of vicissitudes of nature. Adverse impacts due to human interference in natural processes are increasingly noticeable in the area of food
production. These processes have been classified into nine distinct categories, all of which need be kept within certain margins, so-called 'Planetary Boundaries', which delineate a safe operating space for humanity. This paper discusses the impact each of these human-induced developments
has on the provision of food as well as the other way round and what the consequences would be if the boundaries were exceeded. Yet there are means of keeping the worst consequences of most of these processes at bay. The paper explores some of these.
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Document Type: Review Article
Publication date: 01 March 2017
This article was made available online on 06 March 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "The Right to Food and the Planetary Boundaries framework".
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Cover image: Plastic debris washed-up on a river bank. The manufacture and use of different types of plastic, and the effects of pollution by these materials are discussed in the article on pages 207–260. Credit: By igorstevanovic/Shutterstock.com.
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