Home > Our Goals > Goal 3: Uphold the Right to Sustainable Livelihoods

Why this Goal?

The current world population of 7.3 billion is expected to reach 8.5 billion by 2030 and 9.7 billion in 2050.*

By 2050, 2.4 billion more people will need to be food secure and require a sustainable livelihood. Two of the main threats to achieving this are climate change and food waste. However, climate change is probably the greatest challenge to affect the world today as it interferes with the availability of water for the production of food to feed the global population.

Rainfall patterns have changed significantly, especially in the global south. Erratic rainfall has a major impact on agriculture, which feeds the global population and employs 40% of the world’s workforce. Agriculture accounts for around 70% of water used in the world today and contributes to water pollution from excess nutrients, pesticides and other pollutants.

With 500 million small farms worldwide providing 80% of food in the global south, many are heavily dependent on rain for survival. Unpredictable weather, an effect of climate change, has devastated soils, rivers, oceans, and forests, resulting in droughts and floods. Some soils have been so badly affected that farmers have abandoned their lands because crops will not grow.

Climate change has been recognised by the Sustainable Development Goals, the second encyclical of Pope Francis ‘Laudato Si’ (Care for Our Common Home), and the legally binding agreement adopted by 191 countries at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference to keep global warming below 2° Celsius.

Sustainable Development Goals 2 and 8 encourage governments to adopt sustainable responses to hunger and food security. By using farming techniques and supply chains that protect the environment and preserve food and water, we can help small-holder farmers develop climate resilience and improve animal welfare. Encouraging entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation through the growth of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises with access to financial services furthers local solutions to local challenges.

Misean Cara believes that focusing on climate-resilient, sustainable livelihoods is critical as it leads to the sustainability of other areas of intervention and can enable empowerment of many through income generation, capacity development and a greater balance of resources. It is also in line with the first goal of the Irish Government’s policy for international development, to reduce hunger and strengthen resilience.**

Key Priorities to Achieve Success

  • Improve food and nutrition security.
  • Increase household income and well being through holistic income generation and livelihoods projects that are beneficiary focused.
  • Strengthen economic and environmental resilience.

*United Nations. 2015. The 2015 Revision of World Population Prospects.
**Irish Aid. 2013. One World, One Future, Ireland’s Policy for International Development.

Read more about progress in our 2018 Annual Report.