Makara market in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Makara market in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (photo credit: ILRI/Hardisman Dasman).

The safety of food is a global concern and it is widely acknowledged that there can be no food security without food safety. Indeed, food safety is closely linked to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

A technical brief titled Food safety and the Sustainable Development Goals sets out the linkages between food safety and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), identifies priority issues and suggests how investments in food safety can help attain the SDGs. The focus is on low- and middle-income countries whose development needs are most urgent and where the burden of foodborne disease is highest.

The brief discusses both the likely role of food safety in contributing to or retarding progress to meet the SDGs as well as the interventions or responses that can maximise benefits and reduce risks. It draws attention to unintended consequences of food safety interventions, which, while attempting to improve public health, may jeopardise other objectives such as improving nutrition or gender equity.

Access the brief, Food safety and the Sustainable Development Goals by Delia Grace, joint leader of the Animal and Human Health program at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).

Fishermen and goats at the Niger River

Fishermen and Sahelian goats by the Niger River, in Segou, Mali (photo credit: ILRI/Stevie Mann).

World Water Week in Stockholm is organized annually by the Stockholm International Water Institute and brings together experts from around the world to discuss pertinent issues around water and development.

At the start of this year’s World Water Week, taking place from 28 August to 2 September 2016, the University of Gothenburg, the Swedish International Agricultural Network Initiative, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation convened a seminar on antimicrobial resistance and linkages between humans, livestock and water in peri-urban areas.

Among the speakers at the seminar was Delia Grace, a veterinary epidemiologist and food safety expert at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). Her presentation was based on a report published in July 2016 by the Committee on World Food Security High-Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition. Grace was a member of the project team that wrote the report.

The presentation begins with an overview of the key role of the livestock sector in sustainable agricultural development and the global rise in demand for animal-source food, a phenomenon dubbed the ‘Livestock Revolution’. Some agriculture-associated challenges of livestock production are then discussed; these include antimicrobial resistance, foodborne diseases and zoonoses. Cross-cutting and specific recommendations to address these challenges are then put forward.

View the presentation: Sustainable agricultural development for food security and nutrition: what roles for livestock?

Delia Grace presents on zoonotic diseases, UNEP Nairobi, 20 May 2016
ILRI veterinary epidemiologist Delia Grace presenting at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Science-Policy Forum that preceded the second session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-2), on 20 May 2016 (photo credit: ILRI).

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) held its first global Science-Policy Forum in Nairobi, Kenya on 19-20 May 2016 as part of the overall programme of the second session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) held on 23-27 May 2016.

The forum offered a platform to the science community to engage with policymakers and civil society stakeholders on the science and knowledge needed to support informed decision-making to deliver on the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Delia Grace, a veterinary epidemiologist at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), took part in the forum as a panellist for the launch of the UNEP Frontiers 2016 report on emerging issues of environmental concern.

Her presentation on zoonotic and emerging infectious diseases focused on the global burden of zoonotic diseases (diseases that can be transmitted between animals and people), the drivers of disease (among them, land use change, environmental degradation and climate change) and how the multidisciplinary One Health approach can be used to support timely response to the threat of zoonotic diseases.


Zoonotic diseases are also featured in a chapter in the UNEP Frontiers 2016 report, Zoonoses: Blurred lines of emergent disease and ecosystem health by Delia Grace and ILRI colleagues Bernard Bett, Hu Suk Lee and Susan MacMillan.

Global Development Symposium 2014

The Global Development Symposium 2014 takes place on 4–7 May 2014 at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Underscoring the critical links between human and animal health, the symposium will explore interdisciplinary approaches to improving public health and food security while empowering communities for lasting change.

Participants are expected to include social, environmental, medical and veterinary scientists as well as policymakers, students and community members who have an interest in positive global development.

The organizers of the symposium have issued a call for oral, poster and pitch for progress abstracts to be submitted up to 13 January 2014

The organizers will also support the travel costs of up to 15 delegates through the International Connections Scholarship supported by Aeroplan. Both professionals and students are encouraged to apply for these awards based on the following criteria:

  • Preference will be given to those individuals from a developing nation or the Canadian North
  • Demonstrated financial need as articulated through the application process
  • If applying as a student, must be a full time student at a recognized college or university (a letter from the Department Chair of your institution must be included in the application submission)

Applications for scholarships will be accepted until 15 November 2013

Below are the expanded themes of the symposium

Theme 1: Global public health

  • Ecosystem approaches to health
  • Translating research to action to policy 
  • One Health
  • Educating the next generation of leaders
  • Domestic, wild and feral animals 
  • Crisis Intervention

Theme 2: Food and water security

  • Sustaining communities
  • Market integration
  • Adding value to family agriculture
  • Woman and children
  • Climate change and health
  • Water systems and infrastructure
  • Human-animal interactions

Theme 3: Community empowerment

  • Outcome assessment: qualitative and quantitative
  • Stakeholder consultation, learning and sharing
  • Participatory design, research, monitoring and evaluation
  • Conservation, biodiversity and natural resource management
  • Animals’ role in the community

Visit the symposium website for more information and details of how to register