Kathryn Ogden : his message to future generations
Can you introduce yourself
My name is Kathryn Ogden, I work for the World Food Programme (WFP) in the Nutrition Division, and more specifically I ensure that all WFP field programmes – all the actions we take within our programmes – include nutrition as one of their objectives.
What do you think of the French Red Cross conference “Health and Climate Change”?
I think this initiative of the French Red Cross is great, it brings together so many different people who examine these issues from so many different perspectives but at the same time with an overview of climate change and its impacts on health. So for my part, I look at it more particularly from the point of view of nutrition, because it is also good to open this reflection to the consequences on health and nutrition.
What messages did you come to bring?
I think one of the main messages I came here to bring is that we must not forget malnutrition. Malnutrition is one of the five main health impacts of climate change. We are seeing an increase in malnutrition figures, we have 1.5 million children who are malnourished, we have two billion adults and children who suffer from micro-nutrition deficiencies, all this has an impact on health, we are also seeing an increase in obesity, which has a huge impact on health, as a non-communicable disease, just like malnutrition. So that’s probably my main message.
What do you think are the priority actions to be taken?
So I think one of the priority actions to take is to first understand the impact of climate change on nutrition, to raise awareness of that impact and then to ensure that we advocate for change, that change is part of the way we work, to integrate climate action, climate adaptation into our programs so that we can also have an impact on nutrition and health.
I think that every citizen has a role in adaptation and that everyone can act, I firmly believe that everyone can act. I read a book called “Micro-Trends” that showed that even very small actions can have a big impact and I think it’s the same here. If we all pay attention to what we eat, if we all think about what we eat, the impacts of what we eat and how we buy our food, the impact that can have on the environment and on climate change, I think it is very important. So every day, everyone can look at what they have on their plate, the food choices they make and have a big impact.
What message do you want to send to future generations?
My message for future generations, what would it be? I would say that through my work, I have visited many countries, I have worked with many people, I have worked in conflict areas, and now I see more and more in my work the impacts of natural disasters as well, and so I would say to future generations, take care of your planet, if you are healthy then your planet will be healthy, take care of your planet and I would like to be sure that you can enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed it, in a healthy and positive way.
This news is related to one of the 12 themes of the World Conference on Health and Climate Change.
You can find all the information on the theme “Fighting food insecurity and malnutrition” by following the link.