Sustainability: Reframing the Conversation


The Hunger Project’s Statement on Earth Day 2012

“Sustainability is not exclusively or even primarily an environmental issue…It is fundamentally about how we choose to live our lives, with an awareness that everything we do has consequences for the seven billion of us here today, as well as for the billions more who will follow, for centuries to come.”

-Helen Clark, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

One of The Hunger Project’s fundamental principles, on which all of our strategies are built, is that of sustainability: solutions to ending chronic hunger must be sustainable locally, socially, economically and environmentally.

Human development and the protection of the environment are often seen as two opposite ends of a spectrum, and the question arises: when funds are so limited, do we focus on people or the environment? The world is now seeing the need to reframe the conversation and the upcoming Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development plans to address just this issue. At the summit, world leaders will focus on how to end hunger and poverty through a sustainable, green economy that advances human development without sacrificing the future environment.

At The Hunger Project, we firmly believe in a holistic approach that addresses the need for sustainability in ending chronic hunger as an environmental issue as well as a human one. It is possible to focus on both, and our village partners work every day to increase their resilience in the face of environmental challenges, but also toward what we at THP call sustainable self-reliance – an end to their chronic hunger and extreme poverty that is ever lasting and in harmony with the natural environment.

What We Do

People living in conditions of chronic hunger and extreme poverty in the developing world are primarily food farmers, and their well-being is most closely tied to the natural environment. THP’s programs:

  • Promote sustainable farming practices such as composting, intercropping, and drip irrigation;
  • Increase access to sustainable agricultural technology;
  • Raise awareness of and build capacity to adapt to climate change;
  • Facilitate reforestation through tree planting campaigns and the  establishment of tree nurseries; and
  • Empower village leaders to begin recycling programs in their communities.


  • Invest now in THP’s work to call forth a sustainable end to chronic hunger and extreme poverty on our planet.
  • Find out more about how our Hunger Project partners work to end their own hunger while protecting their natural environment.
  • Find out more about Rio+20.