Kazakhstan said it wants to achieve a more efficient use of land and water resources, so it is increasing land fertility, introducing water saving technologies, and digitalising water supply systems; Poland is building a food identification system to provide transparent information about how and where food is produced; New Zealand is joining the Indigenous Peoples Food Systems Coalition, and commits to ensuring Indigenous Peoples can help lead the way forward; Guyana is de-risking the agriculture sector, implementing the use of innovative technologies, developing climate-smart practices, and increasing investment in disaster preparedness and response; Spain is supporting family farming through the Coalition for the Decade of Family Farming; Kenya’s Food Systems Call to Action – includes commitments to enhance food production systems, engage the youth in agriculture, and fund its School Meals Feeding and School Milk Programme; Norway has pledged to empower the smallholder farmer through its development assistance; and Burkino Faso confirmed the constitutional entrenchment of the right to a healthy, diversified and balanced diet.
This is a mere glimpse of the commitments made Thursday in New York at the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS), on a day when countries announced their national pathways for achieving food systems transformation.
“As the pandemic physically pushed us apart, the preparations for this summit brought us together,” said António Guterres, UN Secretary-General. “Through national dialogues, governments gathered together businesses, communities and civil society to chart pathways for the future of food systems across 148 countries. Over 100,000 people came together to discuss and debate solutions — many of which are now being shared at this summit.”
Food systems are responsible for 80% of biodiversity loss, and a third of global greenhouse gas emissions, but world leaders agreed that achieving progress in five key areas at a national and regional level can trigger ‘a global shift in making progress on the SDGs, secure the fundamental human rights for all’, and drive recovery in three fundamental ways: for people. for the planet, and for prosperity.
Five areas: (1) Nourish All People; (2) Boost Nature-based Solutions; (3) Advance Equitable Livelihoods, Decent Work & Empowered Communities; (4) Build Resilience to Vulnerabilities, Shocks and Stresses; and (5) Support Means of Implementation.
A global movement for food systems transformation has now been mobilised and countries will be supported in their efforts by Resident Coordinators (RCs) and UN Country Teams (UNCTs). A UN system-wide coordination hub will be established to continue the work of the summit, with ‘representatives of priority constituencies and issues, particularly youth, Indigenous Peoples, and women’ feeding into the hub. The UN Secretary-General will also ‘lead a global stock-taking every two years to review progress’.
The goals of zero hunger, and ensuring equitable access for all to nutritious foods, is achievable but it will need coordinated investment. Professor Joachim Von Braun, chair, UNFSS scientific group, said: “Science says we can come close to ending hunger by 2030 by investing 40 to 50 billion US dollars a year.”
Every person can play their part in accelerating change and the message yesterday, at the ‘People’s Summit’, was one of inclusivity. And hundreds of collective and individual commitments have already been registered to ‘support the implementation of the National Food Systems Pathways’. Register yours now.