Multi-stakeholder collaboration for more sustainable food systems in the Mediterranean
The main objective of this side event is to showcase food systems transformation processes and pathways in the Mediterranean, as a direct contribution to the UNFSS follow-up process. Echoing the global objectives and efforts of the One Planet Network’s SFS Programme at regional level, the work conducted by the SFS-MED Platform focuses on leveraging cross-country and multi-stakeholder collaboration to advance food systems transformation in the Mediterranean region.
The expected outcome is the consolidation of a Mediterranean collaborative way forward, embracing the concepts of blue, green and circular economy, fostering research and innovation, and leveraging the Mediterranean diet to bring about more sustainable consumption and production- patterns, all key for achieving progress towards the 2030 Agenda in the region.
The side event builds on the outcomes of previous dialogues and events co-organized by the SFS-MED Platform in the framework of the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) and the 3rd World Conference on the Revitalization of the Mediterranean Diet, which saw the participation of UNFSS National Convenors from several Mediterranean countries. This process allowed to identify key priorities, areas of work, and potential levers of change that are now at the core of the SFS-MED Platform activities aimed at transforming food systems in the Mediterranean.
This side event will be held at the margins of the 4th Global Conference of the One Planet’s Network’s Sustainable Food Systems Programme (24-27 April 2023), which will provide a space for food systems stakeholder worldwide to present transformational actions that promote a food systems approach and to build capacities and deepen collective efforts towards sustainable food systems pathways, following up on the UNFSS and in view of the UN Food Systems Stocktaking Moment.
Countries and populations across the Mediterranean are facing interdependent challenges linked to cascading effects of conflict, climate emergencies, and demographic pressures. Several countries are net food importers, in particular for cereals, which expose livelihoods to trade disruptions, market fluctuations and a double burden of undernutrition and obesity trends. At the same time, climate change affects the Mediterranean region significantly more than the world average, leading to competing demands for land, water and energy, in a region already deeply impacted by shrinking natural resources.
The global high-level momentum for boosting collaboration to transform agrifood systems is thriving also in the Mediterranean region, including through:
- policy dialogue to respond to the ongoing food crisis, by identifying common approaches to address shared food systems related challenges;
- enhanced technical cooperation through multi-stakeholder mechanisms at regional level, as urged by the UNFSS;
- engagement of countries in the UNFSS process and follow-up, through the development and implementation of their National Pathways.
To this effect, the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (PRIMA) have joined forces in a multi-stakeholder initiative for Sustainable Food Systems in the Mediterranean (SFS-MED Platform), as an affiliated project of the One Planet Network’s Sustainable Food Systems Programme.
The SFS-MED Platform offers a forum for multi-stakeholder dialogue and collaboration, a network for strengthening knowledge sharing and capacity building around the sustainable food systems approach, and opportunities for regional cooperation among Mediterranean countries and public/private actors for a transformation towards more sustainable food systems in the Mediterranean.