Inter-agency collaboration supports countries with tools, advocacy and multi-stakeholder action for sustainable food systems transitions.
17 November 2020

FAO, UNEP, UNDP and UNWTO have joined forces in a collaborative two-year project that aims to develop tools and approaches to achieve coherent policies and strengthened human capacities for sustainable, resilient and inclusive food systems. The collaboration will include piloting activities at the national and municipal levels in Uganda and the municipal level in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  Learnings and outputs will contribute to o the UN Secretary General’s Food Summit.

The food sector: a dominant user of our natural resources 

Food systems encompass the entire range of actors and their interlinked value-adding activities involved in the production, aggregation, processing, distribution, consumption and disposal of food products that originate from agriculture, forestry or fisheries, and the broader economic, societal and natural resource environments. Food systems touch upon everyone’s lives on a daily basis, ensuring food security, providing important nutrients, contributing to biodiversity and generating jobs along food value chains in rural and urban settings.  Yet, constrained by population growth, urbanization, increasing consumption and climate change, food systems around the world are straining to deliver the desired benefits in a sustainable way.

For instance, food systems are responsible for up to 37% of global GHG emissions, 60% of global terrestrial biodiversity loss, and the overexploitation of 20% of the world’s aquifers. The largest impacts, contributing around 24% to global GHGs, come from land-use changes, high input agriculture, livestock and food losses. A third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted, generating 8% of global GHG emissions.

How is this being addressed through the project?

The project aims to address these challenges by harnessing the combined expertise from the One Planet network.

Applying a science-based approach which considers the entire value chain, the project will develop and pilot tools for a whole-of-government approach for integrated food systems at national and sub-national levels, including an approach to foster multi-stakeholder collaboration for food system transformation, as well as for promoting sustainable food management in the tourism sector.

This will be complemented by efforts to establish partnerships and collaborations for sustainable food systems development in the two countries of implementation.

In addition, the project will support capacity building, awareness-raising and behavioral change through an advocacy campaign targeting governments, investors, small-scale value chain actors and consumers.

Experience and lessons learned in the pilot countries will be recorded to be available globally to support the adoption of sustainable food systems in other countries.

Click here to find out more about the One Planet Multi-Partner Trust Fund for SDG 12.

Agriculture and Fishery, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Food, Natural Resources, Policy, Procurement, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Systems change, Tourism, Value chain