Type of Dialogue
Language of Dialogue Event
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Today, the world’s food systems need to be transformed for people, for the environment, and for our shared future. Food systems have achieved the formidable task of feeding a population that has doubled in the last 3 decades, but this has been at a great cost to the environment. And where food insecurity and malnutrition persists, it is often related to the fragility of the natural resource base.
The food and agriculture sector is responsible for 70% of water withdrawals, the use of 38 % of ice-free land, and generating up to a third of anthropogenic greenhouse gases and 60% of biodiversity loss. At the same time, climate change is affecting food security due to warming, changing precipitation patterns, and greater frequency of extreme events. Promoting a healthy environment is thus critical for guaranteeing food security and nutrition for a growing population, even more so as food system pressures are expected to significantly increase with population and urbanization as well as dietary shifts to more resource-intensive food.
In May 2021, a Global Food Systems Summit Dialogue will be held by the Food Systems Summit Secretariat and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to encourage discussions and foster a greater understanding and ownership of food systems issues amongst key decision-makers and stakeholders in the environment sector, and of environmental concerns amongst food and agriculture systems stakeholders. To this end, the participants will include experts from Member States’ Ministries of Environment, Agriculture, Health, or any sector involved in Food Systems from all regions of the world; and representatives from civil society, private sector, academia and international organisations; representatives from UNEP’s Major Groups and Stakeholders as well as independent participants.
The outcomes of this Dialogue will contribute to the UN Secretary-General’s Food Systems Summit and will be further explored at the UN Environment Assembly 5.2 on Nature for the Sustainable Development Goals (in particular, the workstream on “Nature for Food Systems”), which will provide a platform to amplify the collaborative work presented during the Summit. The Dialogue will also be an opportunity to explore strategic linkages and encourage synergies between issues and processes surrounding climate, biodiversity, and desertification.