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People all across the globe perceive food systems as an integral part of human life for nutrition, food security, and livelihoods. The livelihoods of those dependent on food systems are at stake with climate change impacting crops, livestock, fisheries, and aquaculture, and current food systems contributing to climate change at the same time. Against this background, there is a clear need to transform food systems and make them more resilient, sustainable, and climate-friendly. Resilient food systems will ensure human well-being and health, help people adapt to climate change impacts, and secure their livelihoods, thereby reducing poverty.
The role of youth in the transformation of food systems is crucial. The health, stability, and sustainability of food systems connect directly to the health, well-being, food security, nutrition, development, and financial stability of youth, with sustainable consumption and production as a prerequisite for a healthy and conducive environment for the young generation. It is vital that youth are a part of transforming food systems as they can contribute to the progress of the five action tracks and climate adaptation action.
Guided by five Action Tracks and four “levers of change,” the United Nations Food Systems Summit is aimed at transforming the way the world produces and consumes food as a part of the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The five action tracks include ensuring access to safe and nutritious food for all, shifting to sustainable consumption patterns, boosting nature-positive production, advancing equitable livelihoods, and building resilience to vulnerabilities, shocks, and stresses.
Each action track aims at transforming food systems, focusing on access to safe and affordable food, changes in consumption and dietary patterns to reduce wasteful food patterns, optimal use of environmental resources to reduce stress on the environment and greenhouse gas emissions, the resilience of the workforce through social protection, and risk management for the stability of food systems.
The provincial workshops launched by SLYCAN Trust will take place as part of the activities under the Global Youth Forum on Climate Change and as an independent dialogue under the Food Systems Summit. The event series will focus on all nine provinces of Sri Lanka and engage youth and key stakeholders working on climate change, food systems, and sustainable development to identify key gaps and needs to build resilience to climate change and lead to inclusive and sustainable food systems transformation. Furthermore, a countrywide online survey will be conducted to collect data pertinent to each of the nine provinces based on five action tracks. The information gathered through this series would be shared with the focal point for the Member State Summit Dialogue for Sri Lanka with the aim for these inputs to be included in the consultative process for developing the official country report.
Objectives of the Dialogue
- Identify different vulnerabilities and key areas of priority for the Western Province and under all five action tracks
- Identify key areas for youth engagement in climate action and get youth engaged in the discussion on food systems and climate change
- Identify entry points to scale up youth contributions to food system solutions through innovative action
- Identify challenges and barriers, gaps, and needs for effective engagement of youth
- Enhance the inclusion of youth into global and national efforts to move to resilient and transformational food systems
- Integrate the inputs and perspectives of youth into the national report