As the countdown to COP gathers pace – with just 80 days now remaining until the United Nations hosts its 27th Climate Change Conference – a coalition of leading international food organizations has today announced its plans to host the first-ever Food Systems Pavilion.
The Food Systems Pavilion brings together over 15 international leaders in the food space spanning the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, from farmers and youth to policymakers and scientists. This diversity of expertise and perspectives sets it apart from other coalitions, with co-hosts and partners committing to work collaboratively to tackle trade-offs, showcase solutions and overcome barriers.
Participating organizations include co-hosts Clim-Eat, Coalition of Action for Soil Health (CA4SH), EIT Food, Environmental Defense Fund, FOLU, Good Food Institute, Infarm, SNV, and Yara International; session partners Aleph Farms, Food Tank, Just Rural Transition, One Acre Fund and Rabobank; and supporting partners World Farmers' Organization, World Food Forum, YPARD, IAAS World and YOUNGO.
Dr. Dhanush Dinesh, Clim-Eat founder, commented: "New visions are needed for how food systems will operate in the future and the central role of farmers and small-scale agriculture as positive agents of change. Business, as usual, is not an option.
"To address these issues publicly and collaboratively, we are bringing together farmers, food producers, NGOs, businesses, youth, Indigenous Peoples, governments, and intergovernmental organizations in the first ever Food Systems Pavilion.
We believe COP27 will represent a critical turning point for our food systems. We urge all interested parties to join us in championing #ActionOnFood and making this the food COP."
With agriculture and food systems contributing over one-third1 of greenhouse gas emissions, there are many complex challenges to overcome but also huge opportunities. Transforming the world's food systems could generate $4.5 trillion annually2 in new economic activity and help to create a net-zero, nature-positive world while also ensuring social justice and food security.
At the previous COP in Glasgow, policymakers took the first steps towards recognizing the critical role of food and agriculture in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. At COP27, the Food Systems Pavilion co-hosts want to substantially advance this agenda and put food center stage.
Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to the 2021 Food Systems Summit, and FOLU Ambassador, said: "We must ensure that food dominates the COP27 agenda. It has been the missing piece in climate negotiations for far too long. Yet, Africa is putting huge bets on a COP on the continent. We hope that the world recognizes that our ability to produce food is fast being eroded, our adaptation capacity is the weakest, and how food is produced in parts of the world creates problems we must address.
Transforming our food systems unlocks opportunities to significantly reduce GHG emissions, mitigate the impacts of climate change, and provide solutions to some of the most pressing environmental and social issues of our time.
Without urgent action on climate change, an additional 100 million people in Africa could be pulled into extreme poverty in the next eight seasons – that's more than 10 million people every year between now and 2030 – people that have until now been feeding themselves! Timely action on food systems is essential to stop more people from sliding into poverty and food insecurity - it is good for both people and the planet."
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