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Translating UNFSS commitments into actions: Focus on the coalition for transforming food systems through Agroecology

Side event at Asia-Pacific Symposium on Agrifood Systems Transformation in collaboration with the Agroecology Coalition and the Agroecology Transformative Partnership Platform

Current agricultural and food systems face major environmental, climate and health challenges, while responding to the challenges of food security and nutrition. Food systems are increasingly impacted by climate change. At the same time, they contribute a third of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and certain agricultural practices contribute to the erosion of biodiversity, environmental pollution, land degradation and the scarcity of water resources. More than 800 million people still suffer from hunger, two billion have micronutrient deficiencies and two billion are overweight or obese, while a third of the food produced is lost or wasted globally. The precarious livelihoods and social inequalities, faced by many farmers and food system workers, exacerbate the difficulties in ensuring adequate nutrition for all.

Agroecology, including regenerative agriculture that respects the 13 principles of agroecology defined by the High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) and that are aligned with the 10 Elements of Agroecology adopted by the 197 FAO Members in December 2019, can be a powerful lever for solving these major challenges. It can provide sustainable solutions to the issues of food security and nutrition, the fight against poverty and social inequalities, the adaptation to climate change, the preservation of biodiversity and natural resources, and the fight against zoonotic diseases. By doing so, it contributes to a transformation of agricultural and food systems compatible with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Climate Agreement, the post-2020 objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and those of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

Recognizing the challenges and opportunities mentioned above, the United Nations Food Systems Summit held in September 2021, highlighted agroecology as an important way forward to boost nature-based solutions for sustainable agriculture and food production. One of the major outcome of the Food System Summit was the launch of the Coalition for the Transformation of Food Systems Through Agroecology.

This “Coalition of the Willing” is gaining more and more support, with already 33 countries and 60 international organizations joining and expressing a high level of commitment and interest in strengthening collaborative action towards an agroecological transition. Farmers’ organizations, civil society, philanthropic, research, indigenous peoples’ organizations and UN agencies (FAO, IFAD, WFP, UNE, UNDP) are teaming up in this effort.

This side event aligns with the implementation of the new FAO Strategic Framework to support the 2030 Agenda through the transformation to more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life.

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