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WWF and the UN Food Systems Summit

 

The first ever UN Food Systems Summit, scheduled to take place in September 2021, will provide a  key opportunity to accelerate and scale food systems transformations to deliver progress across all Sustainable Development Goals, halting and reversing biodiversity loss, keeping global warming within 1.5oC and feeding the world healthy and nutritious diets, within planetary boundaries.

The Summit helps advance and acclerate the delivery of WWF's stated Food goals. WWF works both as a convenor for the Summit and and as an active partner in the process.

Bringing together stakeholders from across food systems, the Summit is structured around five key Action Tracks that have far-reaching goals and provide opportunity to deliver systemic change.

Through the Global Food Practice Leader Joao Campari, WWF chairs Action Track 3 of the UNFSS: Boost nature-positive production at scale. Other members of WWF’s Food Practice are involved in the implementation and further development of other action areas, most notably in Action Track 2 which works on sustainable consumption and diets as well as on food loss and waste. 

These Action Tracks align with WWF’s Food Practice vision of food systems that conserve and enhance nature while providing healthy and nutritious food to all current and future generations. The Summit and Action Tracks help advance and accelerate the delivery of WWF’s stated Food goals.

Through research and thought leadership and by building action platforms for multi-stakeholder dialogues, WWF helps inform the development of solutions coming from the Summit, accelerate action and challenge the outcomes of the Summit when needed. With a presence in over 100 countries, that align systemic transformation with area-based conservation, WWF provides the Summit with real opportunities to translate concepts and commitments into action on the ground.

We co-shape Food Systems Dialogues and work directly with stakeholders from governments, to civil society, to private sector, to ensure that all voices are part of the Summit process.

With WWF´s support, the Summit will:

  • Catalyse bold, game-changing solutions that lead to systemic change, 
  • Deliver systemic change with solutions that are locally relevant and context-specific, 
  • Drive broad participation, particularly of the most vulnerable and under-represented, ·      
  • Bring food systems transformation to the core of the climate and biodiversity agendas, to drive integration of Summit outcomes into upcoming agreements like the CBD COP15 post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, the UNFCCC COP26 update of Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Climate Agreements, and the UNCCD land degradation neutrality targets.

This will set us on a path aligned with WWF’s broader conservation goals, to reduce the impact of food systems on biodiversity and climate, and aid development for all people. Specifically, our leadership role in Action Track 3 uniquely positions WWF to help:

  • Ensure no net loss of biodiversity from food production, supporting a net positive increase, on lands and in water, by 2030 and a full recovery by 2050 (compared to 2020 levels)
  • Achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from food production by 2030 and achieve net negative emissions from the food system by 2050
  • Stop deforestation and conversion of natural habitats for agriculture and aquaculture production by 2030
  • Rehabilitate or restore at least 50% of all degraded agricultural lands by 2030

We require commitments and action plans from Heads of State and other constituency members such as food producers, civil society organizations, private sector companies and financers. WWF will work with stakeholders to implement specific actions in several key areas.

FOCUS AREAS

Protect, manage and restore terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, being explicit about trade-offs between different production practices. Build soil health, to rehabilitate degraded farmland for production and turn land back to nature, and set aside carefully selected areas to enhance overall productivity of food systems, protecting and enhancing critical breeding habitats as well as building resilience to climate change impacts.

WWF CONTRIBUTIONS

Global Grasslands and Savannahs Intiative
Rangelands Atlas
Global Grasslands and Savannahs Dialogue Platform
The World's Forgotten Fishes
Coastal Communities Initiative

Scale up agroecological and regenerative practices to leverage area-based conservation efforts while improving livelihoods, adaptation and climate resilience.

WWF CONTRIBUTIONS

Farming with Biodiversity
Independent Dialogue on farming with and for biodiversity - scaling smallholder, nature-based solutions for sustainable food systems

Scale up financial support for small scale farmers and fishers, including women and other vulnerable groups, by repurposing public agri-food support (including subsidies), and ensure their inclusion in decision-making, to build resilient supply chains and enhance biodiversity in productive land and seascapes.

WWF CONTRIBUTIONS

Codex Planetarius

Support the private sector in implementing sustainable supply chains that are deforestation- and conversion-free, fully respect human rights and provide fair living wages. Promote transparent reporting on sourcing and supply chain activity, supporting regulatory frameworks and policies if required.

WWF CONTRIBUTIONS

Deforestation- & Conversion-Free Supply Chains - A Guide for Action
Deforestation Fronts: Drivers and Responses in a Changing World

Shift to sustainable consumption patterns by aligning environmental and human health in dietary guidance and food policy. Harness the nutritional benefits of agrobiodiverse foods, particularly plants and aquatic foods, to help end malnutrition while build more sustainable and resilient food systems.

WWF CONTRIBUTIONS

Planet-Based Diets Impact Action Calculator
Bending the Curve: The Restorative Power of Planet-Based Diets
Eat4Change
Sustianable Consumption and Diets Action Platform

Adopt ambitious goals to reduce food loss and waste by at least 50% from farm to fork, with particular attention to food lost on the farm before, during and post-harvest. Promote transparent reporting on food loss and waste reduction, supporting regulatory frameworks and policies if required.

WWF CONTRIBUTIONS

Driven to Waste: Global Food Loss on Farms
Hotel Kitchen
Save 1/3 consumer engagement
Food Waste Warriors teaching resources

Our stories

The oceans and their coastal areas are an essential component of the Earth's ecosystem hosting between 500,000 and 10 million species that provide a wide range of ecosystem services. “We cannot have a healthy planet without healthy oceans, and in any global discussion on biodiversity the ocean must be front-and-centre,” explains Peter Thomson, UN Special Envoy for the Ocean, who is a guest in this podcast, co-hosted by Joao Campari, Global Leader of the WWF’s Food Practice and Chair of the UN Food Systems Summit Action Track 3.

Listen

We are now counting down the remaining opportunities to make changes which will allow us to feed the world within planetary boundaries. There are just nine harvests left between now and 2030, the year in which we need to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals. Article by Joao Campari.

READ

Fertile soils produce 95% of our food, regulate water cycles, and mitigate climate change by storing carbon, but unsustainable human activity is degrading soils at alarming rates. With global food demand set to double by 2050 and only nine harvests before the 2030 deadline for the UN Sustainable Development Goals, we must move from short-term thinking about maximising yields to longer-term planning that invests in protecting our most valuable environmental asset; writes Joao Campari

READ

Nature-based Solutions (NbS) – actions to protect, sustainably manage and restore natural or modified ecosystems, for the benefit of people and nature – are being widely discussed by NGOs, multi-stakeholder platforms and coalitions of countries as “win-win” solutions to the climate and biodiversity crises. But implementing NbS alone is not enough. Their success or failure ultimately depends on the extent to which the world transitions to healthier, more sustainable planet-based diets.d systems transformation. Article by Brent Loken

READ

Marco Lambertini, WWD Director-General, in conversation with Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary UN Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought, and Lagi Seru, Youth Vice-Chair of UNFSS AT3, discussing the reciprocal benefits and dependencies of land restoration and food systems transformation.

WATCH

The footprint of farming has been growing across Africa, bringing the continent to a crossroads. The first road leads us towards conflict between people and the planet; while the second puts us on the path to enriching Africa without impoverishing nature. This path needs us to reset our relationship with nature and to rethink, refresh, and reimagine agriculture in Africa. By Alice Ruhweza and Jeff Worden.

READ

How can shifting towards a planet-based diet reduce biodiversity loss? A conversation with Brent Loken, Global Food Lead Scientist, WWF, that dives into the complexity and tradeoffs between different diets, and human and environmental health, and talks about different responsibilities of nations across the world, whether eating meat is really a problem, and why we shouldn't be betting on a single solution for transforming food systems.

Listen

Grasslands and Savannahs, also referred to as prairies, shrubland, llanos, rangeland, steppe, veld, meadows, campos and plains are equally important as providers of wildlife habitat, carbon sequestration, water storage, and air filtration. More than half of all our planet’s land is grass-dominated ecosystems, yet less than 10 percent of them are protected. The primary threat to these grass-dominated landscapes is plow-up for agricultural expansion and development to feed and fuel a growing population. Article by Karina Berg, Global Grasslands and Savannahs Initiative Lead.

READ

Get involved

The Pre-Summit of the UN Food Systems Summit will set the stage for the culminating global event in September by bringing together diverse actors from around the world to leverage the power of food systems to deliver progress on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Hosted by the Government of Italy, the Pre-Summit will take place in Rome from 26–28 July 2021. The event, which is open to all who would like to participate, will take a hybrid format, with an in-person component complemented by a vast virtual programme and platform.

REGISTER

The Food Systems Summit offers an unprecedented opportunity for us to define the future of our food systems. Anyone and everyone with an interest in food systems is invited to convene an Independent Dialogue that will directly inform the Summit process. Locally based, locally led, and fully adaptable to different contexts, Independent Dialogues crowdsource sustainable solutions to strengthen local and global food systems.

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The Summit’s Action Tracks offer stakeholders from a wide range of backgrounds a space to share and learn, with a view to fostering new actions and partnerships and amplifying existing initiatives. Drawing on the expertise of actors from across the world's food systems, each Action Track is designed to address possible trade-offs with other tracks, and to identify solutions that can deliver wide-reaching benefits.

VIEW THE LATEST PUBLIC FORUM RECORDINGS
Action Track 2: Shift to sustainable consumption patterns
Action Track 3: Boosting nature-positive production

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The Food Systems Community platform gathers key stakeholders across the food system and is open to everyone with an interest in following developments and contributing to the Summit. As the Summit progresses, documents, surveys and stakeholder engagements will be shared by leaders of Action Tracks, the Champions Network, Scientific Group and the Advisory Committee.

VIEW THE SUMMIT COMMUNITY FEEDS
Action Track 2: Shift to sustainable consumption patterns
Action Track 3: Boosting nature-positive production

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