Because there is no Planet B.
It’s been a big year for climate and sustainability, with a lot of attention on the link between diet, health and sustainability. Landmark reports such as the EAT–Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health and Global Syndemic of Obesity, Undernutrition, and Climate Change have helped drive conversation to think about the environmental and nutritional consequences of what we eat.
While it is easy to feel discouraged by the complexity of this challenge, its central importance to the nutrition sector is gaining momentum. How can government, business and civil society come together and better structure, design and invest in our food system to make diets both nutritious and sustainable? All countries are affected by both climate change and malnutrition, which should be a motivator for us to come together, innovate and find solutions to make positive changes for everyone, everywhere.
The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda sets out ambitious goals and gives us a framework within which we can identify shared goals and opportunities, develop effective public private engagement (PPE), and work toward improving nutrition, without compromising environmental health.
The resources, case studies and initiatives below show what can be done across the food system to drive transformative change through PPE, by making agri- and aqua-culture and food systems more sustainable and climate-resilient and helping improve access to safe and nutritious foods.
Top resources we think matter
The Government of Andhra Pradesh in India plans to transition 6 million farms/farmers cultivating 8 million hectares of land from conventional synthetic chemical agriculture to Zero-Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) by 2024. This is collaborative effort supported being led by Rythu Sadhikara Samstha (RySS) – a not-for-profit established by the Government, with support from the Sustainable India Finance Facility (SIFF) – an innovative partnership between UN Environment, BNP Paribas, and the World Agroforestry Centre. By working together, this public-private initiative will help contribute to many of the SDG goals and benefit farmers by positively transforming food systems, improving food and nutrition security and reducing the environmental impact of agriculture.
A 2017 European Commission report, “Food in cities: study on innovation for a sustainable and healthy production, delivery, and consumption of food in cities” featured Gothenberg, Sweden as one of the cities working to create a more sustainable food system. At the time of the study, the city was still working on developing a new city food strategy that considered both nutritional and environmental impacts. In 2012, the city created an environmental strategy, and in 2013, 212 actions were approved by the City Council, many of which related to food.
To build on this, a new three year project - ‘Urban Rural Gothenburg’ – is being funded to create improved conditions for sustainable innovation and business to link the city and the countryside. A central component of the project is the creation of a cooperative model – “the penta-helix model” – which brings together the municipality, the business sector, residents, civil society and academia.