Achieving Sustainable Nutrition Security for All

EATx Post 2015 Report

Published October 15, 2015

The EAT Initiative together with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, CGIAR Consortium and the World Health Organization hosted an EATx event on Achieving Sustainable Nutrition Security for All in UN Headquarters on 25th of September. EATx Post 2015 coincided with the UN Summit to Adopt the Post 2015 Development Agenda and the High Level week of 70th UN General Assembly.

Through a series of keynote speeches and an interactive panel discussion involving high-level representatives from governments, UN agencies, academia, private sector and civil society, the seminar outlined concrete steps for bridging the interconnected goals of productive and resilient food systems, food and nutrition security, public health, and a sustainable environment in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

You can watch the video on demand here

  • In order to achieve the high and inspirational ambitions of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development a holistic approach in global policy is necessary. Especially to address the intertwined issues of agriculture, nutrition, public health and environmental sustainability.
  • There is an urgent need for innovative engagement of multiple actors in governments, society and the private sector to create a transformative shift in global food system. This can successfully contribute to eradicate malnutrition in all its forms, combat rising environmental risks. It will create a more secure, equitable and nutritionally adequate food future for a growing world population.
  • Important steps have already been made, such as exemplified by the 2nd International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), jointly convened by FAO and WHO in November 2014. Political support for the follow up of ICN2 Framework for Action is necessary to translate it into a decade of sustained Action on Nutrition.
  • CGIAR, EAT and SDSN launched a set of integrated indicators in order to track progress for food related Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets. Furthermore, the three organizations launched a comprehensive project on developing a Global Food Database and EAT Report on State of the Global Food System.

 

Achieving healthy diets from sustainable food systems, represented most directly by the SDG 2 (to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture) is probably the least understood of all SDGs, as well as being one of the most complex to achieve.

The speakers also advanced a range of concrete suggestions for policy makers and business leaders in order to achieve the sustainable development agenda, a few of them are summarized below:

  1. Scale up proven best practices such as new innovative food packaging.
  2. Develop integrated dietary guidelines such as the ones proposed by Brazil, taking into account environmental sustainability and cultural considerations.
  1. Generate local jobs in agriculture in rural communities in order to harvest multiple benefits of increased food production, social stability and economic growth.
  1. Develop well functioning markers for both small and large food producers.
  1. Place gender equality as a central objective for transforming the food system. Girls’ education and women’s access to land and resources would increase agricultural outputs and better nutrition substantially.
  1. Invest in climate smart and nutrition sensitive agriculture such as driven by the Norwegian Climate and Forest Initiative.
  1. Produce food smarter and stop waste by improving infrastructure in LMICs. This would require changing both public and food industry policies, innovation and education.
  1. Creatively use of mobile technology to crowd source information on the market and detect trends in order to bring information to consumers or food producers. Focus on bringing the technology gap between and within countries.
  1. Identify priority issues and geographical areas, where there is greatest transformation potential already today, for instance combating stunting hotspots such as Timor-Leste and Burundi, providing food aid to conflict zones, or addressing post-harvest food loss in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  1. Think about what role each of us can play in the “value-chain of change”. We need to come with the mindset of what role we play in the gigsaw puzzle and how we can support each other.

The co-organizers wholeheartedly hope that the highlighted perspectives and the subsequent conversation that took place inspired all stakeholders to take concerted action on the food-related challenges to contribute to achieving sustainable nutrition security. A crucial aspect in order to achieve sustainable development, in particular the food related SDG targets.

Speakers included:

H.E. Børge Brende,
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Norway

H.E. Margot Wallström,
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sweden

H.E. Prof. Nila Moeloek,
Minister of Health, Indonesia

Ertharin Cousin,
Executive Director, WFP

Dr. Gunhild A Stordalen,
Director, EAT Initiative

Dr. Carissa Etienne,
Director, Pan American Health Organization/WHO Regional Office for the Americas

Prof. Jeffrey Sachs,
Executive Director, Earth Institute, Columbia University

Dr. Frank Rijsberman,
CEO, CGIAR Consortium