World Food Day 2016
Published October 13, 2016
“Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too”. This is the global message for World Food Day 2016, October 16th. EATwill join the World Food Day event in Rome, acknowledging the need for changewhile celebrating progress that has already been made.
The annual World Food Day marks the creation of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). One of the biggest issues related to climate change is food security. The world’s poorest – many of whom are farmers, fishers and pastoralists – are being hit hardest by higher temperatures and an increasing frequency in weather-related disasters. At the same time, the global population is growing steadily and is expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050. To meet such a heavy demand, agriculture and food systems will need to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change and become more resilient, productive and sustainable. This is the only way we can ensure the wellbeing of ecosystems and rural populations and also reduce emissions.
Growing food sustainably means adopting practices that produce more with less in the same area of land and use natural resources wisely. It also means reducing food losses before the final product or retail stage through interventions such as better harvesting, storage, packing, transport, infrastructure, and market mechanisms, as well as supportive institutional and legal frameworks.
World Food Day is an annual event to raise awareness of these challenges and ways to address them, as well as a chance to celebrate progress regarding food and sustainability. Activities are organized in approximately 150 countries across the globe, with a high-level event at the FAO headquarters in Rome.
EAT will attend the event in Rome on October 14th. This year’s emphasis is on mayors and city-level action; FAO is calling on Milan Urban Food Policy Pact signatory cities to raise awareness about the need to end hunger.
In October 2015, mayors from across the world convened in Milan and committed to the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, an international protocol calling for cities to develop sustainable food systems that grant healthy and accessible food to all, protect biodiversity and reduce food waste. Now, one year after the signing of the Milan Pact, mayors will unite for a second time to discuss their collaborative efforts in developing sustainable food systems in cities worldwide, and share experiences and best practices.
The Milan Pact Awards will be presented at this annual gathering of mayors alongside the World Food Day celebrations. This awards program builds on the Pact and recognizes the actions cities are taking to improve their food systems. EAT serves on the Milan Pact Awards evaluation committee, which was tasked with evaluating and ranking the cities’ submissions based on a set of criteria. 8 cities will receive awards in Rome.
The EAT-C40 Food Systems Network emerged from the Milan Pact process as the primary vehicle to engage cities and carry forward the impact of the Pact. Building on the work commenced in Milan, the Network is helping accelerate member cities’ development of sustainable food systems that promote healthy diets whilst reducing greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks. The C40 Food Systems Network was launched at the EAT Stockholm Food Forum in June.