Established in 1994, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management. The mandate of the Convention and its 197 Parties is to support “a future that avoids, minimizes, and reverses desertification/land degradation and mitigates the effects of drought in affected areas at all levels – and to achieve a land degradation-neutral world consistent with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” The UN Secretary-General António Guterres will convene a Food Systems Summit (FSS) to raise global awareness and land global commitments and actions that transform food systems to resolve not only hunger, but to reduce diet-related disease and heal the planet. The Secretary General is calling for collective action of all citizens to radically change the way we produce, process, and consume food. The FSS seeks to energize and accelerate our collective journey to eliminate hunger, create more inclusive and healthier food systems, and safeguard the health of our planet. The FSS will build on the many existing global events and platforms and the resulting agreements, commitments, and collaborative actions.
Preparations for the Summit will seek to discover synergy between the multiple regional and national initiatives and alliances that already exist or are forming to support the transformation of food systems. The FSS will deliberately look to draw evidence and knowledge from these efforts to inform the Summit’s global ideas and recommendations. https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/food-systems-summit-2021/ The FSS will have five Action Tracks: (1) ensuring access to safe and nutritious food, (2) shifting to sustainable consumption patterns, (3) boosting nature-positive production, (4) advancing equitable livelihoods and (5) building resilience. Action Track 3 is based on the premise that systemic change towards nature-positive production requires cross cutting levers of joined-up policy reform, coordinated investment, accessible financing, innovation, traditional knowledge, governance, data and evidence, and empowerment. These solutions must manage the impacts of climate change, mainstream biodiversity, reduce emissions and increase sequestration, regenerate and protect critical ecosystems, and reduce food loss and energy usage, without undermining health or nutritious diets.
The FSS will be held in September or October of 2021. The UNCCD is the UN Anchor Agency for Action Track 3 on Boosting Nature-Positive Production and, along with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as the Chair of the Action Track, will work in a collaborative team environment that will be supported by other UN and international partners and organizations. It is expected that issues related to the FSS Action Tracks and the implementation of the UNCCD will be discussed at the High-Level Segment (HLS) of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) expected to be held in December 2021.