Advancing the Integrated Approach to Transform Food Systems: A GEF Independent Dialogue for the Food Systems Summit


20 July 2021


Virtual event


Olivier Besson
GEF Communications Coordinator

In the lead up to the United Nations Food Systems Summit, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) organised a virtual Independent Food Systems Summit Dialogue to discuss and reflect on the progress that GEF’s integrated approach programmes (RFS is one of them!) have made in addressing food systems transformation.

The Dialogue convened key stakeholders from governments, the private sector, financial institutions, and civil society organizations involved with GEF’s integrated approach programmes, including the Resilient Food Systems programme, the Taking Deforestation out of Commodity Supply Chains programme, the Coastal Fisheries Initiative and the Food Systems, Land Use and Restoration programme.

Panellists discussed environmental challenges in the global food system and how the experience and emerging lessons from advancing integrated solutions can inform the Food Systems Summit’s Action Tracks. The dialogue also highlighted potential game-changers emerging from the GEF programmes, which will be synthesised as inputs to the Summit as well as inform future GEF programming directions. 

The event was held jointly with FAO, IFAD, UNDP, the World Bank.

About the Food Systems Summit

In September or October 2021, UN Secretary-General António Guterres will convene a Food Systems Summit as part of the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. The Summit will launch bold new actions to deliver progress on all 17 SDGs, each of which relies to some degree on healthier, more sustainable and equitable food systems.

The Summit will awaken the world to the fact that we all must work together to transform the way the world produces, consumes and thinks about food. It is a summit for everyone everywhere – a people’s summit. It is also a solutions summit that will require everyone to take action to transform the world’s food systems.

Guided by five Action Tracks, the Summit will bring together key players from the worlds of science, business, policy, healthcare and academia, as well as farmers, indigenous people, youth organizations, consumer groups, environmental activists, and other key stakeholders. Before, during and after the Summit, these actors will come together to bring about tangible, positive changes to the world’s food systems. 

It is envisioned that the Summit will have objectives and outcomes including to:

  • Raise awareness of food systems' centrality to the entire sustainable development agenda, and the urgency of transforming food systems, particularly in the wake of a global pandemic;
  • Align stakeholders around a common understanding and narrative of a food system framework as a foundation for concerted action, making food and food systems a more widespread issue for advocacy and action to achieve the 2030 Agenda;
  • Recognize the need for inclusivity and innovation in food systems governance and action;
  • Motivate and empower stakeholders who support food systems transformation through the development of improved tools, measurement, and analysis; and
  • Catalyse, accelerate, and enlarge bold action for the transformation of food systems by all communities, including countries, cities, companies, civil society, citizens, and food producers.

By delivering on these objectives, the 2021 Food Systems Summit provides an opportunity for us to review our choices and be bold on the outcomes we seek throughout the Decade of Action, and put the world on a new trajectory within a generation.

Follow the Summit's Instagram and Twitter account. 

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