By Lawrence Haddad, GAIN and Joao Campari, WWF

Photo: Nancy Rono, Farmer, and her son, Collins, eat lunch together. © Jonathan Caramanus/Green Renaissance/WWF-UK

This week the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Global Alliance for Nutrition (GAIN) signed up to a new joint partnership. One of us aims to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony, the other to deliver more nutritious food for all people. At face value fundamentally different jobs. Why, it might be asked, would we be joining forces?

The answer is that both of our missions touch on one of the most important challenges of our era: that food systems are failing nature and are leaving…


The COVID-19 pandemic has left the world reeling, with economies hard hit and inequalities in access to food and healthcare laid bare. Add to that global climate change, population growth and increased pressure on limited natural resources, and we have a situation where sustainably producing a nutritious diversity of food for everyone is a massive challenge.

In order to meet this challenge, we need to make sure that investments in global food systems are adequate, targeted and money well spent. We cannot afford ‘business as usual’: current technology, policies, institutions and financial instruments are just not up to the job…


By Niamh Kelly, Policy Research Officer for the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems

Photo: The narrow alleys of old Varanasi’s old town, India/iStock

As part of its ongoing work with the UN Food Systems Summit, the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition has produced a brief for the Scientific Group, The Transition Steps Needed to Transform Our Food Systems’. This short paper draws on the Panel’s Foresight report ‘Future Food Systems: For people, our planet and prosperity’ to outline the essential steps needed to transition to healthier, more sustainable food systems.

The policies that fed the world in the twentieth century are no longer fit for purpose. Food systems are failing to provide healthy diets for 3 billion people, and…


By Jack Ryan, Partnerships Officer, Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition

Photo: Julia Joppien/Unsplash

The Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition recently produced a brief for the Scientific Group of the UN Food Systems Summit, ‘COVID-19 and Food Systems: Rebuilding for Resilience’. This paper makes clear that while food systems urgently need to be transformed to better support both human and planetary health, transformed food systems must also be resilient to future shocks.

Food systems were in crisis before COVID-19 and this paper shows how the pandemic has further impacted food systems over the past year, including disruptions in food production, dietary choices and jobs and income losses. …


By Jack Durrell, Communications Consultant for the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems

Photo: Solar Irrigation — IWMI Nepal — Nabin Baral

At a series of dialogues convened as part of the UNFSS preparatory process, experts argued that well-managed water systems and cross-sectoral collaboration are critically important measures to transform food systems and protect fragile ecosystems. The dialogues were organized by the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE), with significant input from the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and many other national, regional and international partners.

Referring to the dialogues’ focus on equity and inclusion, Stefan Uhlenbrook, Program Director of WLE, commented: “As long as the poor are deprived of water and…


By Philip J Lymbery, Global CEO of Compassion in World Farming

“If Mother Nature could speak, I believe she would weep.”

She would be incredulous at the way humanity has plundered and polluted her natural wealth and resources. In sadness at how more natural ways of food production have been sidelined, causing great cruelty to farmed animals and undermining the soil on which all our futures depend. And in disbelief at how remaining wildlands are being bulldozed and wildlife driven toward extinction.

Photo: If nature could speak ©stockstudioX

Only recently, a report by Chatham House, Food System Impacts on Biodiversity Loss, developed in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme and Compassion in World Farming, showed how intensification of agriculture has decimated wildlife and is affecting our…


By Prof. Corinna Hawkes, Director of the Centre for Food Policy, City University of London, and member of UNFSS Action Track 1

Photo: Christiann Koepke/Unsplash

What are the policies and actions that could bring radical improvements to food systems? And who has the power to get them done? This is one of the big questions being asked in the global food systems conversation. It’s a controversial question. What is needed to effect change in one place differs from another. No one action can change things on its own and will only shift the system, not “fix” it. And, of course, perspectives on what will actually work contrast and conflict.

Yet there are surely some big ticket items that could universally bring about change, things that…


By Gernot Laganda, PROC, Chief of Climate and Disaster Risk Reduction Programmes, United Nations World Food Programme

How climate action can make a difference

On 9 October 2020, as it was announced that the Nobel Peace Prize 2020 would be awarded to the UN World Food Programme, many WFP teams across the world were concerned about the latest data from the field. Assessments showed upticks in hunger in communities that had been doing well only a year ago, and meetings with governments were being scheduled to discuss preparedness plans for a difficult year ahead.

Photo: ©Mehedi_Rahman/WFP

While the award came as a strong acknowledgement of the work WFP is doing to combat hunger and prevent it from being used as a weapon of conflict, the distinction…


By Jo Swinnen, Director General of the International Food Policy Research Institute, and John McDermott, Director of the CGIAR Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health and co-chair of the CGIAR COVID Hub

©shutterstock_1727068084

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruptions of social interactions, affecting both the supply and demand for food. These disruptions to jobs, income and food supply magnified and exacerbated existing inequalities. While the emerging urban middle class suffered greater income losses, the poor and vulnerable in rural and urban areas experienced the worst livelihood impacts. Many social programs, including cash transfers, nutrition and education were interrupted, delayed, or halted, setting back decades of process in reducing poverty, hunger, malnutrition and illiteracy. …


By Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition

Ahead of the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit, the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition has developed a short paper summarising a set of game changing solutions identified in the Panel’s recent foresight report ‘Future Food Systems: For people, our planet and prosperity’.

Image: RF Design (UK)
Image: RF Design (UK)
Image: RF Design (UK)

The Panel’s Foresight report is closely aligned with the objectives of the forthcoming Summit. …

UN Food Systems Summit 2021

Official account • Generating momentum to help countries unleash the benefits of #foodsystems for all • #UNFSS2021 • un.org/food-systems-summit

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