'Good Food For All – A Conversation With Youth Leaders'

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The Webinar ‘Good Food For All – A Conversation with Youth Leaders’ took place on 11 August – the eve of International Youth Day – and was hosted by the SDG2 Advocacy Hub. It featured a discussion between youth leaders and food systems experts on the role and vision of youth in transforming food systems and ensuring Good Food For All, building up to the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit. Please find information about the discussion and the speakers below.

Background:

  • In 2021, UNSG António Guterres will convene the UN Food Systems Summit to raise 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.
  • Food systems encompass all people, actors and their interconnected activities in feeding a population, including growing, harvesting, packing, processing, distributing, selling, storing, marketing, consuming, and disposing of food.
  • Our world is home to 1.8 bln young people, the largest generation of young people in history. Close to 90% of this youth population live in developing countries and their numbers are expected to grow, especially in the least developed regions. This makes clear that sustainable development cannot be achieved unless we involve young people.
  • This conversation between food systems experts and youth leaders is intended to raise awareness about the important role of young people in the transformation of our food systems, to advocate for the meaningful participation of youth building towards the 2021 UNFSS and to highlight voices of youth leaders in the areas of nutrition, agriculture, climate and gender.
     

    Youth Leaders:
     

    FlorenceFlorence Sibomana (Rwanda)

    Florence Sibomana is a medical doctor from Rwanda, passionate about global health and social justice.  She volunteers with the Rwanda Non-Communicable Disease Alliance, and Amazon NutritionCabinet. Florence has undertaken advocacy work with the Medical Students Association of Rwanda and is a peer educator on sexual and reproductive health issues; in 2015 she coordinated events for World Aids Day. She is also the vice coordinator for the Rwanda village community promoter team with whom she is an advocate for social justice working with underprivileged communities from rural areas. She is a student Ambassador at Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and a former Youth Leader for Nutrition Representative at the UNGA 2018.

     

    LanaLana Weidgenant (US/Brazil)

    Lana is a climate and food systems activist from Brazil, attending John Hopkins University. She is the Deputy Director of Partnerships at the International youth climate organisation Zero Hour, and is also involved in food systems as an organizer in the Youth Climate Save Movement to address food systems in climate action.She is the co-founder of youth-focused organization Cultivate America for food systems solutions to climate, and an Advisory Board Member at Plant Dining Partnerships. Lana has led successful campaigns to bring plant-based options to 18,000 locations in North America and spoke at UN Headquarters on the International Day of Peace about food systems change as global solutions.

     

    BrianBrian Bosire (Kenya)

    Brian is the founder of UjuziKilimo, a data driven agricultural services company that uses innovative data acquisition technologies and a comprehensive database to collect and analyze farm data to help farmers and agriculture players make better decisions and build targeted services.


     

    PramishaPramisha Thapaliya (Nepal)

    Pramisha Thapaliya, from Nepal, is an advocate for climate justice and sustainable food systems. She works as an agriculture Instructor of a government-based school and has started a School Outreach project at her own school.She is the coordinator of the U.N. YOUNGO Agriculture Working Group and through writing articles and talking in various forums, Pramisha is advocating for the importance of sustainable and plant-based diets.

     

    Food Systems Experts:
     

    AgnesDr Agnes Kalibata, 2021 UNFSS Special Envoy 

    • President of AGRA since 2014
    • 2008-14, Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources

     

     

    KanayoDr Kanayo F. Nwanze, CGIAR Special Representative to UNFSS

    • 2007-17, President of IFAD
    • FAO Special Goodwill Ambassador for Zero Hunger, Africa region
    • Chairman & Chief Executive, FAYODE Facility of Youth Development

     

     

    Ways of Youth Engagement in the UNFSS:

    Dr. Kalibata outlined that youth will have the opportunity to engage in the UN Food Systems Summit in four ways:

    1) Each of the five action tracks of the summit will include a youth network and one of the vice chairs of the tracks will be a young person. 

    2) A Food Systems Dialogue will happen at country level, recognising that food systems are local to each country. Dr. Kalibata would like to see young people participate in this dialogue in each country. 

    3) The UNFSS has a Championship Network and wants to ensure that youth are part of this network. The goal is to build a youth movement within this network. 

    4) The Open Dialogue System, an internet based platform, gives anyone the opportunity to feed in ideas and give feedback online, without having to be part of a network.

     

    Main priorities of Youth Leaders highlighted during the panel: 

    Event Event 2

    Lana: 

    1. Especially in light of COVID-19 and the infectious diseases which arise from industrialised animal farming conditions, incentivising governments to end government support and subsidies for factory farms and industrial animal agriculture, including industrial fish farming, which are harmful to the environment, to their workers, and to nearby communities.
    2. Supporting communities by ensuring healthy, climate-friendly food such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains are accessible to all, and supporting farmers to transition from chemical, industrial agriculture to sustainable, organic farming that heals the soil and sequesters carbon.
    3. Promoting healthy and climate-friendly consumption, encouraging each country to reimagine their dietary recommendations to consider sustainability in food, which means to promote reductions in food waste, and acknowledge that plant-based diets are positive for individual health and for the planet. The 2021 UN Food Systems Summit could lead by showcasing a basic outline of dietary recommendations for individual and planetary health for countries to follow and customize to their region.

    Brian:

    1. Utilisation of Data as the gateway to increase food production, access to good food among the vulnerable and improve our consumption choices in line with sustainability. 
    2. Recognising and supporting the role of smallholder agriculture and community based food systems as the essence of good food for all especially in developing countries.

    Florence: 

    1. Public and community mobilisation on considering what we eat and their effects on our body systems. 
    2. Engagement of young people in agri-business. 
    3. Strengthening the capacity and knowledge of smallholder farmers on improved techniques of healthy crops production.

    Pramisha: 

    1. Ownership of food systems from corporations to farmers and especially bringing smallholder farmers as a main driver of food systems in developing and least developed countries as well as large scale farmers where it is applied (Transforming our current "Money oriented food systems" to "People and planet oriented food systems").

    2. Prioritising local and diversified food systems.

    3. Promoting climate-friendly production practices and focusing on building local technologies keeping in view of the traditional and indigenous knowledge (E.g.: Discouraging excessive use of chemicals in soil, shortening transportation route, healthy packaging, less processing, reducing food waste, passing regulations and laws to ban supermarkets from throwing away or destroying unsold food Instead, force them to donate surplus food to charities and food banks. Simultaneously supporting structures to safe food and make it accessible by the ones who need it the most).