Youth to play critical role in global food systems

Youth to play critical role in global food systems

global food systems summit and leadership today, global food systems an outlook to 2050, global panel on food systems and nutrition, food systems and global warming today, global environmental change and food systems, challenges of global food systems today, evolution of global food systems today, transforming global food systems under climate change

Global food systems today

Mass industrialization, deforestation, and urbanization have been devastatingly killing our biodiversity for centuries now. This has resulted in dangerous levels of pollution in air and water, along with climate change and global warming, and also land degradation and desertification. There are much more unwelcomed changes we see in the nature these days, particularly extreme weather more floods and droughts. As more shortage of agricultural land has occurred, experts now look towards technologies to grow vast crops on less land.

At the time when millions facing hunger and famine, strengthening our food systems is inevitable. In 21st century, youngsters, students and new wave of entrepreneurs show incredible interest in organic farming and tech-based agriculture system. These people have created many hopes in international communities, which work for the betterment of global agriculture and food system. This reflected quite clearly during a recent online discussion ‘Global Youth Summit Dialogue’ among United Nations officials and youth advocates. The discussion aimed to serve direct inputs for the landmark UN Food Systems Summit upcoming in September.

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Our food systems of today: An analysis

The dialogue, revolving around topics like agriculture, education and climate change, was themed on “Good Food for All”. The members expressed their belief in young people, calling them key to transforming the global agriculture and food systems. Senior UN officials affirmed that youth takes driving seat to give fair and equitable shape to food systems worldwide. Transformation of food systems is critical in achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), said UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed. She believes it’s a complex challenge to transform our food systems.

However, together we will do it with making our food systems more equitable, inclusive and sustainable, Mohammed said. Food is much broader term than what you have on your plate, she made her point, highlighting the link of food with health, environment and culture. She expressed her confidence to deliver the SDGs by 2030. While the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed deep-rooted inequities, including in food systems, Young people were hit hard by the impact. However, they are the ones who remained resilient, converting challenges into opportunities, the UN deputy head observed.

Everyone’s involvement in food systems

Food systems see big change change on a planet where half of all children do not have access to healthy diets, said the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director Henrietta Fore. And this is when children are facing “worrying increase” in overweight and obesity. This is because food systems too often give more importance to profit over purpose, she explained. Such activities make most nutritious foods often out of reach for many households. Families opt for heavily marketed and unhealthy alternatives because these products may be cheaper and more available.

But these products present poor nutritional outcomes, and threaten development and growth of children. In the worst cases, they threaten their survival itself, Fore further said. Meanwhile, everyone participating in the online discussion believed that it is impossible to hold the next food systems summit without engaging the youth. With making around half of the total global population, youngsters have to play vital part in transformation of food systems on the planet Earth. This will be even critical during the recovery process of Covid-19 pandemic aftershocks.

global food systems summit and leadership today, global food systems an outlook to 2050, global panel on food systems and nutrition, food systems and global warming today, global environmental change and food systems, challenges of global food systems today, evolution of global food systems today, transforming global food systems under climate change

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