The WFF Theme 2023: Agrifood systems transformation accelerates climate action
The agrifood systems that encompass the journey of food from farm to table and beyond touch every aspect of our lives and reach every corner of the planet. Yet instead of harnessing their immense potential for positive impact, we are letting agrifood systems wreak havoc on our climate and environment.
Currently, agrifood systems account for one-third of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, 90 percent of global deforestation and 70 percent of water use globally, and are the single greatest cause of terrestrial biodiversity loss, putting pressure on food value chains. Food is also the single largest category of material placed in municipal landfills and we lose or waste enough food to feed 1.3 billion hungry people every year.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, transforming agrifood systems can - and must - be a central part of the global climate solution. It can significantly accelerate climate action and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By creating efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems we can mitigate and adapt to climate change, increase biodiversity and restore ecosystems, while also ensuring food security and better nutrition through agrifood systems that enable and sustain healthy diets, and a more equitable future for all.
That’s why in 2023 the World Food Forum (WFF) - a youth-led movement and network to transform our agrifood systems - is committed to the theme: “Agrifood systems transformation accelerates climate action.”
By bringing together the Global Youth Forum, the FAO Hand-in-Hand Investment Forum and the FAO Science and Innovation Forum, the WFF will foster an intergenerational dialogue among agrifood stakeholders, and advance bold and actionable solutions to catalyze the transformation of our agrifood systems to enhance climate action.
The Global Youth Forum will bring young people together in a safe and inclusive space to discuss, advocate and co-identify priorities, solutions and actions on the way forward to advance the transformation of agrifood systems. It will include youth from all spheres of society and all corners of the world, including marginalized youth, such as Indigenous Youth and young farmers from least developed countries.
The FAO Science and Innovation Forum will promote a focused and strategic debate on how science, technology and innovation accelerate the transformation of agrifood systems to boost climate action.
The FAO Hand-in-Hand Investment Forum will provide a platform for national authorities to present impact investment opportunities to corporations, multilateral development banks and donors, with a focus on the growth potential of the agriculture sector and national business opportunities that can transform local agrifood systems and mitigate the effects of climate change.
Over the past two years, our recurring forum has identified powerful ideas, policies and solutions to positively transform our agrifood systems for the benefit of everyone, everywhere. This year we are turning ideas into impact by focusing our efforts on local action.
Climate change is a global challenge that requires comprehensive action across all sectors, including our agrifood systems. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. To drive real, sustainable change, we must respond to local needs and challenges, while supporting and implementing sustainable solutions that we can amplify and scale up.
These actions take place throughout agrifood systems, from production to consumption. They include but are not limited to, sustainable production of food and bioenergy, reduction of food loss and waste, sustainable forest and water management, landscape restoration, reduced deforestation, sustainable management and restoration of high-carbon ecosystems (such as peatlands, wetlands, rangelands, mangroves and forests), reclamation of degraded soils and education programmes to help consumers make choices that are both healthy and environment-friendly.
The WFF is also committed to local action that emphasizes innovation, partnerships, science-backed evidence, and above all inclusiveness - with youth, Indigenous Peoples, small-scale producers (including farmers, herders, fishers, pastoralists, foresters), women and people in vulnerable situations leading the way.
If we are to truly and meaningfully address climate change, we need to focus on transforming our agrifood systems. And we need to do this together.
Join us. Take action for food, for our planet and for our shared future.