Our food and land use systems offer a huge opportunity to provide for the health and prosperity of people and the planet. But today, our systems are not fit-for-purpose.
They are drivers of massive environmental destruction, accounting for over 25% of greenhouse gas emissions, when they need to act as a net sink, and devastating natural capital losses (including loss of biodiversity, soil erosion and reduced fertility). The disconnect between production and consumption has fuelled the double-burden of malnutrition and rising obesity, with 800 million people going hungry and over 2 billion people overweight or obese. Meanwhile, 500 million smallholder farmers live under the poverty line.
These challenges are only set to get more profound. As the global population grows, urbanization increases, protein consumption increases and the effects of climate change are felt, our systems will have to produce more food on less arable land, with less stable resources.
The challenge is to build a shared narrative that empowers people to address today’s failures and build more resilient, prosperous, healthy and sustainable food and land use systems.
To develop this narrative, we need shared, long-term global and national targets and pathways to equip stakeholders to make decisions & policies. And we need to reshape politics, policies, institutions, business models and financial incentives towards sustainable action.
This shared narrative can feed into a global movement where leading civil society, scientific, public and private actors convince the world that the required changes in food and land-use systems are both inevitable and appealing, and multiple new coalitions and partnerships are forming at all levels, from local to global, to implement the changes.