Our Food Systems at Risk: Scaling-up Resilient Agri-food Production

Global crises such as COVID-19, climate change, pollution, biodiversity loss, conflict and other disasters are aggravating food insecurity and posing an existential threat to both humans and ecosystems alike. They are starkly demonstrating the systemic nature of risk and the need for comprehensive risk management and strengthening resilience. The UN Food Systems Summit offers a timely opportunity to focus on the fragilities underpinning food systems and to regenerate and strengthen these systems to better respond to the needs of people and ecosystems.

Comprehensive risk management is a critical means to making food systems – and agri-food production in particular – more resilient. Risk reduction can protect development investments in agriculture (including crops, livestock, fisheries, aquaculture and forestry), as well as markets and transportation, ecosystems and child and maternal health. The sectors and systems that support and connect food systems and food security are highly integrated. If risks at producer-level are not effectively managed, this can have cascading effects across all components of the food value chain, potentially leading to overall food system failures. Adopting a comprehensive risk management approach, including for climate resilience and a green COVID-19 recovery process, would deliver healthier, more resilient, inclusive and sustainable agri-food production.

This Independent Dialogue will unpack the systemic nature of risk in relation to food systems and encourage innovative thinking in identifying, managing and preventing complex risk drivers that threaten the resilience of food production. Discussions will centre around the intersections between disaster risk management and climate change adaptation in the agricultural sector as a key solution towards more risk- and climate-resilient and sustainable food systems.

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