All-of -society approach to build resilience and shift towards more sustainable and resilient food systems

On December 10, the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO), as a member of the Stakeholder Engagement Mechanism (SEM) of the United Nations Office of Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), supported the SEM in organising a one-hour session titled “Strengthen collaboration for local food systems resilience”, as part of the Planetary Emergency Partnership conference “STEP into a Better World: A call to action” (9-10 December).

The debate featured the participation of Sarah Hendel-Blackford, Programme Management Officer in the Partnerships Unit in UNDRR and Khoushbou Sewraj, a young farmer from F.A.L.C.O.N Association, WFO member organization in Mauritius, who represented the stakeholders’ perspective. Valeria Drigo, SEM focal point moderated the session.

The session focused on how important it is to build resilience and shift towards more sustainable and resilient food systems especially now that COVID-19 exacerbated existing economic and social inequalities, climate change-induced disasters are increasing and so are food insecurity and malnutrition levels.

The event offered the perfect venue to highlight how important it is to rely on local solutions, learn from local communities and build resilience through an “all-of -society approach”.

Here are some of the main key messages that emerged from the discussion:

  • The need to address resilience through an all-of-society approach to design smart solutions that address the systemic nature of risks
  • Improving youth and women empowerment from the local level is key to strengthen local communities, increase livelihoods and make sure they have access to resources
  • The need to rebrand the narrative of the farmer so to highlight all the opportunities that lie in the agricultural sector and make it attractive, especially for young people
  • The need to establish multi-stakeholder partnerships based on trust involving also governments and the private sector so to improve policy and financial instruments that support and encourage agriculture
  • The importance of disaster prevention to break the cycle of disaster – response- recovery
  • The need to look at resilience as something that is about sustainable farming and production
  • The need to look at shocks as opportunities to learn how to adapt and be innovators

It is worth mentioning that Khoushbou Sewraj also had the opportunity to share these messages on behalf of the UNDRR-SEM in the session on “Building resilience for sustainable food systems – UN Food Systems Summit” organised by the Planetary Emergency Partnership to gather stakeholders, including the UN Food System Summit Team, to share messages and opinions in preparation of the Summit.