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Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition • FSN Forum

Re: Towards a common understanding of Sustainable Food Systems

Walter Pengue
Walter PengueUniversidad de Buenos AiresArgentina

Thank you very much, for inviting me, for this consultation process.

The document is interesting and include keypoint issues relevante for sustainable food systems approach. However, it focuses as it is, on the repetition of concepts already elaborated in other contexts.


On my perspective, It would be useful to add the following perspectives to it:

1) the contribution of culture to the food system and especially the cases and examples of peasant and indigenous productions.

2) The contribution and the role of new technologies. If the document points to a projection, the opening to the perspective of the pros & cons of new technologies in agricultural and food production this should be included. The benefits and the costs, no only mencioning modern biotechnology eg., instead, proteomic, genomic, systhetic production and the relevance of innovation (soft & hard innovation), e.g.

3) A strong orientated profile towards promoting European or first world knowledge logics is detected in the document, when an adequate balance should be available. Even the examples of systems (For example, that of Brazil), is a minor example, when Brazil has a whole national system linked to production, consumption and extension.

4) The territorial examples and their approaches only to Europeans, are too explicit in the document Need to be open to others "views" of territorios, eg., indigenous peole. This is no the same and please consider it and consult with antropologists, indigenous experst and others.

5) A strong approach and depth in the inclusion of the relevant cases of ASIA and AFRICA is lacking.  CHINA, seems no exist here. And here is the driving forces that are changing the demand of natural resources and foods and where changes can drawn the wordl.

6) LATIN AMERICA is also strongly underconsidered.

7) The document by Pretty et al (2018) is interesting. However, one of the crucial issues in agriculture and food is that of ENERGY. And at this point, in terms of energy balances and especially in the eyes of EMERGIA (Brown, Campbell and others for example) this should be taken into account.

Other approach tha the document is losing is NEXUS.  Particularly when in that you can find the analysis of energy, water, soils and food analysis, and this is part of the approach you are suggesting.

(Giampietro et al, e.g.).

8) The Local Economy and the Local Systems of Production and Consumption are not mentioned. This is key to sustainable food systems that are directly linked to food security and sovereignty.

9) It is striking that NATURAL RESOURCES are not mentioned in depth.

You look at the territories but not the resources. The Resource Panel and its classification should be considered.

10) Porter et al analyzes are also provided in terms of value, but not the important contribution of IPBES to the appropriate framework.

Pascual et al (2017), Diaz et al (2016), IPBES (2018), could be considered.

11) The perspective of TEEB 2018, there is a contribution on food systems and the perspective of "system" as ecoagrifoodsystem. This could be useful to be considered.

12) Three important threats and opportunities should also be considered for sustainable food systems: CLIMATE CHANGE, MIGRATIONS and WAR. Not mentioning and treating it, when it is one of the serious and global political problems, leaves the document with a naive contribution that could be improved in the recommendations.

In summary, it is an interesting document, but you should need broaden your view and approach with the incorporation of some topics that need to be tackled to be a productive and usefull document.

Congratulations for this first approach.

My best regards

Walter Pengue

Universidad de Buenos Aires