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FAO and Kyoto University collaborate to hold the International Symposium on Food and Sustainability

23/11/2018 - 

Kyoto University and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) collaborated to organize the International Symposium on Food and Sustainability, which was held in Kyoto on 29-30 October.  

The Symposium gathered academia, food service sector, private sector and other stakeholders to discuss key issues related to food sustainability with a focus on food waste reduction.  

At the Symposium FAO was represented by Charles Boliko, Director of FAO’s Liaison Office in Japan, Ruhiza Boroto, Senior Land and Water Officer (CBL), and Rosa Rolle, Senior Food Systems Officer (ESN), who all contributed with presentations to the debates.

As a part of a panel discussion, Ch. Boliko presented the latest figures on food security in the world, pointing out that hunger is on the rise globally, while around one third of the world’s food production is being lost or wasted.

R. Rolle spoke about psychological factors that contribute to food waste and also delivered a key note presentation on FAO’s Framework for the Urban Food Action Agenda, with a special focus on reducing food waste in cities and relevant policies.

Leading scholars from Kyoto University highlighted the successful collaborations between Kyoto University and Kyoto Municipal Government to reduce food waste, discussed approaches for food waste management and addressed the importance of multi-stakeholder collaborations in achieving sustainability of food systems. 

During the Symposium also introduced was the Global Framework for Water Scarcity in Agriculture (WASAG), which was presented by R. Boroto during the Side Event and a poster session, and potential opportunities for FAO and Kyoto to collaborate in the framework of WASAG.

The Symposium provided an excellent opportunity to promote the reduction of food waste amongst different stakeholders, share experiences, good practices and approaches regarding food waste management and urban food policies, discuss water scarcity in agriculture, and exchange views on present and future collaborations between FAO and Kyoto University.

FAO and Kyoto University signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2016, which was renewed in March 2018 for additional three years. The on-going collaborations between both partners include knowledge and technical expertise exchanges and awareness raising, in particular, on food waste and urban food policy agenda, development of agriculture modelling tools, exploration of nexus between climate change and sustainable food and agriculture systems.