New Food System Integrated Program to support the transformation of food systems into nature-positive, resilient, and pollution free system
The world continues to face challenges to meet food and nutrition needs of existing 8 billion people equitably, and to ensure that nature, on which food production is based, is protected and enhanced to meet needs of future generation. Currently, at least 38% of the world’s total land area is under agriculture[i] production, and agricultural production accounts for up to 90% of global deforestation[ii]; and 50% of the freshwater biodiversity loss[iii]; and 70% of global freshwater withdrawals[iv]. According to a new study, food systems about third of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions[v]). The consequences of unsustainable food production extend into aquatic systems. This makes agriculture the largest source of water pollution, which then runs off into aquatic ecosystems and coastal areas.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of UN (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) are developing a global program to support selected nations to catalyze the transformation to sustainable food systems that are nature-positive, resilient, and pollution-reduced. This program – Food Systems Integrated Program – will be funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and co-financed by countries, GEF agencies and other partners. The Food Systems Integrated Program is the second largest program approved in the GEF’s programming cycle for 2022 – 2026, known as GEF-8. FAO and IFAD aim to align the program with the outcomes of the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit and collaborate with partners, such as the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the Nature Conservancy, and the Regional Development Banks to deliver greater results.
The Food Systems Integrated Program will focus explicitly on sustainable, regenerative, nature positive production systems and support efficient value/supply chains covering selected food crops (maize, rice, and wheat), commercial commodities (soy, oil palm, coffee and cocoa), livestock, and aquaculture.
To maximize potential for transformative change, the Program will operate at two levels -global and selected national/sub-national levels - and promote work around transformational “levers” (governance and policies, financial leverage, multi-stakeholder dialogues, and innovation and learning) for advancing systems transformation.
At the global level, the Program will support:
- Strengthening global policy coherence for more sustainable food systems.
- Leveraging public, private and financial sectors through encouraging concrete actions on both the production and demand sides toward use and expansion of sustainability standards and commitments to environmental and socially responsible sourcing.
- Catalyzing new opportunities across spatial (landscapes/ jurisdictions) or vertical (supply chain) dimensions to help maximize scale potential for impact within and beyond national boundaries.
- Catalyzing access to knowledge, technical expertise, and capacity development on issues that represent common challenges across multiple countries or specific geographical regions (including south-south exchanges).
At the country level, and depending on the context, the objectives of the projects are:
- Creating an enabling environment to shift toward sustainable and regenerative food production systems through a diversity of approaches.
- Reducing livestock’s impact on the environment and contribution to zoonotic spillover and supporting production of alternative protein sources.
- Expanding investment in sustainable aquaculture management that is explicitly linked to land-based practices, impacting freshwater and coastal marine ecosystems.
GUIDING QUESTIONS TO THE ONLINE CONSULTATION
As a part of program development, FAO and IFAD, in consultation with the GEF and other key partners have developed the Theory of Change (TOC) and the Draft Results Framework for the Program.
The Food Systems Integrated Program development team invites your views and suggestions on these two documents.
Do the barriers identified reflect your experience as Community Based Organizations (CBOs) / Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), private sector and local communities (women, men, youth, indigenous peoples)? Are there key barriers that are missing in TOC?
Do the first level Outcomes appropriate and adequate for transformation of food systems’ impacts on the environment?
Are the Outcomes planned appropriate and adequate for food systems transformation?
What could be examples of types of intervention and outputs that could ensure stronger engagement and ensure capacities of CBOs/ NGOs, the private sector, and communities (including women, men, and youth, indigenous peoples) to continue food systems transformation?
What might be specific contributions of each stakeholder group to the achievement of the components?
In addition, the Program development team seeks inputs on your experiences and advice on:
Note: The two documents are available for downloading on this webpage and comments are welcome in English.
The inputs received will contribute to finalize the Theory of Change and the Results Framework for the Food Systems Integrated Program. Furthermore, both documents will be presented to the GEF Council, most probably in June 2023 for their approval and these will guide country child projects in Argentina, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Chad, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Eswatini, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Türkiye.
We thank in advance all the contributors for reading, commenting, providing inputs on these two documents, and sharing case studies.
Technical Officer with the FAO-GEF Coordination Unit under the Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment of FAO
The Food Systems Integrated Program was approved in February 2024, and the documentation is now public here: https://www.thegef.org/projects-operations/projects/11214
This activity is now closed. Please contact [email protected] for any further information.