More sustainable, inclusive, and resilient agrifood systems

How can FAO better support countries in addressing governance of agrifood systems transformation?

©FAO/Petterik Wiggers


Agrifood systems can play an important role in rescuing and accelerating progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Sustainable and resilient agrifood systems can positively influence the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

While there seems to be consensus on the need to transform agrifood systems to make them more sustainable, resilient, inclusive and equitable, a discussion around policy, legal and governance requirements and implications for countries still needs to be better articulated.

In such contexts, data, technology and innovation can be a powerful engine to transform agrifood systems, but only when they are accompanied by the right enabling environment and governance system.

The FSN Forum – FAO’s open, neutral platform for multistakeholder dialogue – has made available a space where you can contribute by providing examples of governance-related measures and interventions that have a transformative impact on agrifood systems. The results emerging from your submissions will contribute to inform FAO’s work with governments and other stakeholders related to policy, law and governance for more inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems.

To participate in the call for submissions, click here.

If you want to dig deeper, browse through the selection of titles below.

Transforming Food and Agriculture to Achieve the SDGs. 20 interconnected actions to guide decision-makers
This publication proposes twenty interconnected actions to strengthen food security, generate decent employment, spur rural development, conserve natural resources and respond to climate change, all part of the 2030 Agenda.

Transforming agri-food systems: Legislative interventions for improved nutrition and sustainability
This study illustrates the importance of a food systems approach to guide countries in their legal interventions to improve nutrition and sustainability in food systems. It provides examples of legal instruments, including constitutions and framework laws, as well as challenges to overcome, including those that are environment- and diet-related.

Focus on governance for more effective policy and technical support. Governance and policy support framework paper
This paper introduces an operational four-phased framework to integrate governance analysis into the formulation and implementation of interventions. The four phases are problem framing, institutional analysis, political economy analysis and priorities for action.

Agriculture and natural resources governance − Legal tools for inclusive and sustainable transformation
This brief reviews several legal tools and mechanisms for inclusive and sustainable transformation, including impact assessments, planning instruments, establishing stakeholder participation bodies, defining (and safeguarding) rights of access to resources while conserving the resource base, and protecting labour rights.

FAO and the Sustainable Development Goals. Achieving the 2030 Agenda through empowerment of local communities
The SDGs belong to all of us. They represent our best shot at a better future for people and planet. But amid resurgent conflict, climate havoc, and social and health crises, we risk losing sight of them. This publication shows how FAO and partners continue to work towards the achievement of the SDGs, project by project, field by field, and country by country.

From the Committee on Food Security (CFS)

CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Gender Equality and Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment in the context of Food Security and Nutrition
These guidelines provide policy guidance based on good practices and lessons learned on gender mainstreaming, gender-responsive public policies, programmes and innovative solutions. They address the root causes of gender inequalities, including by promoting impactful gender-responsive and gender-sensitive approaches.

CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition (VGFSyN)
These guidelines promote policy coherence and aim to reduce policy fragmentation between sectors that has an impact on food systems and nutrition including health, agriculture, education, environment, gender, social protection and trade. They also promote, among other things, transparent and accountable governance, sustainable food supply chains, broader access to healthy diets, food safety, nutrition education, gender equality, and resilient food systems.

From the United Nations

Times of crisis, times of change. Science for accelerating transformations to sustainable development
This report provides a synthesis of the key transformative shifts needed across different entry points, including food systems and healthy nutrition, as well as a framework for understanding how those transformations may unfold over time. It also presents examples and tools for fostering leadership and enhancing human capacities to engage with the acceleration mindset required to achieve the SDGs.

Making food systems work for people and planet UN Food Systems Summit +2. Report of the Secretary-General
The preparations for the UN Food Systems Summit +2 – Stocktaking Moment in 2023 witnessed significant global participation and engagement, with 101 countries submitting voluntary country reports. These reports provided insights into the progress and efforts being made to transform food systems worldwide. The analysis of these inputs has informed this report.

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