The World Food Forum launched its 2022 cycle at the ECOSOC Youth Forum
The World Food Forum (WFF) launched its 2022 cycle on 21 April, with a side event at the ECOSOC Youth Forum during World Creativity and Innovation Day, keeping youth on the international agenda. The event kickstarted a dialogue on the complex, context-dependent and intertwined issues related to agrifood systems. It also shed light on the fundamental role of youth in acting for a sustainable future, highlighting the importance of creativity and out-of-the-box thinking in identifying and nurturing innovative solutions to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, with a specific focus on healthy diets, climate action and the conservation, sustainable use and restoration of natural resources.
With this in mind, the WFF announced its 2022 theme: Healthy Diets. Healthy Planet., to draw attention to, and spark action around, the interrelation between climate change and stable access to adequate, safe, sufficient and nutritious food, as well as healthy diets for all. In addition to the globally recognized need to reduce emissions, increase food security and adapt to climate change, the WFF insists more must be done. It calls for global action to increase and protect biodiversity, improve diets, enhance nutrition and optimize environmental sustainability while ensuring social equity, especially among the most vulnerable people.
In his opening remarks, FAO Chief Economist Máximo Torero highlighted the need to think and act in a creative manner to address the multiple pressing challenges our world is facing. He also emphasized that it is time to increase the effectiveness and the efficiency of our agrifood systems and that this will require inclusivity and cooperation among all stakeholders, including youth, to achieve a better food future for all. This was also echoed by the US Youth Observer to the UN Cynthia Yue, who stressed how inequality is a major global issue and that our world‘s most vulnerable populations are the greatest victims of conflict, poverty, hunger and climate change.
The opening segment of the event was followed by two panels that saw a myriad of global thought leaders and young experts discuss bold, transformative and actionable solutions on how the planet can minimize and mitigate the impacts of climate change, while simultaneously increasing global access to healthy diets for everyone, everywhere. While the first panel focused on the importance of accessing healthy diets, highlighting the link between health, food and education; the second panel stressed the interconnection between the way our food is produced and climate change, urging for action to shift production methods and maximize sustainability considerations.
The event concluded with a call to action, inviting young people to join the movement for the transformation of our agrifood systems and saw the launch of the Focal Points Group of the WFF’s Youth Action Track. The aim of this group will be to draft youth policy positions on food and agriculture topics, providing strategic direction for upcoming key events and the Youth Action Assembly during the WFF Flagship Event from 3-5 October 2022.