July 5, 2021
For Immediate Release
WATERLOO – Alison Blay-Palmer, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Chair on Food, Biodiversity and Sustainability Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, will host the Territorial Governance for Sustainable Food Systems Dialogue to develop ideas about how territorial governance can transform regional food systems. The conversation, taking place July 8, will help to inform the first-ever UN Food Systems Summit, scheduled for September in New York.
The UN has invited individuals and organizations to convene independent dialogues and submit feedback to shape the vision and objectives for its upcoming summit. Blay-Palmer is eager to participate.
“It is imperative that we come together in this moment to help define the agenda for the upcoming UN Food System Summit,” said Blay-Palmer, a professor in Laurier’s Department of Geography and Environmental Studies. “We know that food systems actors have on-the-ground knowledge about how to use territorial governance to enact meaningful food systems change and we hope to capture some of that knowledge during this important dialogue.”
The Territorial Governance for Sustainable Food Systems Dialogue will draw on the input of experts from around the world. It is hoped the dialogue’s focus on territorial governance will lead to the development of food policies and practices that are regional in scope, taking into account the relationships between urban and rural environments, human rights, agroecology, cross-sector engagement and collaboration among policymakers at every level of government.
The event will take place online Thursday, July 8 at 9 a.m. EDT and include an introductory plenary session followed by moderated breakout discussions with food systems stakeholders from various sectors. All are welcome to attend, but registration is required.
The outcomes of the Territorial Governance for Sustainable Food Systems Dialogue will be submitted to the organizers of the UN Food Systems Summit and be used by organizers to feed into the summit’s five priority action tracks, as well as the preparatory work of its scientific and advisory groups, Champions Network and other summit support structures. The UN Food Systems Summit aims to deliver progress on all 17 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by building healthier, more sustainable and equitable food systems.
As the inaugural UNESCO Chair on Food, Biodiversity and Sustainability Studies, Blay-Palmer promotes research, communication and learning about how food can help protect biodiversity and achieve sustainability. The UNESCO Chair is jointly hosted by Laurier and the Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA).
This event is a collaboration between the African Union Development Agency, BSIA, CIRAD, EcoAgriculture Partners, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, the UN Capital Development Fund, the UN Environment Programme, UN-Habitat and 1000 Landscapes for 1 Billion People.
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