hills agriculture

Localizing the SDGs: Agrifood systems transformation as a key accelerator

2030 is seven years away and we are far from achieving the SDGs. We are at risk of not achieving in full the targets related to agrifood systems by 2030. Climate change, along with other drivers and crises, is already undermining the recent progress made in promoting sustainable rural livelihoods and fighting against all forms of malnutrition. To continue ensuring food security and nutrition for all, food and agriculture policies and actions need further tuning and alignment with environmental and social objectives, both at national and local levels.

March 27, 2023 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm CET

(Open to public)

Additionally, sustainable agrifood systems can not only provide sufficient, healthy, and balanced food to the population and have a direct impact on food and nutrition security, but also contribute to creating sustainable employment and livelihoods and to preserving the planet’s biodiversity and natural resources. Agrifood systems transformation is a fundamental prerequisite for wider sustainable development transformations and for the ultimate achievement of the SDGs. 

Against this backdrop, local authorities are gaining increasing importance in building the resilience of local communities, which includes being prepared for crises, as a prerequisite for SDG acceleration, as well as in creating momentum and enabling environment for local level actions needed to build people centered and inclusive sustainable food systems. A number of initiatives and networks are in place at sub-national and local/municipal level to strengthen the work on sustainable food systems, promoting a more holistic and multidisciplinary approach. The side event will explore some promising initiatives and projects in the ECA region, shedding light on key issues related to SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), 13 (Climate action) and 15 (Life on land) and their interconnectedness.

The aim of this side event at the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development for the UNECE Region is to provide a platform to discuss individual and collective actions, policies, investments and programmes needed at sub-national level to advance the achievement of SDG 2, 13 and 15, in the context of agrifood systems transformation.

The event will explore why agrifood systems transformation is considered an SDG accelerator, looking particularly at the synergies and trade-offs among sustainable agricultural production, climate change, sustainable use of ecosystems, and halting biodiversity loss and land degradation.

Presenters will share knowledge and tools to support local governments, municipalities and other relevant stakeholders in SDG achievement. In particular, Voluntary Local Reviews will be presented as a key local initiative to monitor and report on the progress made on SDG implementation at local level, keeping momentum and commitment of local authorities on the 2030 Agenda. FAO/UNDP Guidelines to support subnational development planning and budgeting, produced in close cooperation with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), will be presented as a practical tool to guide SDG integration at subnational level and facilitate synergies among sectors.

The event will also offer an opportunity to reflect on the immediate actions needed at sub-national level to promote agrifood systems transformation in the context of SDG 2,13 and 15, by showcasing key initiatives implemented by local governments and other relevant actors in ECA in support of agrifood systems transformation. In particular, the discussions will address issues including greening agricultural value chains and reduced use of chemicals, knowledge sharing on agroecology practices and farmers seed systems, and alignment of sub-national strategies to SDGs.

Lead organizers: FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia and UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub 
Contributor: International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Focal points: Valeria Rocca (valeria.rocca@fao.org) and Elena Danilova-Cross (elena.danilova-cross@undp.org)