Posted inStory / Fiji

Fiji launches national food systems dialogue

The National Dialogue to transform food systems and engage the perspectives of different stakeholders on a pathway for local food system transformation.

Fiji will hold its virtual National Food Systems Dialogue from 21-23 July 2021 as it continues national preparations for the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) being convened by UN Secretary-General António Guterres in September 2021. 

Fiji’s President Major-General (Ret’d), Jioji Konousi Konrote has been appointed Eminent Champion of the UNFSS by UN Secretary-General Guterres. 

The Fiji National Food Systems Dialogue aims to transform food systems to be healthier, safer, more sustainable, more efficient, and more equitable. It acknowledges the role of food systems and the importance of how we produce, process, trade and consume food to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The National Dialogue will also engage the perspectives of different stakeholders to discuss and agree on a pathway for local food system transformation and how to make food systems more inclusive, as well as emphasise the importance of innovation.

In May 2021, Fiji joined countries from around the globe as it launched its national #UNFSS preparations with the staging of five Action Track Dialogues.

Fiji’s first National Dialogue for Action Track 1 to “Ensure access to safe and nutritious food for all,” kick-started the dialogue process across all five Action Tracks which were convened with diverse multi-stakeholder groups between May and June.

The national Action Track consultations focused (i) Ensuring safe and nutritious food for all (ii) Shifting to sustainable consumption patterns (iii) Boosting nature-positive production (iv) Advancing equitable livelihoods (v) Building resilience to vulnerabilities, shocks and stress.

The five national Action Tracks Dialogues have consolidated diverse and transformative views and voices from all stakeholders on the need for a transformation of the current food system. They have also raised awareness and understanding of the importance of the food system approach for achieving the SDGs and Agenda 2030.

Some of the key outcomes of Fiji’s Action Track dialogues have spotlighted the need for multi-stakeholder collaboration with all food systems players, including recognition of the critical inputs from blue foods through the blue economy space; the importance of green food; digital technology/e-agriculture as tools for transforming the current food system; the importance of traditional knowledge; the need for the inclusion of women and youth as key actors and leaders across the food system, the need for inclusivity through a bottom-up approach, and the need to increase investment to improve understanding and analysis of local food systems.

The high incidences of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in Fiji has also been recognised as a serious health threat, along with the impact of the COVID19 pandemic – all of which can only be addressed through robust transformational actions. As Fiji grapples with a new surge of the COVID-19 pandemic, the poor and the vulnerable are likely to bear the strongest brunt in terms of the impact of the pandemic on food systems.

This story was published by the Fijian Government on 19 July 2021, reposted via PACNEWS.

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