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Webinar “COVID-19 and Sustainable Food Systems”
WEbinar 3 June 2020 COVID-19 and Sustainable Food Systems
Wednesday June 3, 2020 Image: UN Food Systems Summit
8:30 pm - 10:30 pm


Online webinar

One One Planet Network Sustainable Food Systems Programme (SFS Programme) organizes a webinar on “COVID-19 and Sustainable Food Systems – Responses and innovations to tackle vulnerabilities and build back better” on June 3, 2020 at 2:30 PM CEST (20:00 Dutch time). 

The COVID-19 pandemic poses unprecedented challenges for food systems worldwide – but also enormous opportunities. It is a wakeup call that has highlighted the need for holistic approaches to both address the shock brought by the pandemic, but also to address the vulnerabilities of our unsustainable food systems. To build sustainable food systems more coordinated, more integrated measures are needed – a food systems approach.

Join this webinar for a discussion with key experts and policymakers who will provide insights on key measures to both combat the pandemic’s impact and to build sustainable food systems. Key questions are: What critical measures are required to both combat the #COVID19 crisis and to build sustainable food systems? Can responses to the #COVID19 crisis catalyse transformation toward sustainable food systems?


A keynote speech by the WHO Special Envoy for COVID-19, Dr. David Nabarro, will be preceded by the presentation of findings from two pieces of research from INRAe and UNSCN. Following, practical response examples will be presented from Costa Rica and Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul state.

Vice-minister Ana Cristina Quirós Soto of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock of Costa Rica will explain how the country has implemented a battery of measures in coordination with a range of food systems actors to guarantee workplace safety, access and availability to healthy food and financial support to livelihoods all while emphasizing the need for urgent progress on climate and environmental targets.

In Brazil, the main advisory bodies on food related matters, known as Councils of Food Security and Nutrition (CONSEAs), were created in the 2000s with an innovative multi-stakeholder architecture. The CONSEA of Rio Grande do Sul state has been responding to the food and nutrition security crisis brought on by COVID-19 through four areas of action. With closed schools, children’s access to food has been compromised. We will learn how CONSEA’s structure has facilitated a coordinated, agile response.

To close, practitioners from FAO, IFAD, UNEP and WWF will kick off a discussion highlighting why a systems-based, collaborative response is essential to both counter the vulnerabilities highlighted by COVID-19 as well as to build sustainable food systems.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Vice-minister Ana Cristina Quirós Soto, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Costa Rica
  • Dr. David Nabarro, WHO Director-General’s Special Envoy on COVID-19
  • Potira V. Preiss, counselor of the Council of Food Security and Nutrition (CONSEA) of Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil
  • Dr. Yuna Chiffoleau, Research Director, INRAe
  • Dr. Stieneke Oenema, Coordinator, UNSCN
  • Margarita Astrálaga, Director of the Environment, Climate, Gender and Social Inclusion Division (ECG), IFAD
  • Fatima Hachem, Senior Nutrition Officer, FAO
  • Martina Otto, Head of Cities Unit, UNEP

Moderator: Brent Loken, Food Science Lead, WWF

Aimed primarily at regional and national decision-makers focusing on food or elements of the food system, the webinar is open to anyone with an interest in building sustainable food systems as a response to COVID-19 through a systems approach, and the role of inter-sectoral coordination and collaboration.

Register and submit your own answers in this participatory webinar here: https://bit.ly/3c2W4aE

The webinar is part of a Series of webinars on the Food Systems Approach in Practice promoted by members of the One Planet Network Sustainable Food Systems Programme (SFS Programme), a global multi-stakeholder platform to support countries in the transition towards sustainable food systems.

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