Food at the heart of COP28: 'Complexity can't be ignored'


30 November 2023
'Agroecology must lead the way to shaping a new food system'

AFTER COP27 dedicated a pavilion to food for the first time, food and food systems now will be at the centre of discussions in Dubai, where the 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) is about to start. 

The conference in the United Arab Emirates will run from November 30th to December 12th, 2023.

Edward Mukiibi, President of Slow Food, a global network of local communities founded in 1989 to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions and counteract the rise of fast food culture, says the COP28 debates and their conclusions need to be closely monitored.
He warned: “The risk is that the debate will ignore the complexity of food systems, the root causes of unsustainable food insecurity such as power imbalances and industrial food production and the fact that countries in the global south are disproportionately affected by climate change. 

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"In fact, it seems that the upcoming ‘Emirates Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action’ includes neither concrete measures nor targets to effectively transform food systems nor clarifies what more sustainable food systems should look like.” 

Slow Food firmly believes a sustainable food system is based on agroecology - not just a set of agricultural practices but a vision that focuses on biodiversity, ecosystem conservation and the skills and needs of communities. 

"This is a model that can ensure long-term food security for everyone and is recognised and promoted by food sovereignty movements, think tanks and international organisations such as the United Nations. 
“This is the first COP following the IPCC's 6th Assessment Report which unequivocally stated that we have to act now or it will be too late and which stressed again how the food system in general could be producing as much as 35% of global greenhouse gas emissions.” 

Photo: Monika Grabkowska

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