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Rethinking Food Systems To Protect Human And Planetary Health

The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) Digital Conference, which will run online from 3-5 June, will kickstart a global conversation on how to transform food systems to protect human well-being and planetary health in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Speakers include Executive Director of UN Environment Inger Andersen, Special Envoy of WHO Director General on COVID-19 David Nabarro, and emerging African climate activists Vanessa Nakate and Adenike Oladosu.

Food production and agricultural systems are leading drivers of climate change and natural habitat destruction. Disturbance of ecosystems increases the risk of disease spillover from animals to humans, as recently shown by COVID-19, Ebola, SARS, MERS and HIV, while degraded land costs the world USD 6 trillion annually in lost services, goods and livelihoods.

As part of the global drive to ‘build back better,’ the digital conference will convene leading voices to discuss how to feed a booming global population while preserving the ability of ecosystems to support human health and livelihoods in the long-term.

Globally, 820 million people do not have enough to eat, and 135 million experience acute malnutrition. As the new coronavirus pandemic disrupts food systems, an additional 130 people are set to face hunger this year, according to the World Food Programme.

The GLF event will feature interactive sessions and talks with top experts from the science, business, journalism and policy-making fields, as well as community leaders and young entrepreneurs representing all stages of the food supply chain.

The line-up of emerging voices includes Instagram-star chef Max La Manna, who is inspiring people around the word to rethink their approach to food waste; Varun Deshpande, Managing Director for India at The Good Food Institute, who is working to advance the plant-based and cell-based protein sector; and chef Ska Mirriam Moteane from Lesotho, a winner for Gourmand Best African Cookbook in the World who promotes healthy eating by using local produce.

Leading voices from the media including John Vidal, formerly of The Guardian; Bill McKibben of 350.org and The New Yorker; Viktorija Mickute of Al Jazeera’s Contrast virtual reality platform; Holden Thorp of the Science family of journals; and celebrated author Jenny Offill, among others, will share insights on the power of the global narrative to affect change during times of crisis.

The event will harness the latest virtual conferencing platforms and techniques to ensure equitable inclusion and participation of anyone who wishes to join and help reimagine the future of food in response to the heath, climate and biodiversity crises.

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