News | 29 Mar, 2024

Restoring the opportunity for food system transformation

IUCN attended the Annual Conference of the Forum for the Future of Agriculture, hosted at the Square in Brussels on March 26. Gathering different stakeholders from across the agri-food system, the Forum fosters open dialogue among farmers, the private sector, environmental organisations, and decision-makers to address common challenges and explore potential solutions.  

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Forum for the Future of Agriculture 2024 Annual Conference

Photo: Forum for the Future of Agriculture

Recognising the need to engage in fruitful dialogues involving all stakeholders in transitioning to sustainable agriculture and finding common ground, IUCN became a Strategic Partner of the Forum for the Future of Agriculture in 2021.

In March 2023, the Forum launched its Call to Action, in response to climate and nature’s decline, and the threats that this poses to ecosystems upon which food and agriculture rely on. The Forum and its partners are committed to individual and collective work, sharing knowledge and best practices, with a long-term vision to: 

  1. Develop and scale regenerative agriculture, in conjunction with similar approaches, underpinned by common metrics driving enhanced outcomes for productive and environmentally sustainable farming; 
  2. Value and account for the use of natural capital, such as water, soil, air, and biodiversity, by the agri-food system; 
  3. Contribute to the development and alignment of public funding market-based incentives for nature restoration and delivery of other ecosystem services; 
  4. Share knowledge and pursue innovation in technology and practices that support both food and environmental security and move away from those that don’t; 
  5. Integrate sustainability into supply chains and the global agri-food trade system, leaving no one behind; 
  6. Inform the development of more coherent agri-food policies at local, national, regional and global level and continue to build public and private partnerships for greater impact; 
  7. Enhance consumer awareness of their role in building a more resilient and sustainable food and agriculture system. 

Boris Erg, Director of the IUCN European Regional Office, took the stage to reflect on the progress toward the Call to Action’s commitments and participate in discussions on funding the transition.  

IUCN naturally supports the Call to Action, as it aligns well with our mission and what we stand for: to influence, encourage and assist societies in conserving the integrity and diversity of nature. We expect the Forum to continue to be bold in the future to facilitate the transformative changes our society needs to achieve our environmental targets, which are essential for meeting our socio-economic goals.

Sustainable agriculture must address two intertwined societal priorities: preserving the environment and providing safe and healthy food for all. The short-term savings of inaction in this direction are likely to be outweighed by longer-term societal and material costs. Hence, all sectors and stakeholders involved in the food system and nature conservation must chart a common path for the future of agriculture. 

For more information on the Forum for the Future of Agriculture, please click here.