Scientific Group of UN Food Systems Summit set seven priorities to end hunger worldwide and protect the planet


August 30, 2021.  

In a comment published in Nature today, August 30, 2021 (see https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02331-x), the Scientific Group’s chair Joachim von Braun and vice-chairs Kaosar Afsana, Louise O. Fresco and Mohamed Hassan, provide the scientific basis for the Food Systems Summit convened by UN secretary-general António Guterres in September 2021.

The group has formulated seven science-based priorities for achieving science-driven advances:

1.End hunger and improve diets; 2. De-risk food systems; 3. Protect equality and rights; 4. Boost bioscience; 5. Protect resources; 6. Sustain aquatic foods; and 7. Harness digital technology.

In addition, the authors suggest how to move to implementation after the UN Foods Systems Summit will have agreed on the plans:

1. Boost finance, e.g. by establishing a special fund; 2. Increase scientific capacity, e.g. by sharing research infrastructure and data between the global south and global north; 3. Strengthen science-policy interfaces, e.g. by exploring an intergovernmental treaty or framework convention on food systems, analogous to the conventions on climate, biodiversity and desertification as agreed on in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

'Bringing the tools of science to the table will help to transform the global foods system to end hunger and achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030', conclude the authors.