5f. Food Systems Transformation

Co-track Chairs

  • Henrik Haller, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering, Mid Sweden University, Sweden.
  • Prajal Pradhan, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany.
  • Mohd Helmi Ali, Graduate School of Business, National University of Malaysia (UKM). mohdhelmiali@ukm.edu.my

Goals/Objectives and areas of the Track

Track 5f addresses the topics of food systems transformation from an interdisciplinary perspective at all spatial levels, from local to global, and all stages, from pre-production to post-consumption. It aims to bring light on environmental as well as nutritional, agricultural, demographic, socio-economic, political, technological and institutional aspects of sustainable transformation of food systems. This track aims to highlights practices and actions that increase Earth’s ability to sustainably feed the global population by 2050. The current global food production is the largest pressure caused by humans on Earth, threatening not only local ecosystems but also the stability of the Earth system itself. It also fails to provide sufficient food to more than 820 million people. An even greater fraction of the population consumes an unhealthy diet that contributes to premature death. Agricultural production has thus reached a point where a radical transformation is necessary if food quality, food security and food sovereignty are to serve the needs of humanity. At the same time, food systems may be a strong lever to optimize human and environmental health and promote sustainable development on a local or global level.

Agricultural production is the cornerstone of rural economies. In most developing economies, agriculture accounts for substantial foreign exchange earnings, employing much of the active labour force. Although there are no silver bullets, various response options are available from the pre-production to post-consumption stages for sustainable transformation of food systems. These response options, including well-designed and well-managed agroecosystems, also provide other co-benefits. These co-benefits include promoting rural incomes, enhancing rural welfare, providing ecosystem services (e.g., carbon sequestration, erosion control, water regulation), and preserving biodiversity. Food systems transformation based on sustainable intensification and health diets can nourish an increasing population using the current agricultural land within a safe and just operating space (defined by the planetary boundaries).

The overarching objective of track 5f is to assess opportunities and challenges for restructuring food systems towards sustainability. Sustainable food systems should end poverty and hunger and safeguard food security (SDG 1 and 2) without crossing the biophysical thresholds of the planetary boundaries or obstructing an equitable social foundation. Accordingly, we invite submissions from various disciplines in the context of (but-not limit to) agro-ecological concerns such as:

  • Studies on the links, hurdles and opportunities between the ecological common goods’ goals of climate, water and land (SDGs 13, 14,15) and the goals for improving human well-being (poverty, hunger, health education, gender, sanitation – SDGs 1-6).
  • Trade-off assessments of or methods around the phenomenon of increased productivity vs secured or enhanced ecosystem functions.
  • Paths from here towards the production and distribution systems that generate enhanced food security. What are the main levers and challenges? What about practical experiences? What are the trade-offs? What are some challenges when scaling up sustainable small-scale practices?
  • Examples of Nature-based Solutions (NbS) and innovative designs of multifunctional land use the support, provide and restore ecosystem functions – and how do these system’s products become marketable? Studies on landscape and catchment scale actions are encouraged.
  • Examination of actions and ambitions of stakeholders in disrupting existing unsustainable systems of food growing and provisioning and endeavouring to secure more just and sustainable practices of production, access and supply.

Length and content of the proposed abstract to the track

Each proposed abstract (in connection to an area pointed out above) of between 300 and 500 words (including all aspects),

  1. shall be best organized (without headlines) along usual structures (e.g. intro/method/findings or results/ discussion/conclusions)
  2. does not need to, but can include references
  3. shall provide in a final section
    a. to which SDG(s) and SDG-target(s) their proposed abstract especially relate to (e.g. “SDG+Target: 14.1.”).
    b. a brief indication how the proposed contribution relates to the topic of the Conference “Half-way through Agenda 2030Assessing the 5Ps of SDG(people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership)

Abstracts which do not outline points 3.a.) AND 3.b.) might be considered less relevant in the Review.

Potential publication channels

Concerning potential publications, depending on the number and quality of contributions, the following publication opportunities have already been inquired:

  1. Special Issue in Ambio – A Journal of the Human Environment Springer, Imoact factor: 4.778 (2019) https://www.springer.com/journal/13280?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI2cHm3uOz7QIVgdOyCh3GKQZ0EAAYASAAEgJHmfD_BwE
  2. Special Issue in Land, Livelihoods and Food Security in Frontiers in Sustainable food systems, https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics?domain=all&journal=1335
  3. Edited Book with the ISDRS partner Taylor & Francis/Routledge