Today the World Wide Fund for Nature, one of the world’s largest conservation organisations, and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), a foundation that tackles human suffering caused by malnutrition, announce a formal MOU to deliver food systems which benefit both people and nature. In the foreshadow of the United Nations Food Systems Summit, the innovative partnership between two of the Summit’s convening organisations promises to deepen thinking on food systems transformation and to accelerate adoption of new solutions.
“We are teaming up to try to find solutions which can tackle global malnutrition sustainably,” said World Food Prize Laureate Dr. Lawrence Haddad, GAIN Executive Director. “Today, three billion people cannot afford a healthy diet, and 800m are chronically hungry. We need to find ways that change this while working in harmony with nature, not destroy it. As UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres put it, making peace with nature is the defining task of the coming decades”.
Recognizing the intrinsic link between the health of people and planet, the partners will jointly address the sustainable and inclusive transformation of food systems by sharing knowledge and expertise, and collaborating on data and research platforms. The two organisations will jointly deliver projects and mobilise resources, while staff exchanges are anticipated.
“We aim to achieve the fundamental human right to healthy and nutritious food within planetary boundaries” said Joao Campari, Global Food Practice Leader, WWF. “By working in partnership with GAIN we can help lead the transitions into nature-positive food systems and balancing food-based impacts on our ecosystems. We know that this will be a huge challenge, and we are pleased to be working with a partner that shares our values and vision. Human development and sustainability can no longer be pursued in isolation. How we work has to change.”
WWF and GAIN are each leading Action Tracks in the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) in September. This Summit will be used to launch bold new actions to transform the way the world produces and consumes food. WWF is leading Action Track 3, with an emphasis on boosting nature-positive production. This aims to reduce pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and loss of biodiversity by optimising how environmental resources are used to produce food. GAIN is leading Action Track1, which focuses on ensuring access to safe and nutritious foods for all.
The action tracks led by GAIN and WWF are closely intertwined, in recognition that food systems are a complex, ‘constellation of activities’ involving both people and planet. Together, WWF and GAIN will address topics such as sustainable diets, urban food systems, food justice, and issues of food equity and access.
“We are very proud to be associated with WWF, which has already showed how it is possible to find solutions that address conservation and human development hand in hand” said Haddad.