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AIRCA agrees to cooperate on research in support of UN Food Systems Summit 2021

21 December 2020, UK: AIRCA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Scientific Group of the UN Secretary General’s Food Systems Summit to cooperate on research in support of the UN Food Systems Summit 2021 which will launch bold new actions to deliver progress on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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The agreement will see AIRCA, as part of its seven-member alliance that includes CABI, initially prioritize cooperation on marginal areas and indigenous people, vegetables and fruit as well as protecting agrobiodiversity of vegetables and fruit and in marginal areas. Other areas of cooperation may still be identified. Specifically, AIRCA will work to produce briefing papers on these key areas to help inform the Summit which is evaluating plans and progress to meet the SDGs by 2030.

AIRCA is one of many key players from the worlds of science, business, policy, healthcare and academia, as well as farmers, indigenous people, youth organizations, consumer groups, environmental activists, and other key stakeholders, who are being brought together to work on ways to transform the way the world produces, consumes and thinks about food. This includes the areas of focus specified for AIRCA and the Scientific Group to collaborate on within the MoU.

Marco Wopereis, Chair of AIRCA, said, “The AIRCA coalition has the combined skills, knowledge and expertise to contribute to addressing the complex and challenging need for diverse and sustainable food systems for a growing global population expected to reach 10 billion by 2050.”

Joachim von Braun, Chair of the Scientific Group for the UN Secretary-General’s Food Systems Summit, said, “The UN Food Systems Summit shall be action oriented. Science has the important role to provide evidence base to the summit agenda, and to be inclusive. That requires attention to marginal areas.“ He also added that transforming food systems is crucial for delivering all the Sustainable Development Goals and that as a human family, a world free of hunger is our imperative. “We see the MoU with AIRCA as being an important step towards this agenda as part of the ongoing partnerships towards the goals.”

AIRCA and the Scientific Group will now designate a working group to proceed on the research outlined within the MoU including a programme of milestones and measurable outputs to feed into the Summit when it convenes in 2021.