Scientists pledge respect for indigenous, traditional and citizen-based knowledge.
QU Dongyu, Director General of the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), has said that science, technology and innovation are essential to accelerate the transformation of agri-food systems and combat hunger and malnutrition.
Dongyu’s comments were made at the opening of Science Days, a virtual conference organised by the Scientific Group of the UN Food Systems Summit and hosted by the FAO. The conference, which took place 8-9 July, discussed issues such as biosciences, digitalisation in agri-food systems, the need for more investment in science and innovation and engaging all stakeholders in the transformation of agri-food systems.
Stressing the need for a coordinated approach to transform agri-food systems Dongyu added: ‘Harnessing science, technology and innovation is one the keys for the transformation. We need science to identify synergies and trade-offs, and to advance evidence-based policy making.’ He also highlighted the need for collaboration amongst stakeholders. ‘To reach impact and scale, we must develop new and transformative partnerships, including with the private sector and civil society. We need to listen to the farmers, not just to the scientist,’ Dongyu added.
Facilitating the transformation, members of the Scientific Group of the UN Food Systems Summit, have put forward a set of ‘science-driven innovations’ to ‘catalyse and accelerate’ food system changes. The Scientific Group of the UN Food Systems Summit which was established by the UN as an independent body of leading researchers from around the world to ensure the ‘robustness and independence of the science that underpins the UN Food Systems Summit.
Highlighting the link between culture and food, the Scientific Group said that science had to be ‘culturally sensitive’ and that the scientists who made up the group ‘pledged respect for indigenous, traditional and citizen-based knowledge.’