Topic of the year

Wyss Academy Declaration on Food Systems

Foodsystems 1

Nature conservation and human wellbeing can only reinforce each other if we address the current imbalance of ever advancing human development on the one side, and overstepping the limits of nature on the other. In order to achieve this rebalancing at scale and speed, entry points such as the topic of food production and consumption help us address the underlying systems that hinder transformation. Food is one of these systems, given its huge impact on biodiversity, climate as well as human wellbeing. This led the Wyss Academy to issue in 2021 a Declaration on Food Systems as official feedback to the 2021 United Nations Food Systems Summit.

The declaration is the result of the first Wyss Academy Dialogues with Purpose, a series of workshops in which participants from four regions (Central Europe, East Africa, South-East Asia and South-America) discussed region-specific challenges with global stakeholders representing science, policy, civil society and the private sector.

The Wyss Academy Declaration on Food Systems calls for a fundamental transformation of social, economic and financial systems, in order to harmonize food systems with nature conservation and to foster just relations between people and nature. Despite significant differences in perspective, three opportunities for harmonizing food systems with nature conservation, climate protection, and human wellbeing were identified as relevant across all regions: promoting opportunities for youth within the agri-food system, realizing nature-positive and fair food production, and bridging the disconnect between consumers and producers in order to achieve fairer food supply chains.


What the Declaration on Food Systems means for the Wyss Academy

The declaration was the first engagement by the Wyss Academy in a bigger process as an institution. It allowed us to broaden our community and create a safe space where diverging views were voiced, thereby surmounting differences and identifying opportunities for the harmonization of food systems with nature conservation across regions. The learnings we gained are being included in the planned activities conducted by our transdisciplinary research teams, our synthesis center as well as our regional stewardship hubs.