ENEA: a "manifesto" for World Biodiversity Day

ENEA: a "manifesto" for World Biodiversity Day

Promote active dialogue between science, politics and society, support the development of advanced services in terms of sustainability and circularity and encourage the "agroecological transition" through the revitalization of the Mediterranean diet. These are some of the salient points of the 'manifesto' presented by AENEAS on the occasion of today World biodiversity daydedicated this year to the theme "Our food, our health and our biodiversity", with the aim of raising citizens' awareness of the importance of transitioning to more sustainable agri-food systems in order to achieve the objectives of the UN 2030 Agenda and heal the rift created over time between the economy and society, between development and territories.

"The agri-food systems are increasingly subject to geopolitical imbalances and conflicts. Hence the need for a transition towards greater environmental, economic, social and global governance sustainability of food", explains ENEA through the head of the Biotechnology and agro-industry Division Massimo Iannetta.

"Since the end of the Second World War - continues Iannetta - food systems have managed to guarantee an ever-increasing supply of food available to a rapidly growing world population. However, this large production has left its marks: intensive agri-food systems have contributed over time to climate change and biodiversity loss and at the same time are feeling the consequences of these changes". Not only. Large-scale agri-food production generates some strong contradictions; for example, one third of all food produced is lost or wasted. "Furthermore, the uneven distribution of food has generated a polarization of its accessibility; on the one hand millions of people suffering from food shortages, on the other the abundance of food combined with a large incidence of non-communicable diseases attributable to unbalanced eating habits , among the main risks to human health", underlines Iannetta.

It is therefore necessary:

  1. to promote a sustainable food systemincluding all activities along the supply chain, including consumption and disposal, as well as related elements - such as infrastructure and marketing - to ensure food security for allwithout jeopardizing the economic, social and ecological foundations for current and future generations;
  2. concretely transform agri-food systems. In this context, ENEA participates with the researchers of the Biotechnology and Agro-industry Division in the following 3 of the 30 coalitions adopted by over 110 countries, as part of the United Nations (UN) Food Systems Summit in September 2021:
  • "Agroecology", with Milena Stefanova;
  • "Food is never Waste", with Chiara Nobili;
  • "Healthy Diets", with Claudia Zoani;
  1. contribute to the overall quality and sustainability of agricultural and food productionincluding the retail sectors;
  2. reduce the gap between scarcity and abundance in the global dynamics of food;
  3. implement a paradigm shift in key "One Health" to face the transformation of agri-food systems, looking at human health as a system;
  4. favor the comparison between science, politics and society, with an increasingly active participation of citizensto develop sustainable and circular innovations, in the awareness of a new frontier that is increasingly cultural as well as technological;
  5. strengthen the dialogue between the countries of the North and the South through the shared development of innovations consistent with the various territorial contexts;
  6. foster the agroecological transition of Mediterranean agri-food systems, thanks to the Sustainable Food System MED-Platform, to encourage the transformation of food systems, mobilize funds, promote investments, skills and innovations in response to the challenges affecting the territory;
  7. revitalize the Mediterranean Diet as a consolidated set of agroecological principles for the protection of biodiversity, with new "culture - knowledge - food production - food consumption" approaches and new dietary models (from "how to feed the world" to "how to feed interconnected local communities");
  8. promote good practices (e.g. value chains and diversified consumption), circular bioeconomy, efficiency in the use of resources, as well as guarantee and governance mechanisms.

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