From 24 to 26 October 2021, the UNESCO Beijing Office, the Chinese National Commission for UNESCO, the Information Office of Jiangsu Provincial Government, and the Nanjing Municipal Government held the 2021 Nanjing Peace Forum. In order to enhance the notion and importance of eco-civilization for peace, this year's overarching theme for the 2021 Nanjing Peace Forum is "Living in Harmony with Nature for Peace".
As a supporting organization of the Forum, the Good Food Fund (China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation, CBCGDF) convened a roundtable on "Youth Leading Sustainable Food Production and Consumption" on 25 Oct. The roundtable was co-convened by Slow Food Great China.
The roundtable brought together more than 30 participants including youth champions in China who are exploring best practices, organizations that are willing to provide support to foster youth, experts from various industries and representatives from Nanjing government departments. The participants discussed about key action areas including food education and school meals, sustainable consumption action and advocacy, youth participating in agriculture and food entrepreneurship, and youth participating in urban food governance. At the end of the roundtable, the participants signed a Nanjing Good Food Declaration (attached below in Annex 1), which expresses the key messages of this 3-hour meeting (agenda attached below in Annex 2).
short video of the Nanjing Good Food Declaration
watch this video here on Youtube
This roundtable is a big step forward in promoting the global youth-led campaign Act4Food Act4Change at the local level. All the participants shared their sentiments that this was the beginning of an era of multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder collaborations and partnerships to explore further joint actions for youth empowerment and food systems transformation.
In the near future, the Good Food Fund will continue to carry out practical work in Nanjing including a policy boot camp which aims to develop innovative solutions for wet markets and introduce system thinking into a participatory policy consultation process; youth professional trainings; and collaborations with the international volunteer center to be established in Nanjing.
Some of the main messages of the roundtable was incorporated into the 2021 Nanjing Peace Consensus, a city-level commitment which was released in the closing ceremony of the Forum.
Encourage sustainable farming, shift to nature-positive food production. Build food systems resilience to shocks such as climate change. Support young people's transformative action to build a healthier and happier world. Fully implement the 17 goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Develop more reasonable strategies and conduct more far-reaching dialogues to leave no one behind. Work together to build a clean and beautiful world and Shared Future for All Life on Earth.
Youth hold the largest stake and strongest influence in shaping our food systems towards nourishing people and planet in peace and prosperity.
At the UN Food Systems Summit and the subsequent World Food Forum, youth around the world demonstrated their enthusiasm and commitment to engage in food systems transformation. Next, national and local youth empowerment must continue to be strengthened to form localized support systems to advance the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
At the 2021 Nanjing Peace Forum, the Good Food Fund and Slow Food Great China co-convened a roundtable on "Youth Leading Sustainable Food Production and Consumption", bringing together many youth champions in China who are exploring best practices, organizations that are willing to provide support to foster youth, experts from various industries and representatives from Nanjing government departments. Together, we launch the Nanjing Good Food Declaration, which expresses our common understanding of the current food systems challenges and our shared desires to empower youth to drive food systems transformation.
Why this Declaration
Everyone should be able to enjoy healthy diets from sustainable food systems and benefit equally from food systems. Yet our current food systems are unsustainable and fragile. Poverty and hunger remain severe in many parts of the world. The production and consumption of food is responsible for about one-third of the global greenhouse gas emissions and 80 percent of biodiversity loss, a huge threat faced by all of humanity.
Food systems transformation is the key to achieving "one health" for humans, the planet, and animals. It also provides strategic opportunities to achieve rural revitalization, food security, food saving and loss reduction, Healthy China, biodiversity conservation, and carbon neutrality. In order to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, the UN Secretary-General convened the UN Food Systems Summit in September 2021, which allowed many stakeholders in food systems to find new ways to cooperate and propose many courses of action. We hereby declare to unite youth and all sectors from Nanjing to address the multiple challenges of food systems.
We commit to take immediate actions by making the following efforts.
Provide easy and fun ways for youth to engage with food systems issues, starting with issues that are relevant to every consumer, such as what to eat, how to eat, and where to eat. Combine external support to help youth build their perspective on food systems transformation and their ability and confidence to address them.
Raise awareness of healthy, nutritious and sustainable diets through public communication and food education. Improve food environments, thereby enabling consumers to make plant-rich healthy food choices and eliminate food waste.
Support youth participation in agriculture. Support smallholder farmers. Shift to nature-positive food production by promoting regenerative agriculture, crop diversification, sustainable livestock and aquaculture. Improve farm animal welfare. Foster food systems resilience to shocks such as climate change.
Build an open-source platform to provide youth who aspire to be engaged in food systems transformation with knowledge, skills trainings, fundings, community networks, mentorship and insights from different stakeholders, and guidance on innovative entrepreneurship, career planning and how to build sustainable relationships with business entities.
Share best practices regularly through close networking mechanisms. Facilitate collaborative projects to create change, and continue to engage more individuals and organizations to join our force.
We call for
Transforming food systems to be more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive requires that we work together as a society and that youth are consistently and meaningfully engaged at all levels of decision-making and leadership. To this end, we call for the following actions by decision-makers in governments, business leaders and other stakeholders.
We call on all relevant sectors including agriculture, food, market, health, environment, finance, education, and advocacy to form closer collaborative mechanisms such as food policy councils, to address the multiple challenges facing our food systems, to integrate the goals of healthy and sustainable diets into all relevant policy development processes, and to work together to promote joint research, multi-stakeholder dialogue, and public engagement. The direct, meaningful, and effective participation of youth in these processes should be ensured.
We call on Nanjing to become the first C40 Good Food City in China and to take actions around food procurement, food environment, food waste, regenerative agriculture and food governance, as well as international exchange and cooperation. The leading actions of Nanjing would encourage more Chinese cities to join this worldwide trend.
We call on Nanjing to establish public food procurement policies aiming to provide healthy and sustainable diets in civic buildings, schools, and hospitals. We call on the universities in Nanjing to join and contribute to global networks of universities such as the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative (MCURC) to lead the way in sustainable university food initiatives in China.
We call on the education and research fields to increase their focus on sustainable food systems issues. We urge introducing sustainable food education into formal education systems and to strengthen support for social practice, academic research, and the translation of research results.
We call on relevant stakeholders including businesses, industry associations, NGOs and UN agencies to take advantage of the upcoming establishment of an international volunteer center in Nanjing to create an ecosystem that supports youth entrepreneurship in agriculture and food systems, providing them with more opportunities to practice on the ground and removing obstacles to youth entrepreneurship in agriculture and food systems.
We call on media platforms to popularize the concept of sustainable consumption and build a correct understanding of sustainable food systems through popular content making and communication methods. We urge media outlets to encourage individuals and communities to take practical sustainable food actions, so as to create a new sociocultural environment.
There is a long way to go to create a future where everyone can enjoy good food. We look forward to collaborations on this new journey.
OUYANG Huiyu, Food Policy Officer of Good Food Fund (CBCGDF), Campaign Lead for Act4Food Act4Change, World Food Forum Champion
ZHOU Jinfeng, Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF)
QIAO Ling, President of Slow Food Great China
Panel discussion 1: Youth leading sustainable consumption action and advocacy
As a new generation of consumers and leaders of future development, youth are on the front lines of sustainable consumption action and advocacy. They are actively exploring the potentials of many forms of resources and activities, for instance, traditions in China’s dietary culture, indigenous food knowledge, using app to reduce food-waste, and promoting the recycling of global resources, all of which are inextricably linked to the food system. To scale the impact of youth actions, we need to ensure sustained and meaningful youth engagement in decision-making at all levels of policy and with leadership in all sectors.
JIN Yujing, Project Officer of Good Food Fund (CBCGDF)
WANG Dani, Founder of imPACKED Travel
ZHANG Silu, Secretary-General of China Youth Climate Action Network
CAI Luona, Co-Founder of Circular π
TANG Xiaojuan, Food Innovator
LYU Jing, Director of Cultural Exchange Department of Jiangsu Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese
JIANG Nan, Chairman of the Board of Nanjing Jinling Goldfoil Group Co., Ltd.
MAO Juntong, Honorary Chairman of Nutrition and Diet Committee of Jiangsu Catering Industry Association
QIU Jiaqiu, Founder of Real Image Media
CHEN Hengjun, Producer of "Taste" at Jiangsu TV International Channel
Pre-recorded speech: Factory farming and new pandemics
Sara PLATTO, Associate Professor Animal Behavior and Welfare at College of Life Sciences of Jianghan University, Secretary-General of Biology and Science Ethics at CBCGDF
Panel discussion 2: Youth participating in agriculture and food entrepreneurship
More and more people are leaving the rural area and farmland, and moving into cities to work in other industries. The food industry, especially agriculture, is seriously lacking in attracting talent, and their expertise. Circular economy, regenerative agriculture, one health, plant-based protein alternatives, and a host of other food system-related concepts need to be explored and practiced by young people from now on. Breaking the stereotypical image of agriculture, providing support and removing barriers for young people to start their own businesses in agriculture and food, and injecting fresh blood into the transformation of the food system are the most important priorities in the process of promoting sustainable food production and consumption.
LI Yihong, Ideation Officer of Good Food Fund (CBCGDF)
CAO Xi, Policy and Partnerships Specialist at International Fund for Agricultural Development
XIONG Yanqing, Project Officer of Beijing Farmer's Market
LEE Puiying, Executive Director of GFIC
HAN Han, Founder and Executive Director of China Blue Sustainability Institute
ZHANG Yating, President of One Health International Association of Nanjing Agricultural University
LIU Bomin, Secretary-General of Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Foundation of Jiangsu Provincial Committee of Communist Youth League
ZHOU Xiaomei, Secretary-General of Nanjing Food Industry Association
LUO Yi (online), Founder of Social Enterprise Laotu
Panel discussion 3: Food education, school meals and urban food governance
Nutritious and healthy school meals support adolescents' learning and well-being, and are opportunities to teach them how to eat better while learning about sustainable lifestyles and healthy diets. School meals can serve as springboards for food system transformation, while improving opportunities for local smallholder farmers and producers, conserving food culture, mitigating climate change, and protecting biodiversity. Public procurement program including school meals program is a strong level to transform our food systems in the city level. Incorporating food education into formal education system can accelerate the transitions we need.
OUYANG Huiyu, Food Policy Officer of Good Food Fund (CBCGDF), Campaign Lead for Act4Food Act4Change, World Food Forum Champion
CHEN Xi, Assistant President (International) and Dean of School of International Communication University of China, Nanjing
PENG Yan, Director of Italian Cultural Research Center at Nanjing Normal University
YU Xuerong, President of Jiangsu Catering Industry Association
SUN Qun, Secretary-General of Slow Food Great China
CUI Xue, Executive Secretary-General of Food Education Network of UNFSS-AT2 China Action Hub
CHEN Zhigang (online), Chair Professor in School of Public Affairs at Zhejiang University, Dean of China Academy for Rural Development (CARD)
GAO Ying (online), Head of Regional Coordination and Partnerships at C40 China
ZHANG Lanying, Consultant for Slow Food Committee of CBCGDF
Signing the Nanjing Good Food Declaration
All attending participants