October 2021 – Rome, Italy
Agrobiodiversity for Food System Transformation
Agrobiodiversity is the foundation of resilient, sustainable, and nutritious food systems. Increasing the sustainable use of agrobiodiversity in production and consumption systems can help address some of the most pressing challenges facing our planet: malnutrition, climate change, and environmental degradation. The 2nd International Agrobiodiversity Congress will convene experts, practitioners, and policymakers to showcase scientific findings and innovative nature-based solutions, policies, and practices using agrobiodiversity that can make our food systems more sustainable.
To boost dialogue among relevant stakeholders and better understand the role that everyone can play in agrobiodiversity management and conservation, the Italian Government and the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT are organizing the 2nd International Agrobiodiversity Congress in partnership with national and international research institutes and the UN Rome-based food and agriculture agencies.
The Congress will help build partnerships and networks to mainstream agrobiodiversity from production to consumption and provide a platform to discuss models and incentives to strengthen the capacity of indigenous, local, and regional food systems to deliver the diversity of foods required for a healthy diet and enable greater resilience and faster recovery from crises.
The Congress, scheduled for October 2021, will be held in Rome, Italy, with virtual participation available to those unable to travel.
The Congress will build upon the work initiated by the 1st International Agrobiodiversity Congress (India, 2016), which culminated with the adoption of the Delhi Declaration on Agrobiodiversity Management.
- Provide evidence of agrobiodiversity’s role in positively transforming food systems; and explore the links between agrobiodiversity loss, malnutrition, climate change, and environmental degradation.
- Showcase existing solutions and business opportunities to turn science into action and enhance multi-sectoral collaboration on sustainable use and conservation of agrobiodiversity.
- Inform implementation of commitments on food systems agreed upon at major international conventions and celebrations (e.g. the UN Food Systems Summit, the UN Global Biodiversity Framework, the COVID-19 Food Coalition, the Italian G20 Presidency , and the UN International Year of Fruit and Vegetables 2021), and highlight the importance of healthy diets for people and planetary wellbeing.
- Multidisciplinary – Engaging scientists, civil society, economists, and policy experts from the agriculture, nutrition, and environment domains.
- Inclusive – A multi-stakeholder space to connect scientists with the private sector, policymakers, civil society, farmers, and consumers.
- Interactive – A platform to share scientific findings and foster dialogue among different stakeholders on opportunities and challenges to mainstreaming agrobiodiversity.
- Action-oriented – Aims to bridge the gaps between science and decision-making process that can bring about change on the ground.
The Congress is designed to facilitate multidisciplinary, inclusive, interactive, and action-oriented dialogue through a scientific symposium complemented by high-level policy discussions, a business forum, TED-style talks, a start-up competition, and several breakout sessions and side-events to broaden reach and impact. The Congress also includes a marketplace and a food exhibition to display healthy and biodiversity-rich diets. As a tribute to the host country, the Congress provides space to the Mediterranean diet as an example of traditional, healthy, diversified, and sustainable nutrition.
In the lead-up to the Congress, a series of agrobiodiversity dialogues will shape the development of the Rome Declaration on Agrobiodiversity for Food Systems Transformation, which will complement commitments arising from the 2021 international events on food systems.