The State of Food Systems Worldwide in the Countdown to 2030: A Science-Based Monitoring Initiative

The Food Systems Countdown to 2030 Initiative (FSCI) provides vital data for decision-makers seeking to transform global agriculture and food systems.

The urgent need to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture and food systems, as well as mitigate the effects of climate change, has prompted the Food Systems Countdown to 2030 Initiative (FSCI) to provide science-based monitoring. This initiative aims to guide policymakers in their efforts to transform global agriculture and food systems, ensuring equitable access to healthy diets through sustainable and resilient practices. With the first global baseline now established, the FSCI will track progress annually until 2030, using a framework of 50 indicators to monitor these systems at a global level.

Filling the Data Gap for Informed Decision-Making

The UN Food Systems Summit has highlighted the need for action in agriculture and food systems. However, policymakers often lack the necessary data to drive critical decisions. The FSCI addresses this gap by repurposing existing data and identifying a framework of 50 indicators that offer immediate access to relevant information. By utilizing existing data rather than conducting new research, the FSCI ensures that policymakers have the necessary tools to make informed decisions.

A Holistic Approach to Sustainable Development Goals

While agriculture and food systems play a crucial role in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the SDGs themselves are insufficient to monitor these systems. The FSCI fills this gap by providing a comprehensive framework that covers various aspects of agriculture and food systems. This holistic approach allows decision-makers to address the interconnected challenges of nutrition, environment, livelihoods, governance, and resilience.

Agriculture and Food Systems in Climate Negotiations

Agriculture and food systems have historically played a small role in climate negotiations. However, recent progress is encouraging. At COP28, over 150 countries signed the Emirates Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action, committing to incorporate agriculture and food systems into their climate plans by 2025. This recognition of the importance of agriculture and food systems in climate action signals a positive shift in global priorities.

A Monitoring System for Success

The FSCI’s indicator framework serves as a global monitoring system for agriculture and food systems transformation. It not only enables global monitoring but also offers a menu of indicators that can be tailored to meet specific country needs. This flexibility allows policymakers to design policies and actions based on the unique challenges and opportunities in their respective regions.

Filling Data Gaps for Effective Monitoring

While the FSCI’s indicator framework is a significant step forward, there are still data gaps that need to be addressed. The FSCI, along with the global science and policy communities, recognizes the importance of filling these gaps to ensure effective monitoring across all dimensions of agriculture and food systems. This commitment to gathering better data will enhance progress tracking in areas such as food safety, off-farm livelihoods, food loss and waste, economic contributions, governance, and resilience.

Conclusion:

The Food Systems Countdown to 2030 Initiative provides a comprehensive and science-based monitoring system for global agriculture and food systems. By utilizing existing data and identifying key indicators, the FSCI equips decision-makers with the tools they need to drive transformative change. This initiative highlights the interconnectedness of various aspects of agriculture and food systems and emphasizes the need for sustainable, equitable, and resilient practices. With ongoing monitoring and data-driven approaches, the FSCI aims to create a healthier, more equitable, and sustainable future for all.

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