On 2 February 2021, the CIHEAM has participated in the UfM Second Ministerial Conference on Sustainable Blue Economy. The Ministerial was aimed at improving maritime governance and intensifying joint efforts, activities and projects in various blue economy sectors while addressing the growing environmental and climate-related challenges that the Mediterranean region is currently facing, and tackling the unprecedented socio-economic crisis brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
During his speech, Mr Plácido Plaza, Secretary-General of the CIHEAM recalled that Sustainable Food Systems are a key element in the promotion of blue and green growth and of the circular bioeconomy through the adoption of innovation-based approaches to improve well-being and social equity while mitigating environmental risks and ecological scarcities.
He also mentioned the importance of safeguarding fisheries and marine aquaculture value chains, and the need to provide active support throughout the whole supply chain at sea to local fishing, “from hook to plate” and inland to local farmers, “from farm to fork”.
"The transition of food systems to more sustainable practices requires significant technical expertise"
Enhancing sustainability and resilience of small-scale fisheries, fish farms and workers is essential to reduce poverty, improve nutritional status and create decent jobs for coastal populations. However, the transition of food systems to more sustainable practices, away from “business as usual”, require significant technical expertise.
In this regard, Mr Plácido Plaza commended the signature of the tripartite MoU on January 14th 2021 between the CIHEAM, the Union for the Mediterranean Secretariat and the FAO.
The three international organisations have joined forces to create and support the co-development of a Sustainable Food System Platform with the purpose of (i) providing interested stakeholders with a collaborative framework to foster progress on SDGs and (ii) supporting collaborative actions to streamline the shift towards more sustainable food systems in the Mediterranean.
This Platform will implement actions to raise awareness on the central role played by sustainable food systems in achieving SDGs for the Mediterranean, with a particular attention to importance of fisheries in regional food systems.